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Posted on: April 12, 2018

We All Deal with Stress…so Take some Time to Unwind!

Stress management

Stress has a direct impact on your mind and body. Long-term stress can lead to a variety of illnesses (from headaches to stomach disorders to depression) and can even increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. When you perceive a threat, the body reacts – your heart rate, blood pressure and glucose levels all increase. The release of other hormones can also impact your digestion and suppress your immune system, which may cause you to be more vulnerable to illnesses.

Remember, you can’t always choose the stressor, but you can choose your response to it! Reactions produce actions! Here are some valuable things to consider in a stressful situation:

  • Recognize your circle of control – if you cannot control it, let it go.
  • Don’t get anxious about situations you cannot change.
  • Take control of your reactions and focus on things that make you feel calm and in control.
  • What is your vision for healthy living? Develop it and set realistic goals to achieve it.Stress relief

There are a number of ways to reduce stress. Focus on approaching it from a physical, mental and social standpoint:

  • Regular exercise doesn’t have to mean a gym membership. Perhaps it's going for a walk with your pet or family, parking further from your building or store entrance, taking the stairs, or visiting a co-worker instead of sending an email.
  • Be aware of what you’re eating. Observe your food choices during stressful times and find healthier alternatives. Often times, those food choices only help for the moment, but the stress is still there.
  • Maintaining a positive outlook can be challenging, but focus on the good or what went well that day… eventually it will become part of your daily routine.
  • Work as hard as you can to leave work at work!
  • Create a strong, supportive and caring social network. Stress can make us want to withdraw, so it’s helpful to be around those who are supportive and caring!

Stay tuned next week for some stress management techniques!

Sources: foh.psc.gov and msue.anr.msu.edu

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