Mayo Clinic, the information website of the Foundation for Medical Education and Research, says that the modern stresses many of us face, some of which continue for extended periods and are considered extreme, may lead to high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity.

The Clinic’s psychologists say that stress causes us to snack on so-called comfort foods rich in calories and fat to fill “an emotional need” even if we’re not hungry. This leads to weight gain and increased health risks. The doctors say that controlling “emotional eating habits” starts with recognizing when you are stressed and what triggers it. Next are relaxation exercises such as yoga and meditation. Another practical suggestion is not to have comfort foods on hand, especially when you’re stressed.

Since 2007, the American Psychological Association has commissioned an annual nationwide survey to examine the state of stress across the country and understand its impact. The Stress in America™ survey “measures attitudes and perceptions of stress among the general public and identifies leading sources of stress, common behaviors used to manage stress and the impact of stress on our lives.” The survey indicated serious physical and emotional implications of stress and the inextricable link between the mind and body.

According to the survey, “money is on the minds of most Americans” and over three-quarters of Americans (76 percent) cite money as a significant cause of stress. Despite an upturn in the economy, many are still concerned about their financial problems.

People are also stressed at work. One of the main topics covered during the 2013 International Conference on Occupational Stress and Health, was the joint contribution of occupational and non-occupational factors to health and safety problems facing workers today such as stress and mental health.

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