Narrator: This is Science Today. Most people have experienced acute stress in their life - such as being in a car accident. This type of stress causes stress hormones to secrete for a brief period. But for those of us who suffer from long-term stress, or chronic stress, the system that stops the secretions fails. Mary Dallman, a physiology professor at the University of California, San Francisco says people who suffer from chronic stress should start thinking objectively.
Dallman: I think part of the problem is that people get so caught up in what's wrong that they don't pull back and try to think objectively of what's wrong and see what they can do about each thing.
Narrator: Chronic stress can be self-treated with activities such as exercise, yoga, sex, and baths-all of which stimulate neurochemicals that activate regions of the brain that induce pleasure.
Dallman: Just to get apart so that you can get an objective look at what's going on in your life and see if you can't change some of the things that are aversive.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.