Stress is a normal part of everyday life. Stress can rise to dangerous levels however and make people act irrationally. Below are 50 things you should know about stress and how to handle it. 1. Stress is a normal part of life. Everybody experiences it. 2. Stress is your body's reaction to demands, events, and changes. 3. Some stress is good. It keeps you sharp and focused. 4. In small doses, stress can even be exciting. 5. Positive and negative events can create stress. 6. Positive things that cause stress include going to college, getting a new job, or starting a family. 7. Negative things that cause stress include losing a job, leaving a relationship or the death of a family member. 8. When you're stressed, your heart pumps faster, your breathing speeds up, and your body makes chemicals that cause you to feel edgy and tense. 9. The body's stress response is called "fight or flight." 10. Different people respond differently to stress. 11. Some people feel anxious, cranky, and uptight when stressed. 12. Some people get tired, depressed, or forgetful when stressed. 13. Too much stress for too long a time can affect your health. 14. Stress can affect your immune system (the part of your body that protects you from disease). 15. Some signs of too much stress include headaches, back pain, upset stomach, and high blood pressure. 16. People who are stressed get sick three to five times more often than normal. 17. Forty-three percent of people have health problems because 0f stress. 18. Stress often plays a role in heart attacks, accidents, lung disease, liver disease, and suicide. 19. As many as ninety percent of all doctor's visits are related to stress. 20. Overeating, compulsive eating, or not eating enough may be signs of stress. 21. You can take action to keep stress from taking over your life. 22. Looking at the causes of stress in your life can help you cope. 23. Find ways to reduce stressful situations in your life. It's not as impossible as it seems! 24. If you're stressed because you can't find keys or other things, always put them away in a special place. 25. If being late creates stress, leave five minutes early. 26. If worries about a relationship are making you stressed, talk to a counselor. 27. If you feel stressed because of too much to do, ask friends or family members to help out. 28. Don't sweat the small stuff. Slow lines and bad drivers aren't worth the stress. 29. Set priorities. Let go of less important commitments. 30. Learn to say "no". Nobody can do it all. 31. Where you can't make changes, find ways to lower your stress. 32. When people or situations stress you out, close your eyes, and picture yourself in a peaceful place. 33. Cut down of coffee, tea, or soda with caffeine or switch to herbal teas, juice, or decaf. Caffeine can make stress worse. 34. Exercise is a great stress buster. 35. for most people, aerobic exercise (the kind that raises your heart rate) is best for relieving stress. 36. choose an activity you like. Walk, hike, bike, or dance away the tension. Play basketball with friends. 37. If you're always on the go, you may get stress relief from calming exercises. 38. Yoga, mediation, and tai chi can all relieve stress. 39. Some people find reading or spending quiet time alone good for reducing stress. 40. Deep breathing and stretching are great ways to reduce stress. 41. Eating a healthy diet helps your body deal with stress. 42. Getting enough rest takes the edge off of stress. 43. Being stressed is hard! Do something once a week just for fun. 44. Alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs won't help stress-they may make it worse! 45. Talking helps. If you feel overwhelmed, talk to a friend, trusted family member or counselor. 46. If you're so stressed you think you might explode, take a break and walk away. 47. You can get help with stress. Call your local hospital, mental health clinic, or community college and ask about stress reduction classes or support groups. 48. Feeling out of control? Call a crisis or suicide hotline. 49. You're not alone! About 9.5 million Americans visit counselors or mental health professionals each year for stress-related problems. 50. Stress is serious. And it's no fun. Take care of it before it takes control of you!