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A Moderate Amount Of Stress Can Be Good For You

By Paula Ebben, WBZ-TV
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BOSTON (CBS) – It’s a fact of modern life that we all can get a little stressed out. It’s not the most pleasant feeling, but it might not be as bad for you as you think.

Rimma Gluzman, a busy mom from Framingham, knows what can bring some peace to her hectic life. A facial can work wonders for her. “I think every woman needs to know it is better than seeing a therapist,” she says. “It is even better than girls’ night out.”

A moderate amount of stress can be good for you. It can help you feel alive.

Dr. Rick Donahue of Personal Health MD in the Back Bay explained, “The natural stress is our fight or flight response. It heightens our senses.”

Stress can trigger important bodily functions, like healing. “In order to heal a cut or heal a wound, heal disease, we need some stress that triggers inflammation. A little bit of inflammation in the body is good. There is a healthy amount,” said Dr. Donahue.

Keeping our minds on edge is another benefit of experiencing stress. “It can increase concentration over short bursts of time, giving a presentation, it raises our alertness,” added Dr. Donahue.

Dealing with day to day stress can also help us when we face some of life’s larger challenges, by making us more resilient.

A study of 2,400 people conducted by the University of Buffalo found people who had faced some type of adversity, like a divorce or natural disaster, could better handle life’s bumps in the road.

“The stress holds us out for high performance,” said Dr. Donahue.

But too much stress causes even the best of us to snap at some point.

Dr. Donahue said, “For my patients, I say there is healthy stress and you know you are entering unhealthy stress when it is effecting your sleep cycle. Another sign of stress is a big change in eating habits. “

Rimma Gluzman says those are the times when it is appropriate to call a pampering 911. “If I am miserable, even the dogs are miserable.”

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