For example, exercise and perusing a goal very ambitiously are both types of stress, except they ultimately benefit the body. Areas of the brain, including the hippocampus, amygdala and prefrontal cortex can pick up on positive stressful experiences and cause “stress-induced structural remodeling” of the brain, which means you experience alterations in behavioral and physiological responses to these positive events. The result is that in the future you’re better able to handle similar situations because you learn from them, associate them with a reward and stop perceiving them as threatening.
Studies over the past 20 years have shown that the majority of people in economic developing countries have blood pressure numbers that are higher than they should be, with many experiencing high blood pressure. ( 1 ) In fact, there are millions of people all over the world who are struggling with high blood pressure, or hypertension. As of 2008, the prevalence of elevated blood pressure among adults over 25 years old was about 40 percent worldwide. Approximately 75 million American adults — that’s 32 percent, or 1 in every 3 adults — suffer from high blood pressure. ( 2 )
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