A looming deadline at work. Your mother-in-law’s impending visit. Getting the kids’ science fair projects out of the way—the night before they’re due. No matter your current stage of life, it’s likely that you experience stress on a regular basis. And while some stress can be good­—inspiring you to make a change in your life, or lighting the fire you need to get something done—getting stressed too often and staying stressed for too long is detrimental to your health.

When we’re constantly stressed, our body remains in fight-or-flight mode, which triggers a host of physiological responses, including an increase in cortisol levels. And while that’s helpful in situations like facing a wild grizzly bear head on, remaining in that stressed-out, fight-or-flight state over a long period of time can lead to health issues ranging from weight gain to increased inflammation (which is the root cause of most diseases) to elevated blood sugar. Chronic stress is also a cause of adrenal fatigue, a condition that happens when the body and adrenal glands struggle to keep up with the demands of external stressors, and can lead to symptoms like depression, inflammation, and poor focus.

As if that wasn’t concerning enough, the…

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