Stress and anxiety are unavoidable. Symptoms of chronic stress are headaches, sleep issues, and hormonal imbalance. The way we respond to those stressors can make a difference in our physical and emotional health. And since we cannot avoid stress, we have to find ways to counteract the effects of chronic stress. Actions that lower blood pressure, resting heart rate and improve heart rate variability (where the amount of time between your heartbeats fluctuates slightly) help in our recovery response to stress.