Stress has been linked to everything from high blood pressure to breast cancer. But unless you live under a rock, it’s pretty much unavoidable. But just how much is the stress in your life taking a toll on your body? Here are some common situations and how harmful they are:

  • You have a bad day at work. This is an example of what experts call acute stress – a situation that gets you temporarily riled up, but won’t hurt you. It burns up a lot of energy, so afterwards you’re going to feel wiped out. But in the end, it’s not bad – about a 4 on a scale of one to ten. Now, if you have a bad day at work every day, that’s a nine. Because that’s chronic stress - and it leads to high blood pressure and other health issues.

  • You have to give a big presentation. This is actually an example of healthy pressure. According to experts, anything associated with self-improvement and personal growth is good stress. For example, running your first marathon. The stress hormones coursing through your veins actually help improve your performance by making you temporarily sharper, faster and stronger.

  • You’re running late. It’ll boost your heart rate and trigger the stress hormones, but it’s so short-lived that you’ll be back to normal in a matter of minutes. Now, if you’re always running late – for work, dinners, and appointments – that can become a chronic source of stress. You’re in a constant state of chaos. And that wears your body out. So, do whatever it takes to get where you need to be on time.