The "fight or flight" response to stress has been a part of our DNA since prehistoric times, and these days it feels like anxiety is everywhere. Whether it's making sure the bills are paid, obsessing over growing political divisions, or confronting a global pandemic, there seems to be no shortage of things to worry about. Though humans seem to be more stressed than ever, it also has never been more important to learn how to cope with stress. This special issue of Health magazine looks at the evolutionary and biological roots of stress, the latest developments in research into understanding and alleviating its causes, tips for reducing and managing it in your everyday life, and even how it can be put to good use. Learn how to cope with the never-ending news cycle, the perils of social media, and the pressure of work-life balance while managing stress at every age.
HEALTH: MANAGING STRESS • Understand It. Avoid It. Put It to Use.
STRESS AND US • Some people thrive on it, while others try to avoid it, but there’s no denying that stress is everywhere.
OPENER • We’ve evolved to have stress in our lives, and that’s not always a bad thing.
RISING TO THE CHALLENGE • Physical threats and emotional conflict trigger complex biochemical reactions in the body and mind.
PHYSICAL BREAKDOWN • Whether you’re pitching in the big leagues or glued to your keyboard, repetitive strain injuries can be a real pain.
THE ANIMAL EXPERIENCE • Anxiety isn’t just a human emotion. Wolves, whales, and our beloved pets all experience stress.
UNDER PRESSURE • Athletes, astronauts, and others in the public eye talk about how they handle stress in the spotlight.
OPENER • It’s impossible to avoid stress completely, but it can be managed.
FINDING BALANCE • Exercise, nutrition, and meditation are among the ways we can guide the body and mind to better handle our day-to-day stress.
QUICK WAYS TO CHILL OUT • Manage the feelings that come with all of life’s chaos with these fast calming tricks.
REWIRE YOUR ANXIOUS BRAIN • Worried about everything? Afraid of heights or crowds? Here’s the science of training your mind to get you back to a calm, happy place.
SLEEP TO DE-STRESS • Deeper sleep leads to less stress—and vice versa. These expert strategies will help you chill out, drift off, and feel refreshed and calm every day.
A FOUR-LEGGED SOURCE OF RELIEF • Pets and emotional-support animals provide unconditional love for those suffering from stress and anxiety.
EMBRACE THE PRESSURE • Stress isn’t all bad. Sometimes a threatening situation can be transformed into an opportunity for success.
THE CHALLENGES OF CHILDHOOD • Kids of all ages face stress, and they may not be equipped to handle it. Learn how to spot the signs and help them cope.
STRESS AT EVERY AGE AND STAGE • How to recognize the signs of trouble, and tips for coping, for each point in a child’s growth.
OPENER • Though the world is filled with tension and trauma, we are not helpless.
THE NERVE-RACKING NEWS CYCLE • Regardless of your political leanings, there’s no escaping the feelings of worry and frustration that come with today’s volatile headlines.
THE PERILS OF SOCIAL MEDIA • Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms keep us connected, but they come with an emotional cost.
THE PTSD SYMPTOMS EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW • Flashbacks and nightmares are common, but there are lesser-known signs of post-traumatic stress disorder to watch for too.
THE MOST STRESSFUL JOBS • Careers that involve life and death situations are, not surprisingly, high on the list.
THE SABBATH ANTIDOTE • Even if you aren’t religious, taking a day off every week to completely unwind can bring emotional and spiritual...