Wednesday, April 15, 2015

April is National Stress Awareness Month

We use the term so frequently.  "I am so stressed!"  But what, exactly, is stress, how do we know our stress level is too high, and what can we do about it?  I found a great article that answers some questions about stress.

1.  Stress is your body's normal reaction when it senses danger or a threat of some kind.  Stress is what helps us stay focused and alert.  It's how we meet challenges, real or perceived.
2.  When your body is under stress, it releases adrenaline and cortisol.
3.  It is important to know how  your body tolerates stress and when you have too much.  If your body is constantly under stress, you may not realize the effects that stress is having on you.
4.  Too much stress can cause changes in mood, health, and life in general.
5.  Stress can cause memory loss, poor judgment, excessive worry, and leave you unable to concentrate.
6.  Stress can cause you to feel anxious, moody, overwhelmed, or lonely, all of which can lead to depression.
7.  Some unpleasant signs of physical symptoms of stress include chest pain, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, and susceptibility to colds and other viruses.
8.  It may affect your sleeping and eating habits.  Stress may cause you to seek self-medication through alcohol or drugs.  You may also develop other nervous habits.
9.  How do you know if you're under too much stress?  Some people are just aware of their bodies, and they recognize it.  If you are unsure, there are a number of free "stress tests" available online.  (Here is one, here's two, here's three.)
10.  Common stressors include major life changes, major work changes, financial or relationship difficulties, being too busy, negative self-talk, and chronic worry.
11.  One way to to manage stress is to avoid it, if at all possible.  Sometimes that means saying, "No," and staying away from people we know cause us stress.
12.  Sometimes we have to learn to adapt to the stress so we can better deal with it.  Look at the big picture to decide if something is worth getting upset about it.  Let go of the things you can't change. Try to focus on the positive aspects of your job, relationship, or whatever is causing stress.
13.  Here are some tips for dealing with stress:

  • Set aside time each day to rest, relax, and re-energize whether it's through quiet time, deep breathing, meditation, prayer, reading for pleasure, or something else.
  • Develop an exercise routine whether it's walking, running, lifting weights, yoga.
  • Eat regular, nutritious meals.  Avoid too much caffeine and sugar.
  • Establish a regular sleep routine.
There are plenty of great tips out there to help us avoid or deal with stress, but we have to take charge and DO something about it.
I'm linking up with the new Thursday Thirteen.
Have a great weekend!


  1. I so needed this every day this week a crazy challenge bills lost , late charges added , and of course money concerns thanks

  2. Alas, trying to establish regular sleeping habits don't work when you have my neighbors. I have, however, gotten out for a long walk or two and spent some time relaxing on a friend's patio over the weekend. My T13

  3. I think it's hard for us busy people nowadays to stop for a second and think about ourself and our health habits such as sleeping. I think everyone can work on these things. Great post!

  4. I've been told to eliminate stress by many health care specialists. It is terribly difficult to do, though.

  5. The last one is helpful. As someone with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome I have inner stress and can't handle extra stress at all.

  6. I have a truly awful sleep routine, and I know that part of it comes from being awoken several times nearly every single night by various children for the past 10 years. but I also am aware that stress is also a factor. Since I don't tend to get a great full night's sleep every night - I do yoga and meditation often so that I can have moments of peace and being still. And maintaining my exercise routine also helps becasuse with stress comes that desire to Eat All The Food too!

    some great tips.


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