A recent Harvard School of Public Health survey found that being the parent of a teenager ranks right up there with single parents! Highest rated stress came from people with very poor health at 60 percent, followed by disabled people at 45 percent. People with income below $20,000 and people who worked in dangerous work situations both were at 36 percent. Very close behind, parents of teens and single parents at 35 percent high stress.

Too many responsibilities and worries, and the cost of future higher education were contributing factors. That said, stress that continues without relief can lead to a condition called distress--a negative stress reaction. Distress can disturb the body's balance and cause headaches, ulcers, high blood pressure, sexual dysfunction, sleeping disorders, depression and even suicide.

Stress is also complicated when people engage in the compulsive use of substances, like alcohol and drugs, to help take the edge off things. The individual becomes entrapped in a vicious circle that is harmful and difficult to break. Just as too much stress is bad for us, learning to limit stress, naturally, is the best motivator to take back control.

Are you a stressed out parent? Here's some advice that might help you find balance in your life.