Five things to know about stressposted by Brent Brown on July 27, 2020
Everyone feels stressed from time to time, but what is stress?
How does it affect your health, and what can you do about it?
Stress is how the brain and body respond to any demand. Every type of demand or stressor, such as exercise, work, school, major life changes, or traumatic events, can be stressful. Stress can affect your health. It is important to pay attention to how you deal with minor and major stress events so that you know when to seek help.
Five things to know about stress
1. Stress affects everyone. A stressor may be a one-time or short-term occurrence, or it can be an occurrence that keeps happening over a long period of time.
2. Not all stress is bad. Stress can motivate people to prepare or perform, like for a test or job interview.
3. Long-term stress can harm your health. Continued stress may contribute to serious health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other illnesses.
4. There are ways to manage stress.
- Recognize the signs of your body’s response to stress, like difficulty sleeping, increased alcohol and other substance use, being easily angered, feeling depressed, and having low energy.
- Talk to your doctor or a health care provider to get help for existing or new health problems.
- Get regular exercise. Thirty minutes per day of walking can help boost your mood and reduce stress.
- Try a relaxing activity like meditation, yoga, tai chi, or other gentle exercises.
- Set goals and priorities. Decide what must get done and what can wait, and learn to say no to new tasks if they are putting you into overload. Note what you have accomplished at the end of the day, not what you have been unable to do.
- Stay connected with people who can provide emotional and other support. To reduce stress, ask for help from friends, family, and community or religious organizations.
5. If you’re overwhelmed by stress, ask for help from a health professional. You should seek help right away if you have suicidal thoughts, are overwhelmed, feel you cannot cope, or are using drugs or alcohol to cope.
Source: US National Institutes of Health (www.nih.gov)