Health Topics

Mosquito season is here in New Jersey

 The NJ Department of Health has developed a wide range of public awareness and education materials regarding prevention of mosquito-borne diseases including the Zika virus.

Stress: Emphasizing the Positive

The Chinese symbol for stress combines the symbol for risk with the symbol for opportunity. Stress affects everyone physically, emotionally and mentally in positive and/or negative ways. Although often only the negative results of stress are recognized, management techniques emphasize the ability to live with stress in a positive and productive way.

Stress Management

Stress management is not just strategies or coping resources, it is also an attitude or philosophy of life. An important 1st step in management is recognizing the stressors, or causes of stress. Stressors are generally personal in nature and may vary widely among individuals.

Positive stressors include major life changes such as a wedding, the birth of a child or buying a new home. Negative stressors may include loss of a job or death of a parent. Stressors that are more personal in nature and affect people to varying degrees include other people's expectations, loss of self, envy, unfinished business and holding on to loss.

Physiological Effects of Stress

The physiological effects of stress are designed to increase the chances of survival in cases of physical emergencies. Changes such as increases in heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate and muscle strength prepare the body for vigorous, muscular activity. After the stress is relieved, the body returns to normal. If the stress continues over time, the physiological changes can result in unhealthy changes such as headaches, fatigue and elevated blood pressure.


Stress management strategies include self-awareness, behavior change and relaxation skills. The Managing Unhealthy Stress Goal Team of the Partnership for Community Health has published a brochure, Thought Stopping: A Tool to Manage Unhealthy Stress, describing one strategy in detail.