©2007 Publications International, Ltd. Take a deep breath, and relax. Try various relaxation techniques to eliminate some of the stress you feel.

Stress. We all know what that's about, don't we? The traffic in your life is jamming up. Everything is fast-paced, high-pressured, loaded with responsibility. It's all stress, all the time.

In this article, we'll discuss 27 home remedies to alleviate stress -- ways to reduce and in some cases even eliminate it. With coping mechanisms and mild lifestyle changes, you can see a marked difference in your stress levels. But first, let's discuss what stress is and how it affects the body.

Some people thrive on that roller-coaster rhythm -- but others don't, and the stresses in their lives begin to take a toll, physically and mentally. The stresses alter body chemistry and affect immunity. You know that heart attack someone suffered because he was "all stressed out"? Stress changed his body chemistry; it contributed to a hormonal imbalance that increased the rate at which plaque was hardening his arteries, and it altered the production and distribution of his body fat. The result of his stress: heart attack. And that psoriasis she suffers? Stress caused her nerve cells to produce a chemical that stopped immune cells from fighting the red, itchy skin disease she's plagued with.

So, how's your stress level? If you answer yes to the following questions, then read on. You may benefit from some of the stress cures from the kitchen.

Stress on the job:

1. Are you overworked, underappreciated, or both? 2. Does it take everything you've got, physically, mentally, or both, just to make it from 9 to 5?

Stress at home:

1. Do you have enough time for the fun things? 2. Do people expect more from you than you want to give? 3. Are there some important relationships that should be better? 4. Are there some changes you'd really like to make in yourself?

If you find yourself muttering "yes" to half of these, you're stressed. To what degree depends on your ability to cope with stress. But if you need a little stress relief, here it is.

Stress doesn't just arise from unpleasant, aggravating events. Positive happenings like getting married, starting a new job, being pregnant, or winning an election can also tense us up.

Stress isn't all bad, either. In fact, it protects us in many instances by priming the body to react quickly to adverse situations. This fight-or-flight response helped keep human beings alive when their environment demanded quick physical reactions in response to threats.

The problem in modern times is that our body's stress response is regularly triggered even though our lives are not in danger. Chronic exposure to stress hormones can damage the body.

Everything from headaches, upset stomach, skin rashes, hair loss, racing heartbeat, back pain, and muscle aches can be stress related. The perception of stress is highly individualized. What jangles your friend's nerves may not phase you in the least, and vice versa. In other words, what matters most is not what happens to you, but how you react to what happens to you.

There are many ways to manage stress. Try various stress-reduction tools and see what works best for you. What follows is a menu of practical techniques and home remedies you can choose from to help decrease the stress you experience and improve your coping mechanisms.

For more information on dealing with emotional troubles, check out the following sections:

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.