Stress is one of the leading causes of illness in the United States. Nearly 66% of all signs and symptoms presented in doctors’ offices in the United States are stress-induced.

The effects of stress include a nail biting, anxiety, racing mind, obsessive thoughts, compulsive behavior, chronic worrying, muscle tension and spasm, poor appetite or too great an appetite, digestive disorders, constipation, insomnia, poor blood flow, belabored breathing, neck pain, shoulder tension, and the possible onset or continuation of bad habits such as dependence on alcohol, drugs, pain killers, food and caffeine.

Any one of these things by itself can trigger any number of different types of illnesses. But when these forces of antagonism are combined (as they generally are when triggered by stress), the health problems can become chronic and insufferable.

The effects of such prolonged or recurring stress is that it keeps the autonomic nervous system from balancing, which can lead to problems with the gastrointestinal tract, the digestive system, the respiratory system, the neuroendocrine system and can lead to depression, anxiety, muscle tension and insomnia. All of these are known triggers of various mental and physical (mind/body) illnesses and diseases.

Here are some simple things that can be done on a daily basis, or as needed, to reduce the symptoms of stress.

• Drink plenty of pure water — at least 8 glasses each day

• Avoid sugar and caffeine in all forms

• Take supplements with natural inflammation fighting properties, like the Paractin found in Hydraflexin

• Walk outside for at least 20 continuous minutes every day

• Take 10 deep belly breaths every hour, if possible

• Regulate sleep and wake cycle to a consistent daily routine

• Engage in Meditation or quiet sitting for at least 15 minutes per day

• Prioritize your life, work, family and personal time and activities

• Do six shoulder shrugs whenever you are tense

• Realize that when people criticize and judge, they are labeling an “image” of you and not you personally

• Realize that you are worth so much more than the sum of your titles, money and belongings

The idea behind living a stress-free life is to remove the obstructions in your life that are causing you to be stressed. Of course this is easier said than done, but it is truly the only way to not have stress.

Author's Bio: 

Mark Wiley, O.M.D., Ph.D., is an expert in the management of body pain. He works with his patients to help them find the best pain reduction and management strategies that really work. He consults for