What is Stress?
Stress isn’t a “one size fits all” type of topic. It comes in all shapes and sizes. Stress is our response to what’s going on in the world around us. It’s hard to avoid! Often, behaviors of stress include a feeling of tension or pressure. Feeling overwhelmed, nervous, less confident in your ability to handle a situation and increased irritably and anger are common experiences associated with stress.
After discovering stress, it’s important to differentiate the good stresses and the bad stresses. Good stresses may include starting a new job or having a baby, whereas bad stresses may include losing a job or dealing with conflict. Once identified, you can learn to better manage your good stresses and reduce your bad stresses.
April serves as an effort to increase the general awareness of stress, inform people of the dangers of stress and find ways to lessen or better deal with stress for your long-term health and happiness.
The Damage of Stress
People may experience different symptoms while dealing with stress. Common reactions to stress include headaches, sleepiness, digestive problems, sadness and anger.
In many cases, stress may decrease the body’s immune system in response to infection. Stress also poses a threat for diabetes by altering blood sugar levels and can cause fatigue, mood changes and other blood sugar disorders. Flooding the brain with hormones, prolonged stress can damage, shrink and even kill brain cells.
Major health problems can be brought on by stress that you may not be aware of. Stress is directly linked to six leading causes of death: accidents, cancer, heart disease, suicide, lung disorders and cirrhosis of the liver.
Dial Back Stress
Unfortunately, in the long run, we cannot avoid stressful situations from occurring in our day-to-day lives. But, by recognizing where the stress is coming from and making sure all the dimensions of your life (physical, mental, social and emotional) have balance and are well covered, you can help alleviate as much stress as possible.
Often, when people feel stressed they avoid responsibilities through procrastination. Putting these obligations on the back burner ultimately ends up leaving you more behind and increasing your stress levels.
Try these 10 tips to help reduce and better manage stress:
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine
- Engage in exercise regularly
- Get more sleep
- Use relaxation techniques
- Talk it through with someone
- Stay connected to others
- Better manage your time
- Learn to say “No”
- Rest when you are sick
- Set goals and priorities