Chronic stress can wreak havoc on the body | Science News

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Chronic stress can wreak havoc on the body

Finding a way to chill may benefit long-term health

3:00pm, February 20, 2015
stressed out graphic

STRESS MESS  Scientists are figuring out how chronic stress — from recurring pain, unemployment, poverty, caring for a sick spouse and other sources — puts a burden on the body.

Ask anybody — stress is bad news. The negative view of stress has been expressed so consistently that the concept is now built into our vernacular, which is spiced with advice on avoiding it: Take it easy. Calm down. Chill.

Of course, a good case of stress comes in handy during an encounter with a grizzly bear on a hiking trail. In that situation, a stress reaction delivers a burst of hormones that revs up the heart and sharpens attention. This automatic response has served humans well throughout evolution, improving our odds of seeing another day.

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