April is National Stress Awareness Month

Stress is a normal reaction that happens to everyone. Stress is our bodies response to pressure. The human body is designed to experience stress and react to it. Stress responses help your body adjust to new situations which can be positive, keep us aware and alert or help us avoid danger. This month is recognized to bring attention to the negative impact stress can have on our bodies. Managing our stress is necessary to live a healthy and long life.

Stress can control your heart rate, breathing, vision changes, and more. It can cause feelings of anger, sadness, worry, numbness and frustration. Stress can affect the way you sleep and eat, what you are interested in, energy levels, and even physical reactions like headaches, rashes, and body pains. It can also cause high blood pressure, muscle tension, depression, anxiety and panic attacks. Stress is the bodies built-in fight or flight response, but this can cause damage to your body.

Some ways to prevent stress include:

  • Taking a break from news and media. It is nice to be informed but constant negativity can take a toll on your mental wellbeing. Consider limiting these to just a few times a day.
  • Eating healthier. Having enough fruit, veggies, protein, whole drains and dairy in your diet is important.
  • Getting enough sleep. Going to bed a decent hour and waking up at the same time every day will help you in your everyday life. The average adult needs on average seven or more hours every night.
  • Staying active and exercising. Physical activity can help the body relieve stress and is good for staying healthy. Even trying relaxing activities like yoga can help calm your nerves and boost your mood.
  • Staying positive. Try to think about the good things in your life, what you have accomplished and not about what you haven’t done. Setting goals for yourself and being realistic can help you feel more in control of your life.
  • Try talking with a therapist or keeping people close to you who can make you feel calm and make you happy. Having people who are good listeners and can take things off your plate will make so that the stress does not become overwhelming.

Some things not to do when stressed are:

  • Drinking alcohol too much or too often.
  • Gambling or spending money on unhealthy things.
  • Eating your problems away, Overeating can cause an eating disorder.
  • Smoking tobacco or using illegal or prescription drugs.

It is important that we learn how to manage our stress before it becomes too much. It is important to check in with your health care provider or therapist. Remember, it is normal to be stressed. By using some of these tips, you can hopefully manage or relive your stress altogether.

Learn more about National Stress Awareness Month here.

 

Sources: https://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/cope-withstress/index.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fmentalhealth%2Fstress-coping%2Fcare-for-yourself%2Findex.html

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/11874-stress

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