April is Stress Awareness Month.

Learning to cope with our stress and finding healthy ways to deal with stressful situations help us live a healthy and positive life.

Chronic stress can affect your mental and physical health.

Long-term stress can not only affect our mental health, but it also affects our physical. From headaches to stomach disorders to depression – even very serious issues like stroke and heart disease can come as a result of stress. Long-term activation of your body’s stress response system, along with prolonged exposure to stress hormones, put us at risk for health troubles such as:

  • digestive problems
  • anxiety
  • headaches
  • depression
  • sleep problems
  • weight gain
  • memory and concentration issues
  • high blood pressure
  • heart disease and stroke

Learning to Recognize and Cope with Stress

Sometimes stress is not something we have the power to change.  In order to deal with stress, we must first recognize it and then learn coping strategies to preserve our mental and physical well-being.

Some ways to avoid stress include:

  • Recognize and observe when stress is caused by something that is beyond our control. Learn to let it go. Avoid developing anxiety about situations that you cannot change.
  • Take control of your reaction. Instead, focus on something that makes you feel calm and in control.
  • Adopt a strategy for healthy living and wellness.

Coping with Stress

  • Control what you can control. Adopt a healthy eating and exercise routine.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol.
  • Discuss your stress with a friend or family member.  It always helps to talk it out.
  • Recognize when you need help and seek professional advice when you need it.

 

Resources to Help Deal with Stress