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Practice Unwinding During April, National Stress Awareness Month

Practice Unwinding During April, National Stress Awareness Month

April 26, 2023 Posted in: Health & Wellness  3 minute read time

 

Stress is a common feeling that can affect everyone, negatively impacting the mind and body. During April, when we raise awareness of the impact of stress, take a few minutes to understand the toll stress has on all of us. Stress is most often felt during work, school or sporting events, but it can overflow and impact other areas of life if we fail to manage it.

Stress is a physical, mental or emotional strain when worries or anxiety are heightened. It’s a natural feeling and the symptoms that come with it look different for everyone. Some people can experience chronic health issues because of ongoing stress, including anxiety, depression, general body pains, headaches, trouble sleeping, low appetite and an upset stomach. These secondary conditions make it even more difficult to cope with the primary problem – the mismanagement of stress – which can also affect those around you when left untreated. 

According to the American Institute of Stress, 55% of Americans say they are stressed during the day. For some, it is situational, with the stress resolving once a situation ends. For others, however, the stress can be chronic, leading to long-term health issues and increasing the risk for conditions like heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure or hypertension.  

Managing stress is paramount to living a mentally and physically healthy life. To deal with stress better, get plenty of sleep, eat healthy, exercise regularly, spend time with others, make time for yourself, avoid drugs and alcohol, and take time away from social media or other platforms or outlets that cause stress. Having a daily routine or finding a hobby you enjoy can also help reduce the effects of stress. Those who struggle with anxiety or have additional mental health disorders should talk to their primary care provider, who may recommend medication to help manage symptoms.   

Mental health has gained more attention over the past few years, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s when we saw record numbers of people seeking the help of mental health services to address the root cause of their stress. While the National Institute of Health reports that rates of anxiety increased during the pandemic, so did rates for depression and substance use disorder.

Throughout April, National Stress Awareness Month, take time to reflect on the stress in your life and how we can manage these feelings year-round. If you feel like your stress is taking control and you can’t seem to manage it alone, schedule an appointment with your primary care provider.

Your physician can discuss with you ways to manage your stress effectively. Make an appointment or find a provider today.

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