Do you feel like you are always under a lot of stress? Many of us feel as if we are always worried and pressured, but we are so used to feeling stressed that we take it for granted.

Many of us feel stressed because of too little money, and too many urgent things to do, and not enough time to relax and unwind.

A small amount of occasional short-term stress can actually be good for you.

A small amount of stress will stimulate chemicals in your body that will make you feel more alert, focused, and energized to take on a challenge.

However, if you are in a situation where the stress seems to go on and on, such as in a war or a bad marriage, or when you face long term financial problems or illness, your brain perceives the threat as never-ending. Your brain then orders the release of a chemical called cortisol. Cortisol locks in the stress response reaction, and it keeps your body systems in a constant state of high alert.

Our body’s stress response system was designed to cope with short term, intense physical danger, such as an attack by wild animals or a raging forest fire. In the event of an immediate danger, your brain sends out signals to all the organs and systems in the body to be ready for immediate physical action. A complex series of chemical changes will happen in your body so that you are prepared to fight off intruders or run from a fire.

Once the immediate physical danger is over, you don’t need to be in a state of high alert anymore.

Many of the dangers that we face today are very different than the kinds of dangers our ancestors faced. We are faced with unemployment problems, problems at work, problems meeting our mortgage payments or credit card debt, and we constantly hear a barrage of bad new in the media.

All the tension of modern life can put our body and mind into a constant state of high alert, with no chance to unwind.

The problem is that the body was not designed to live in a state of high alert permanently. Sooner or later the body’s internal systems will start to break down.

What can we do to reduce the stress we feel?

One thing we can do to reduce our stress is to change the way we think about the things that are bothering us. We need to be sure we are not exaggerating the negative possibilities that face us.

If we have a habit of thinking about every negative event as if it is a huge catastrophe, we will be throwing our body systems into a state of high alert for trivial reasons. So be sure that you are not exaggerating to yourself how terrible an event really is.

And be sure to remind yourself of all your inner resources to deal with your problems, as well as the resources in your community that you can tap into for strength and guidance.

When we tell ourselves that we are weak and powerless and that our problems are overwhelming, we make ourselves more powerless than we really are.

If you are a person who tends not to confide in others when you have a problem, this will actually make your stress response worse. Refusing to talk about your problems can keep you feeling overwhelmed, and can keep you from seeing solutions. Men are often reluctant to talk over their problems with other people because they feel they must always look as if they are in total command of the situation.

When you are faced with a stressful situation, talking about it with a trusted friend or advisor is one of the best ways to start to deal with it.

Author's Bio: 

This article is by Royane Real, author of "How You Can Be Smarter - Use Your Brain to Learn Faster, Remember Better and Be More Creative" To improve your brain power, download it today or get the paperback version at