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Stress is simply a fact of nature -- forces from the inside or outside world affecting the individual. The individual responds to stress in ways that affect the individual as well as theirenvironment. Because of the overabundance of stress in our modern lives, we usually think of stress as a negative experience, but from a biological point of view, stress can be a neutral, negative, orpositive experience.
In general, stress is related to both external and internal factors. External factors include the physical environment, including your job, your relationships with others, yourhome, and all the situations, challenges, difficulties, and expectations you're confronted with on a daily basis. Internal factors determine your body's ability to respond to, and deal with, theexternal stress-inducing factors. Internal factors which influence your ability to handle stress include your nutritional status, overall health andfitness levels, emotional well-being, and the amountof sleep and rest you get.

What Are the Warning Signs of Stress?
Chronic stress can wear down the body's natural defenses, leading to a variety of physical symptoms, including:
* Dizziness or ageneral feeling of "being out of it"
* General aches and pains
* Grinding teeth, clenched jaw
* Headaches
* Indigestion or acid reflux symptoms
* Increase in or loss of appetite
*Muscle tension in neck, face or shoulders
* Problems sleeping
* Racing heart
* Cold and sweaty palms
* Tiredness, exhaustion
* Trembling/shaking
* Weight gain or loss
*Upset stomach, diarrhea
* Sexual difficulties
* Irritability, impatience, forgetfulness
Tips for Reducing Stress
People can learn to manage stress and lead happier, healthier lives. Here aresome tips to help you keep stress at bay:
* Keep a positive attitude.
* Accept that there are events that you cannot control.
* Be assertive instead of aggressive. Assert your feelings,...
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