RECESSION RAISING STRESS LEVELS IN WORKERS



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RECESSION RAISING STRESS LEVELS IN WORKERS



Almost two-thirds of American workers say they are struggling or suffering because of stress from the current economic recession. That information comes from a recent opinion study by the Gallup Organization. Another study found that almost half of American workers expressed concern about their ability to provide for immediate family needs. Not surprisingly, many workers say they are eating or drinking too much, and smoking more as they attempt to deal with money issues.

Stress affects everybody, every day. Stress is how your body reacts to physical, chemical, emotional or environmental influences. Some stress is unavoidable and may even be good for us. Stress can keep our bodies and minds strong. It gives us the push we need to deal with an urgent situation. But too much stress can be harmful. It may make an existing health problem worse. Or it can lead to sickness if a person is at risk for the condition. For example, your body reacts to stressful situations by raising your blood pressure and making your heart work harder.

Anything you see as a problem can cause stress. It can result from everyday situations or major problems. Stress results when something causes your body to act as if it were being attacked. Causes of stress can be physical, such as injury or disease. Or they can be mental, such as problems involving your family, job, health or finances. Stress can lead to other problems if people attempt to ease it by taking drugs, smoking, drinking alcohol or by eating more or less than normal.

Chronic stress lasts a long time or happens often. Chronic stress causes the body to produce too much of two hormones, cortisol and adrenalin. Chronic stress has been linked to high blood pressure and heart disease. Studies suggest that people who are easily stressed develop blockages in blood passageways faster than other people. High stress levels have been found to cause asthma attacks that make it difficult to breathe. Stress is also linked to mental conditions like depression and anxiety disorders. Extended periods of stress have been linked to headaches, difficulty sleeping, stomach problems and skin disorders.

Studies have shown that men and women deal with stress differently. Women usually have stronger social support systems to help them in times of trouble. These social supports may help explain why many women seem to be better able to deal with stress than men are. However, experts say women are three times more likely to develop depression in reaction to the stress in their lives. American writer John Gray became famous for his book, "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus." The book explored the effect of biological differences between men and women on their personal relationships. He notes that men and women have opposite ways of dealing with stress. For a man, the best way is to rest and forget about daily problems. But a woman suffering from stress needs to talk about her problems. Talking leads to the release of the brain hormone oxytocin, which lowers her stress levels.

Experts say there are several ways to deal with stress. They include deep breathing and a method of guided thought called meditation. They also include exercise, eating healthy foods, getting enough rest and balancing the time spent working and playing. Doctors say people should limit the amounts of alcohol and caffeine in their diets. People who have many drinks with caffeine, like coffee, experience more stress and produce more stress hormones.

Experts also say keeping stress to yourself can make problems worse. Researchers have linked the failure to identify and express emotions to many health conditions. These include eating disorders, fear disorders and high blood pressure. They say expressing emotions to friends or family members or writing down your feelings can help reduce stress. Experts say people should attempt to accept or change stressful situations whenever possible.

 

6. How can we deal with unemployment? Some people believe one way to deal with a bad economical situation is to laugh at it. That is the idea behind "The Adventures of Unemployed Man." It is a funny version of the superhero comic books. Writers Erich Origen and Gan Golan created this comic book in order to show the ways of living within a recession. Read and translate the following text and be ready to discuss it:

 



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