Stressed about money and work? Join the crowd.

But putting effort into managing stress, taking time to relax isn't just a nicety. It has serious health considerations. Relaxing isn't just icing on the cake, it's part of the meat and potatoes of healthy living. Time magazine recently pointed to a study in the journal Neuron to show how stress negatively affects the body and behavior. Time reported 72 percent of adults in America feel stressed about money at least some of the time and 42 percent said they aren't doing enough to manage stress.

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What can you do?

  • Take breaks to relax
  • Be realistic about tasks
  • Use deep breathing exercises
  • Take a day or week off
  • Eat right, exercise and sleep
  • Talk and laugh with friends
  • Find a way to make work or home more enjoyable

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Stressed workers may feel their breath quicken, their muscles tense, or feelings of nausea. Time noted people under stress may be more likely to make poor food choices, playing a part in a host of medical ills brought on by carrying excess weight. Stress plays a part in headaches and physical pain - notably in the neck and shoulders. Stress can even trigger panic and asthma attacks for some people, increase the risk of heart problems and increase type-2 diabetes.

WebMD noted occasional stress isn't a big deal but on a long-term basis it causes a body to break down. For those in a state of stress, even small things may cause an over-reaction or loss of patience, with the potential to create even more stress at home or on the job.

So what can be done to help? At work, take breaks. Be realistic about what can be accomplished. For workers, that can be a tough task if supervisors take a different view of what can be physically completed in a set amount of time. Use deep breathing exercises to relax muscles with four to five seconds to inhale and exhale.

Some of the other techniques are often repeated but may be harder to accomplish. Allow down time away from work. If it can't realistically be done, don't add it to the plate. A little pampering with a massage isn't just a luxury. Make time to eat right, exercise and sleep. Others may not come up as often such as talking and laughing with friends. Finding ways to make the work day more enjoyable.

If worries about work productivity are a roadblock, consider the fact that more may be accomplished from a rested relaxed mind and body and a lot of the extra time at work may really not be as efficient or focused. Analyse where time may be used more effectively. Create a schedule and stick with it for a few weeks, then consider the difference. If it's easy to see a more relaxed yet productive life, it's likely time to commit to changes.