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Stress is a specific response by the body to such stimulus, as fear or pain. It typically involves physical, mental, emotional tension or strain, and disturbs or interferes with the normal physiological equilibrium of the body. Too much stress can increase pain, and can make a person more prone to illnesses such as heart disease or mental problems.
Stress in and of itself is neither positive (eustress) nor negative (distress). It is our perception of the stimulus which determines whether a situation is stressful or not. The same event that is exciting and pleasurable to one person may be painfully stressful to another. By learning to cope with stress in a positive way, you can reduce your pain, feel healthier, and deal better with the extra demands of your Scleroderma. It is for these reasons that stress management is an important part of taking care of yourself.
Learning stress management, or how to cope with stress in a positive way, is a skill. Like any skill, it needs to be practiced.