Stress is on the rise for a lot of Americans, and more than half of you who recognize this don’t feel like you are getting the support you need to handle it. You ask why? Then, what can I do?
According to a Stress in America survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, 1 out of 5 Americans reports feeling extreme levels of stress and more than a third say that their stress has gone up in the past year. Among the leading causes of stress are money, work, family and health issues.
Many people think of being stressed “as a normal state of being.” I would argue it’s not. You don’t necessarily think about how you can do something differently and address this head-on. Change it.
But it does need to be addressed. Stress can have a very real impact on a variety of body systems, from the cardiovascular system to muscles. So what should you do? For starters, don’t wait for the stress to get to you. There’s positive things that you can do. I know when you’re feeling stressed you may not always think of those things, so it’s helpful to have a plan. To be prepared in advance
Studies have shown that any kind of exercise, from high-energy activities to yoga, can help. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which are hormones that fight stress. So for instance if you are a regular exerciser, you are already stronger and in prevention mode when acute stressful situations arise. This is especially beneficial if you are experiencing a chronic situation as well.
Some other healthy tips for managing stress: Eat well-balanced meals, limit alcohol and caffeine intake, and make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Sleep is often overlooked as not important. But it is one of the most fundamentally important aspects of your day. A good night’s sleep and sleep routine that includes over 7 hours.
Another tip, consider what the source of your stress is, and whether or not you feel it’s at a manageable level. It’s when our ability to cope with stressful events exceeds what we have to offer…or when it starts interfering with our functioning and our ability to work or be a student or be a parent, a good employee, have a good relationship….. Etc. You get the picture. That’s when we really need to think…maybe I might need some additional support from a professional.
If you can’t identify what’s causing your stress or if it persists and starts interfering with your daily life, then call for a free consultation. It may be the best conversation you’ll have.