Health Alert: Mind matters - - Columbia, South Carolina

Health Alert: Mind matters

NATIONAL - Tax time can be very stressful but money woes are only the tip of the problem when it comes to your health.

Stress is a normal part of life, but chronic stress be a problem. It can affect not only your mind, but also your body.

Slowing home sales, pain at the pump and increasing food prices are just some of the major sources of stress Americans confront today.

"The competition and the economy are all adding stress to each and every one of us," says one person. Another says "I can see the way the economy is going and the way people are thinking, you know the way they they spend way different than last year the year before."

While spending may be down our stress levels are up.

According to the Stress in America survey in 2007, seventy-four percent of respondents reported being stressed out about work and seventy-three percent report said they're stressed out about money.

In 2006, only fifty-nine percent of respondents called work and money a stressor.

While stress is inevitable, dealing with it on a daily basis can be problematic.

Dr. Jeffrey Lieberma is chair of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center and says "when this occurs people become more susceptible to illness, they get sicker easier and they also may experience consequences in other organ systems and the brain."

In addition to seeking medical treatment, physical activity can help.

Dr. Lieberman says, "A very effective form of managing stress and dissipating these negative emotions is exercise. Exercise as a release from pent up stresses and anxiety enabling their spirits to feel better about things and themselves."

Managing stress may not solve your financial problems, but it can improve your health.

Posted by Bryce Mursch

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