HEALTH WATCH: Signs that stress can Be Toxic

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Stress is a normal physical and psychological response to the everyday demands of life.

But when stress becomes too much to manage, it can be unhealthy.

In this week's Health Watch, we take a look at signs that could mean stress is turning toxic

Everyone experiences stressful times, but there are signs when stress can become dangerous.

"I think some key signs are when we're not able to do our important life activities, like if we're not able to remember our appointments or work, procrastinating on important things like paying our bills or buying groceries, or attending to our family matters," says Dr. Beth Rush, a Mayo Clinic neuropsychologist.

When stress reaches a point where a person can no longer function in a meaningful way, it might be a sign of something more severe, says Dr. Rush. And you should see a health care provider.

"Sleep, eat well, make sure you're exercising," says Dr. Ruth. "Look for signs of stress in yourself. Manage your emotions. Give yourself a timeout if you need to from activity or stimulation, or interaction."

The Alaska Heart and Vascular association says establishing healthy habits and dedicating time to practicing stress management can make a person feel better sooner than they would expect. Healthy behaviors will easily replace unhealthy responses to stress.

For more information on the effects of stress and how to work towards a less–stressful life, visit the American Heart Association.