April is Stress Awareness Month

There is a month for seemingly everything — stroke awareness, high blood pressure awareness, skin cancer awareness.

April is Stress Awareness Month. And for good reason. Stress can be debilitating, and it can cause and/or aggravate health problems. Every April, healthcare professionals from across the country join forces to increase public awareness about not only the causes, but also the treatments for the growing stress epidemic in our country.

Stress does not merely afflict your mind; it can also affect you on a cellular level. In fact, long-term stress can lead to a wide range of illnesses —from headaches to stomach disorders to depression — and can even increase the risk of serious conditions like stroke and heart disease. Understanding the mind/stress/health connection can help you better manage stress and improve your health and well-being.

TYPES OF STRESS
Acute stress. Acute stress is usually brief. It is the most common and frequent. Acute stress is most often caused by reactive thinking. Negative thoughts predominate situations or events that have recently occurred or are upcoming.
Episodic acute stress. People who frequently experience acute stress, or whose lives present with frequent triggers of stress, have episodic acute stress. The individuals who frequently suffer acute stress often live a life of chaos and crisis.
Chronic stress. Chronic stress is the most harmful type of stress. If chronic stress is left untreated over a long period of time, it can significantly damage your physical health and deteriorate your mental health.

WAYS TO HANDLE STRESS
Exercise. Even 20-30 minutes a day of walking is a great stress reliever and a good way to get your mind off your daily worries. Exercise has many healthy benefits.
Relaxation. Learn to incorporate some relaxation techniques into your daily life. Meditation, journaling, yoga and breathing exercises are just a few ways to help relax.
Have fun. Spending quality time with family and friends, or simply watching your favorite sit-com can often be just the distraction you need.
Sleep and rest. To relieve stress before bed, try some relaxation techniques and disconnect from technology as much as possible an hour before bedtime.
Eat well. The gut and brain are constantly sending signals to each other, so by keeping your microbiota (the bacteria in your gut) healthy, your brain feels less stressed.
Visit your doctor. Your family doctor is in the best position to get your started on the path to a stress-free lifestyle. Make an appointment.

COMBAT YOUR STRESS
If you suffer from chronic stress and can’t influence or change the situation, then you’ll need to change your approach. Be willing to be flexible. Remember, you have the ability to choose your response to stressors, and you may have to try various options.

Recognize when you don’t have control, and let it go. Don’t get anxious about situations that you cannot change. Focus your mind on something that makes you feel calm and in control.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top