The entire month of April focuses on something all humans encounter at some point in their lives — Stress!
Stress can come in different forms, including physical, mental, and emotional variations. These different stress variations can cause tension and havoc to the body.
Common Stressful Reactions and Feelings:
- Shock, trauma, and numbness
- Feeling sad, frustrated, and helpless
- Difficulty focusing
- Internal issues like back pains, stomach issues, and headaches
- Abusing the use of alcohol or drugs
Repeatedly having stress can lead to long-term health issues (other than stomach issues and headaches) like stroke and heart disease.
When you react to a stressful situation or develop stressful feelings, certain stress hormones enter your bloodstream that increase your heart rate, blood pressure, and glucose levels. Healthy amounts of stress are normal, however, consistently having stress can result in some maximal long-term health problems.
Tips to Prevent Stress:
Let go of what you can’t control
Many things in our daily lives are completely out of our control. Recognize when you do not have the ability to control a situation. Do your best to let it go.
Go for a brief 15-minute walk. If the weather is nice, go outside and walk. Breathe in and out, get some Vitamin D, and realize everything is going to be ok. (Meditation is a great way to calm your mind and body. Going for a brief walk, allowing yourself five minutes to focus on an object, or practicing controlled breathing (five seconds breathing in, five seconds holding, five seconds breathing out…three times) can all be meditative practices.
Make self care a priority
Eat healthy, exercise, and set goals for yourself. Keep an eye on the foods you are consuming. Think about if they are nourishing your body and mind in a positive way. Avoid drugs and alcohol, which can increase stress. Move your body daily. Create realistic goals for yourself that improve your overall growth.
Acknowledge when you need help
Confiding in a loved one, counselor, or psychologist can do wonders for your health. Discuss the prominent stressors you are having and how to develop solutions. Baptist Health provides mental health services and would be happy to assist you or a loved one with any mental health barriers. You can also try a stress test!
Stress can lead to an abundant amount of health issues. Take this month to prioritize yourself and your needs. Set boundaries when you need to, confide in others, move your body, and practice self-care!