Whether you're a penurious postdoc or a highly paid pharmaceutical executive, stress may be an unknown by-product of your daily lab work. Stress is our great common denominator. We are stressed, feel stressed, are stressed out, or are overstressed. Anyway you say it, grad students, professors, bench scientists, and their department supervisors live with some amount of stress everyday.

"I guess it's demands, it's time lines," says Patrick Edwards, associate director in regulatory affairs at Merck & Co., the Whitehouse Station, NJ-based pharmaceutical company. "You've got to have a grant application in by a certain deadline, or a book chapter finished at a certain time, or attend a meeting. The more of those deadlines that add up, the more stressful it is."

But having a full slate is not necessarily bad. Some stress in short, small doses, can actually be energizing and motivating. However, chronic stress--the type that does...

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