How to stay stress-free this spring
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.
• 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.