The beginning of a new year means a fresh start. It is an
opportunity to tackle new projects, set new goals and find new opportunities to
get and stay healthy – including reducing the amount of stress in your life.
But why does stress play such an important role in our health? There are a
number of reasons.
Stress can cause depression or anxiety, increased blood
pressure and weight gain, and can even lead to heart disease, among other
detriments to your health. And while some level of stress is inevitable and can
even be positive, it’s essential that we learn how to manage stress to maintain
our physical and mental health, and protect our overall well-being.
Stress, which is your body’s response to any demand or
change, can come from a variety of sources, both positive and negative. It can
be short-term or long-term and can present itself in a variety of ways.
It’s important to identify the “stressors” in your life –
those events or situations that cause you stress – and recognize how your body
responds. If you are aware of these factors, you can learn to manage your
stress more effectively, which can help you sleep better and fight illness,
among other health benefits.
This year, consider improving your approach to stress
management with these 10 helpful tips:
organized. Prioritize your to-do lists and plan out your time, being
realistic about how long tasks will take to complete.
flexible. Planning can help prevent stress, but so can being ready to adapt
when things don’t go quite as planned.
prepared. If you know a stressful event is on the horizon, think through
the situation and your options for responding.
Make it a habit to take moments to breathe deeply, stretch your muscles and
relax. Relaxing the body and mind can do a world of good.
Incorporating physical activity into your daily routine can help improve your
mood and prevent stress.
healthy. Give your body lots of energy by eating plenty of vegetables,
fruits and protein.
excessive alcohol. And refrain from drinking as a means to manage stress.
yourself. Read a book, listen to a favorite album, make plans with friends
or enjoy a good laugh.
Talk to people.
Friends, family members or co-workers may be able to help you work through a
stressful situation. And verbalizing your stress can help to physically relieve
ask for help. If you feel out of
control, depressed or too overwhelmed to cope, ask your doctor or a mental
health professional for help. They can help you navigate and manage your
If you would like to speak to a primary care provider or mental health professional about your stress, call 844.411.8747.