Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Stress comes in many different forms from many different causes — work, school, family, finances, medical issues and major life events like a move, divorce or death in the family.   

According to the American Institute of Stress, about three-quarters of those surveyed regularly experience physical and psychological symptoms caused by stress. Nearly half of respondents reported lying awake at night due to stress.

In some instances, stress can be a good thing. It can help you perform well at a task or help your body kick into gear when faced with danger.

Chronic or long-term stress, however, can have harmful effects on your overall health if not managed properly. Stress can cause sleeping problems, headaches, stomach issues, low energy levels, an inability to concentrate, and increased feelings of depression, anger and irritability. It may also lower your immune system response, causing you to get sick more often.

Here are a few tips on how to reduce stress:

  • Determine the causes of your stress: Once you figure out what may be causing unnecessary stress, come up with a plan to address it.
  • Stay active: Invest time in a good workout routine or go on a 30-minute walk to destress and improve your mood.
  • Get adequate sleep: Rest your mind and body by making sure to get enough sleep each day. Adults should get seven to nine hours, while the amount of sleep recommended for children and teens varies by age.
  • Take a deep breath: Learn good breathing techniques to calm yourself down in stressful situations. When you feel angry, try walking away, counting to 10 and regrouping instead of reacting.  
  • Find ways to relax: Try relaxation activities, like meditation, yoga and tai chi.    
  • Stay organized: Set goals for what needs to be accomplished and when it needs to be accomplished. Understand your limits and don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ to tasks if you cannot handle anything new.
  • Ask for help: Having positive relationships with friends and family members can help you get through tough times. Don’t be afraid to lean on others, ask them for help and listen to any good ideas they may have on how to handle the stressors in your life.
  • Schedule regular visits with your primary care provider: Make sure to see your primary care provider regularly to manage your overall health. If you feel overwhelmed due to stress, make sure to discuss these feelings with your provider or a mental health professional.

Although we hope these tips will help you improve your overall health by reducing your stress levels, we know that you and your family members will still get colds and other illnesses. If you need medical advice, Norman Regional has you covered. Log on to Norman Regional Virtual Care and visit with a provider today from the comfort of your home or office. It’s quick, convenient and only costs $45 for each visit.