Brought to you by Employee Assistance Network
June 2018

Understanding the Stress/Health Connection

Stress exists in your mind — but it's also evident in your stomach, heart, muscles and even your toes.

"In fact, stress may affect every cell in your body," says Ronald Glaser, Ph.D., a researcher at Ohio State University Medical School.

During stressful times, your body produces various chemicals, including cortisol, an immune-suppressing hormone. The more cortisol produced, the weaker your immune cells become and the more susceptible you are to illness.

"A one-day stressor isn't going to make a big change in your risk of getting a cold, for example," says Dr. Glaser. "But a chronic stressor that lasts a few weeks could dampen your immune response and create a risk of disease."

Migraine headaches, sleep disorders, backaches, skin rashes, fatigue, irritability, headache, depression, worry, mood swings, chest pain, anxiety, upset stomach, ulcers, and high blood pressure are common reactions to stress.

By gaining a better understanding of the stress/disease connection, you can reduce your stress and, in turn, improve your health and well-being.

Keeping stress in check

No one can avoid all stress — and a certain amount actually is good for you. But it's best to keep unhealthy levels in check.

The following steps can help you control everyday stress:

Combating serious stress

"In combating serious stress, you should first carefully appraise the seriousness of the situation and the adequacy of your coping resources," says Kenneth B. Matheny, Ph.D., A.B.P.P., director of counseling psychology at Georgia State University in Atlanta.

When faced with a highly stressful event in your life — perhaps the death of a loved one, a life-threatening illness or a serious financial loss — the following strategies will help you cope:

The StayWell Company, LLC © 2018

The First Step: Discussing the Need for Long-Term Care


If you need long-term care, you may find it hard to raise the topic with others because it seems like a blow to your self-esteem — a subject that means you are really "old." You may also be reluctant to begin the process of giving up some of your independence or surrendering full control over your life. If you know you will need the help of your family, you may hesitate to raise the subject because you don't want to become a burden.

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Crunch Those Numbers...


Did you know you have access to hundreds of interactive financial calculators that will help you make better decisions about many financial conundrums - from mortgage refinancing to leasing a car.

Check one out today!

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