MHLbannersmallSome free downloadable resources that can help you manage stress

On a purely biological level, stress is an organism's total response to an environmental condition or stimulus, also known as a stressor. Stress releases powerful neurochemicals and hormones into our body that prepare us for action – the fight or flight response that's been a part of our development as a species for a very long time.

Somewhere along the way in that development, stress has become something that most of us stressthink of as a negative condition that can result in a whole series of physical, emotional and cognitive symptoms and conditions that for decades now have been creating a very serious public health problem on a national scale. And it's not hard to figure out why.

We worry about our children, our parents, our jobs, our financial situations, our friends, our health, the state of the planet itself and some things that we can't even name. We live in a time where all these concerns and anxieties join together with the everyday hassles and frustration of a world that's coming to depend more on technology and less on human interaction.  And the result is a level of stress so commonplace that it seems to be a way of life.

It's not the intent – nor is it within the scope – of the My Healthy Lifestyle newsletter to provide an in-depth look at stress as well as a comprehensive guide to managing it. What we do in this issue, however, and what you can count on in future issues, are tips, tools and strategies for reducing the stress your life, and that includes these resources: