Is stress good for you?

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In our increasingly fast-paced and globalized world, many people feel tired, stressed, and burned out. There are many ways to cope with stress – from yoga to massages to relaxing vacations. But one American author argues that stress is in fact beneficial to our mental, emotional, and physical health.

“We’ve evolved to handle stress,” author Todd Buchholz says in his book Rush: Why You Need and Love the Rat Race. Brain chemistry studies show that trying something new triggers the release of dopamine, a chemical that makes us feel good. Buchholz also points out that many people enjoy their jobs. Work gives us a sense of accomplishment and increases our self-esteem, in addition to providing social interaction with colleagues.

Jeanne Rae, who works for a yoga network, takes the opposite point of view, observing that not all personality types thrive on busyness. “For some people, meditation and contemplation can help,” she says. Others suggest that stress levels are related to control. For example, high-level employees with secure and satisfying jobs may enjoy working long hours, whereas low-level workers with demanding supervisors are more likely to be unhappy.

Moderate amounts of stress have a positive effect on health, but prolonged and excessive stress has the opposite result. Research shows that people who consistently work more than 11 hours a day are at greater risk for heart disease. As in many other areas, it appears that the key to a healthy work-life balance is moderation.

Information source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-13791271

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Vocabulary

burned out = exhausted by too much work

cope with = deal with, handle

beneficial = has a good effect

rat race = (slang) the competitive, high-pressure, exhausting working life

triggers = causes

points out = brings attention to a fact

sense of accomplishment = feeling of having done something important

thrive = to be successful and happy

whereas = but

demanding = with lots of requirements

risk = danger

the key to = the essential element for

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Is stress good for you? Vocabulary Quiz

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Question 1
I work almost 60 hours a week and I haven't had a vacation in three years. I'm completely ______________.
A
burned out
B
coped with
C
pointed out
Question 2
The _____________ learning English is to practice every day.
A
key to
B
risk of
C
rat race
Question 3
We use safety equipment in the laboratory to lower the __________ of a serious accident.
A
risk
B
thrive
C
trigger
Question 4
Our new manager is very ______________. She gives us hundreds of assignments and expects them all to be done immediately!
A
demanding
B
burned out
C
beneficial
Question 5
Diane loves people. She really __________ in social situations.
A
thrives
B
triggers
C
accomplishes
Question 6
I left my last job because I didn't have a __________________. I felt like my work wasn't helping anyone.
A
sense of accomplishment
B
key
C
rat race
Question 7
The protests in the city center ______________ a revolution throughout the country.
A
triggered
B
whereas
C
pointed out
Question 8
Regular exercise is ___________ to the human body.
A
beneficial
B
thrives
C
sense of accomplishment
Question 9
Barbara couldn’t ____________ all the homework, and she eventually failed the class.
A
cope with
B
risk
C
demand
Question 10
I'm planning on escaping the ____________ - next year I'm quitting my job and moving to a tropical island.
A
rat race
B
demanding
C
cope with
Question 11
I like swimming _____________ my brother prefers surfing.
A
whereas
B
point out
C
key
Question 12
The job interview was going well until someone _____________ that I had a coffee stain on my shirt.
A
pointed out
B
thrived
C
demanded
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