For an athlete the last few yards to the finishing line are completed under the rush of adrenaline. In fact adrenaline and cortisol are two of the several enzymes released by the body when we need to react above and beyond our usual normal capabilites. It is this intense reaction that allows us to brake on time to avert an accident, to make a successful presentation, to finish a project within a deadline. The stress response is the flight or fight response of the body and it goes into this mode whenever it detects danger.
For animals, the flight or fight response is a life saver. For humans living in modern society, while most new situations are not of the life or death variety, they are still challenging enough for the body to revert to its need to protect itself by pushing itself to get out of the face of danger or to fight it.
Stress related problems arise however when the body is constantly exposed to challenging situations or rather when we perceive situations to be constantly difficult. The body stays in overdrive and with time mental and physical systems start breaking down. Heart problems, obesity, arthritis, skin conditions are only some problems that have been directly related to stress. Stress has its effects on our emotional health as well leading to nervous breakdowns, depression, isolation and pessimism.
When you recognize symptoms of stress, you need to bring your body into a state of relaxation so that it can once again function as normal. Socializing, building healthy relationships with friends and co-workers, exercising, having hobbies are all excellent ways to beat stress.
Ayurveda recommends herbs such as Ashwagandha and Bacopa to relieve stress and relax the body and mind. The beneficial effects of ashwagandha are well known in autoimmune and digestive diseases such as arthritis, IBS, Crohn's disease and colitis.
Read more on stress causes, symptoms and natural methods to beat stress