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Stress? It's everywhere

By Latha Erickson
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(CNN) -- If finding the right amount of time for work, family and fun in your life turns into more of a juggling act than a balancing act, you're not alone.

One in four Americans describe themselves as "super stressed," according to Mental Health America. Workplace stress causes about 1 million U.S. employees to miss work each day, the organization says.

Different forms of stress can affect anyone, says the American Psychological Association. (Watch one young executive dream about getting away Video )

Acute stress is what most people experience. People are overwhelmed by multitasking and having to meet deadlines or finishing a "to-do" list.

Chronic Stress is more serious. It's a long-term feeling of helplessness with no solutions in sight.

Stress can cause emotional, behavioral and physical disorders. If you are overwhelmed, you can develop minor aches and pains or develop unhealthy patterns, including a lack of sleep.

Researchers have even found a relationship between stress and high blood pressure and coronary heart disease, according to the American Heart Association.

Dr. Carol Jack Scott, an emergency room physician and stress-relief coach, says it's impossible to eliminate stress from our lives, so we need to learn to manage it.

"Stress is inevitable," she says. "The concept is, we need to think about how can we develop healthy responses to stress and, in fact, how can we organize and even think about the stresses in our lives based on what our priorities are."

Stress can be different for every individual, she says, which is why there is no universal remedy.

Scott says look at the three P's: "Your priorities, your purpose and your passion. If you think about the stressers that are associated with those three things and organize, you can really think about ways to prevent and really buffer the impact of those stressers."

To help keep your work stress to a minimum, Mental Health America recommends setting attainable goals. Be realistic about workloads and deadlines. In your personal life, do not overcommit. Learning how to say no can be the best thing you do for yourself

Says Scott: "We have an opportunity to change how we think about the stressers that are in our lives and turn what we might think would be a problem or a bad thing into a good thing."

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