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Stress is a normal part of everyday life, and it can be both good and bad. It can help a person survive threatening situations by preparing the body for defensive action. The resulting biological changes — a quickened pulse, sharpened senses, tensed muscles — are “fight-or-flight” responses shared by all humans. “Good” stress can stimulate creativity, endurance, and productivity. But prolonged stress can increase the risk of personal injury or disease.