Rope about to snap from stress

April is Stress Awareness Month

Has the stress of life been affecting you? If you’ve ever felt frenzied, frazzled, anxious, nervous, edgy, or jumpy, then you know how stress can feel, but you may not know what stress really is or the impact it can have on your body, mind, and relationships. April is Stress Awareness Month, which is designed to bring attention to the negative impact of stress to help you understand and overcome stress in your life. This makes it the perfect time to become more aware of the significance and side effects of stress, along with ways to catch the causes before the consequences catch up with you. Learn how to get relief right away so you can get the most out of life with the least amount of stress.

A sense of stress

If you’ve been worried about stress, you can relax because stress is simply a natural reaction to changes or challenges in your life. When you experience any kind of stress, it triggers a physical, mental, or emotional response that affects how you feel and function. This can be a short-term or one-time episode, or stress can become chronic and occur frequently over time. While too much stress is bad for you, a little stress can be good! It can help you adapt to new situations, perform at your best, focus your energy, and get you prepared to avoid danger. However, stress can go from good to bad when you’re constantly feeling worried, weary, strained, or drained. Chronic stress can cause bigger problems with your overall health and well-being than the ones that are causing your stress.

Get insight into what’s stressing you out

Stress can sneak up on you slowly or it can overwhelm you suddenly. Stress may come from the pressure of having too much to do or from the anxiety that you’re not doing enough. It could come from the frustration of getting stuck in traffic, the fear of letting someone down, struggles at work, or battles at home. And sometimes, it’s due to a major event in your life, such as moving, divorce, loss of a job, family trauma, or financial strain. Everyone has different troubles and triggers, but any and all of these occurrences can potentially lead to stress.

Side effects of stress

A number of things can make you feel stressed, but you may not know that all of this stress can do a number on your physical, mental, and emotional health. Sometimes you realize that you’re under stress right away, but other times, you may not recognize the signs at all. No matter the case or the cause, stress can affect your body, your health, your feelings, your thoughts, your behavior, and your relationships in the following ways:

  • Physical concerns, such as headaches, body aches, an upset stomach, difficulty breathing, panic attacks, skin rashes, trouble sleeping, and fatigue.
  • Emotional issues, including anxiety, fear, frustration, irritability, anger, and depression.
  • Health effects like high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
  • Behavioral problems, ranging from angry outbursts and trouble concentrating to drinking too much, overeating, not eating enough, isolating yourself, smoking, and using drugs.
  • Relationship struggles, such as avoiding friends and fighting with family.

Easy ways to feel at ease

Fortunately, you don’t have to let stress take control of your life because you can take control of stress. There are many ways to put your mind and nerves at ease to minimize and manage stress. Some healthy and helpful ways to cope with stress include:

  1. Reduce any sources of stress by limiting your exposure to potential triggers, such as news, social media, difficult people, and exhausting situations.
  2. Eat a balanced diet full of fruits, veggies, lean protein, whole grains, and healthy fats.
  3. Get enough sleep.
  4. Exercise on a regular basis.
  5. Limit your alcohol intake.
  6. Avoid smoking and drugs.
  7. Make time to relax.
  8. Spend time with people you enjoy.
  9. Make your health a priority by keeping up with medical appointments and tests.
  10.   Ask your SignatureMD-affiliated doctor for help if you find it hard to manage stress on your own.

In the spirit of Stress Awareness Month, stay aware of the signs of stress and try these tension-taming tactics to keep calm and carry on.