Is stress a factor in your life? Did you know that nine out of ten people say they experience high levels of stress several times a week? And one out of four of us have high stress levels every day.

What you may not know is that your stress may be impacting your health. Chronic stress weakens the body's physiological systems and leads to innumerable health problems. In fact, 70 to 80 percent of all disease and illness is stress related.

Major stress related health problems include:

- coronary heart disease
- cancer
- the common cold
- migraine headaches
- warts
- some cases of female infertility
- ulcers
- insomnia
- hypertension

Over $400 billion dollars a year is spent on stress related diseases. What if I told you that you don't need to spend huge amounts of money trying to relax? No, I'm not going to tell you that you need a vacation. Even going on vacation doesn't necessarily help alleviate stress. According to Anderson Consulting, 80% of people who took vacations in 2000 stayed in touch with the office by taking their laptop or cell phone with them.

There are several indicators you can use to determine if you suffer from chronic stress. Warning signs of chronic stress include headaches, teeth-grinding, back pain (especially in the shoulders or neck), anxiety, and insomnia.

The first step in dealing with stress is to examine the factors that create it. What are the responsibilities of your job? High levels of responsibility, noise, overcrowded conditions, and interpersonal problems can all create stress.

Chronic stress is not hopeless, and you don't necessarily need the help of a professional. Some of the most effective stress management techniques include relaxation exercises, meditation, or taking a short nap. If you are at work and need to reduce stress, try deep (abdominal) breathing, taking a short break, or talking to a friend or co-worker.

Planning for contingencies (having a "plan B"), effective time management, and delegation of responsibility can all help reduce stress.

Ultimately, virtually every job is somewhat stressful. Through identifying and effectively managing stress, you can reduce its negative effects and enjoy a healthier life.

Author's Bio: 

Would you like to learn more about how to deal with stress in a positive healthy way? Find out how to face your stress demons and develop a positive attitude.