Here’s some intel about the dangers of chronic stress that you can’t afford to ignore: It can develop into something called anxiety disorder. Simply put, that’s when your body gets stuck in permanent “fight-or-flight” stress mode, which helps us react to danger, say, by jumping out of the way of a speeding car. But when it’s chronic – you always have a racing pulse and racing mind. 

Experts say that the number of people who suffer from anxiety disorder has jumped 12-hundred percent! And it can even occur in children. 

People with the disorder can’t shut their brains off in order to sleep. They end up with high blood pressure, and heart-pounding anxiety – even when there’s no real threat in sight. Which leaves them feeling fatigued, irritable, constantly worried, and unable to function normally. It even leaves some people too scared to leave the house. 

Dr. Nancy Snyderman is the chief medical editor of NBC News. And she says that lifestyle changes and counseling can solve the problem. And there are medications that can help, too. But you can start right now getting your anxiety under control. Here’s how: 

  • First: Ask yourself if what you’re stressed about is something that’s actually stressful. You can start by answering these 3 questions:  “Do I have a place to sleep tonight?”...“Do I have food on the table?… And “Do I have a job?” If all those answers are “yes,” the things you’re stressed about may not be a big deal.

  • Another stress-buster: Make a list of what’s right in your life. Our brains aren’t wired to be anxious AND grateful at the same time. So, it’ll make you less anxious about a demanding boss by writing something like: “I’m lucky to have a job and I really like my coworkers.” 

  • Finally: Exercise. Something as simple as taking a 30-minute walk will reduce the level of stress hormones in your bloodstream.