PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – We live in a high stress society and certainly the economy and the excessive heat we have been experiencing are not making things much better.

People feel the stress. They think there are more things they should be doing, more goals they should be achieving, and more work that should be done.

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There can be serious health effects including headaches, gastrointestinal disturbances and heart disease. There are those who believe that it can increase the risk of cancer, as well. Several key studies have linked stress to a wide variety of physical problems.

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Obviously, it’s easy to tell everyone to reduce stress, but this can be difficult. My feeling is you have to figure out what you can do to reduce stress and to try to put more relaxation into your life. If you can possibly do that, these are things that will make a major difference not only in the short-term, but also in your overall longevity.

We need to take time to relax and try to enjoy the simple things in life – things we often forget.

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Reported By Dr. Brian McDonough, KYW Newsradio Medical Editor