Stress Awareness month
Most people will experience stress at some point in their life, but constant or extreme stress is bad for both the mind and body. Stress can be caused by a sudden traumatic event or even just the expectations of daily life.
There are many ways to minimize stress such as maintaining a healthy lifestyle, talking about your feelings, and dedicating time to relaxing. If you are suffering from stress, you can find help and resources on the internet, or you can seek advice from a healthcare professional.
If left unchecked, stress can be deadly — in fact, stress is often referred to as the “silent killer” because although its effects are not immediately apparent, it can lead to a number of serious health problems such as high blood pressure and heart disease.
This is why Stress Awareness Month is important — it informs people about stress and provides them with the tools and resources to manage it.
In some way our lives are all full of hassles, deadlines, frustrations, and demands….whether it be from work or home life. For a lot of people Stress starts to become a way of life. Its not always a bad thing-in small doses, it can help you perform under pressure and motivate you to do your best. But when you’re constantly running in “stress” mode, your health and wellbeing will start to pay the price.
If you constantly feel frazzled and overwhelmed, it’s time to take action to bring your nervous system back into balance.
The Body’s Stress Response
When you perceive a threat, your nervous system responds by releasing a flood of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones rouse the body for emergency action.
Your heart pounds faster, muscles tighten, blood pressure rises, breath quickens, and your senses become sharper. These physical changes increase your strength and stamina, speed your reaction time, and enhance your focus – preparing you to either fight or flee from the danger at hand.
You can increase your resistance to stress by strengthening your physical health.
- Exercise regularly. Physical activity plays a key role in reducing and preventing the effects of stress. Make time for exercise, at least three times per week. Nothing beats exercise for releasing pent-up stress and tension….plus it becomes “you” time!
- Eat a healthy diet. Well-nourished bodies are better prepared to cope with stress, so be mindful of what you eat. Start your day right with breakfast, and keep your energy up and your mind clear with balanced, nutritious meals throughout the day. Avoid “Processed” foods like the devil and get variety in your diet.
- Avoid caffeine and sugar. The temporary “highs” caffeine and sugar provide often end in with a crash in mood and energy. By removing the coffee, soft drinks, chocolate, and sugar snacks in your diet, you’ll feel more relaxed and you’ll sleep better.
- Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs. Self-medicating with alcohol or drugs may provide an easy escape from stress, but the relief is only temporary. Don’t avoid or mask the issue at hand; deal with problems head on and with a clear mind.
- Get enough sleep. Adequate sleep fuels your mind, as well as your body. Feeling tired will increase your stress because it may cause you to think irrationally.