How to stay stress-free this spring

Apr. 04, 2013 @ 09:06 PM


National Stress Awareness Month is observed during April every year.

According to Dr. Patricia Smith of Four County Primary Care, it is important to recognize stress because it can affect a person’s health in several ways. For example, it causes depression and anxiety, high blood pressure and obesity, and it can lead to heart disease.

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services defines stress as the body’s response to any demand or change, regardless of whether the situation is positive or negative. It can manifest in a variety of ways: its effects can be felt in the short-term or for the long-term.

Smith encourages people to identify things that contribute to an individual’s stress and how the body responds to it. With this knowledge, a person can manage stress more effectively; this in turn can help a person sleep better, maintain weight, avoid becoming sick (and recover faster from sickness), lessen neck and back pain, and maintain a better mood.

This spring, consider these suggestions for improving one’s stress level:

• Stay organized.

• Plan to be flexible.

• Prepare for events that will likely cause stress.

• Pause regularly to breathe deeply, relax and stretch one’s muscles.

• Exercise.

• Maintain energy by eating vegetables, fruits and protein.

• Avoid excessive alcohol consumption; do not manage stress by drinking

• Do something for oneself, such as reading a good book or listening to music.

• Talk to people about your stress.

• Request help from a physician.