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We talk all the time about how losing control of one part of your health inevitably has a compounding effect on other areas of your health. Stress, or anxiety, is certainly not an exception to that rule.

In a recent post we talked about how some amount of stress, channeled efficiently, can actually be a good thing. A way to increase efficiency and productivity.

For the fortunate few that can achieve that balance, stress is OK. For the majority though, stress is a physical and psychological drag. Nearly half of Americans say that stress has a negative impact on their personal and professional lives. One third say they are under extreme stress.

Stress has to be dealt with somehow and when managed poorly, it is often the management that causes collateral health issues. People under stress often change their eating habits, gaining weight. We’ve discussed on a number of occasions the domino effect that weight gain, leading to obesity, can begin if left unchecked.

Other ways that people deal with stress have serious social and physical consequences also. People who smoke, smoke more. People who drink, drink more. People who abuse, abuse more.

It is certainly simpler suggested than done, but there are positive ways to deal with the stress that life deals us on a daily basis.  Healthy behaviors noted to manage stress included 54% listening to music, 52% reading, 50% exercising or walking, 40% spending time with family and friends, and 34% praying.

Bottom line. Just like any strain on the body, life insurance underwriters are most concerned with the domino effect. If stress isn’t relieved somehow, other problems almost always follow.