Keep Your Stress in Check

Stress

In the most recent “Stress in America” survey released in 2013, findings clearly reveal that stress in America seems to be on the decline among seniors and Boomers. Whereas, those between the ages of 18 to 33 years of age and 34 to 47 years of age – classified as Millennials and Gen Xers – reported significantly higher levels of stress.  On a scale of 1 – 10, with 10 being the highest, their average stress level hovered around 5.4.

Higher unemployment within these two groups, combined with financial worry, a feeling of instability due to the still struggling economy and a personal sense of failure are key triggers. While Boomers and seniors tend to manage their stress better than younger Americans, the complexity of everyday life and the challenges it brings, means that we are all, at one time or the other, going to experience stress in our lifetime. How you manage your stress can determine your overall health and wellness.

Causes-of-stree

If untreated, consistently high stress could become a chronic condition, which can result in serious health problems including anxiety, insomnia, muscle pain, high blood pressure and a weakened immune system.  Research shows that stress can even contribute to the development of major illnesses, such as heart disease, depression and obesity, or exacerbate existing illnesses.  (courtesy: American Psychological Association/Stress in America)

Managing stress can begin with changing certain lifestyle factors that trigger or intensify the condition.  More Americans are turning away from unhealthy behavior as a way of managing stress, such as drinking and binge eating. There is a noticeable trend toward a more positive approach in combating everyday stress, even when the source of stress is beyond our control.

Simple actions can make a difference

We’ve all experienced a need to hide under the covers, and retreat from the world outside that’s causing our anxiety and feeling of gloom, but prolonged use of sleep, as a mechanism for coping with stress, can make it harder to deal with its root cause and effect.

Experts suggest the following simple yet practical ways to cope with stress:

stress-free

Listen to your favorite music – Whatever your favorite playlist consists of (classical, rock, jazz), listening to music can be a great way to relax the mind and body.

Go for a brisk walk – Being outdoors in the sunlight, breathing fresh air, whether in the park or in the neighborhood, according to some researchers can boost your vitamin D levels and “your levels of feel-good serotonin.”

Exercise – Jogging or doing yoga, whatever activity you happen to enjoy, can stimulate and energize.  Make it a critical part of your stress management plan.

Take a long bath – Sounds too simple?  Water is one of the most calming elements. Taking a long, warm bath before bed can be a calming agent, helps you unwind, soothes and promotes a good night’s sleep.

Find a hobby – Knitting, painting, crossword puzzles – doing anything with your hands, experts say, immediately relaxes you, it grounds you and stops stress from messing with your head.

Look for the good – You don’t have to be religious to be thankful. Looking at a glass half full and showing an appreciation for the good things in your life goes a long way toward relieving stress levels, according to the National Institutes of Health.
(courtesy: Health Magazine)

If you have been prescribed medication for the treatment of anxiety and stress and need help paying for it, download a free Watertree Health Prescription Discount Card or request one be mailed to you.  It provides significant discounts on almost all recommended medications (brand and generic).  Because as most experts agree, “medicines, when taken as prescribed, improve lives and decrease overall health care spending.”

By WHblogger

2/26/14

Instructions and Disclaimer: The content on this website is designed for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses. Always consult your health care provider with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your health.

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