First established in 1992, Stress Awareness Month is observed every April. This is a time to increase awareness of stress and its affects on our lives. Stress is our body’s response to a threat or demand. Particularly during times of uncertainty, some common stress triggers can include our finances, jobs, relationships, or the illness of our own or a loved one.
We tend to think that all stress is negative or bad. But it does have some positives. Positive stress can help you have the energy to meet deadline, help you to stay focused, study for an upcoming exam or to win the sports game.
There are two common types of stress. Acute stress is a stress that is suffered over a short period of time. Stress is a state of mind which only becomes dangerous beyond certain point, when it is prolonged for an extended period of time. At that point, it may become chronic stress- the second type of stress. Chronic stress is dangerous as it can cause a number of health issues including:
- Weakening the immune system
- Affect the digestive/gut health
- Increase your risk of heart attack or stroke
- Raise your blood pressure
Stress like any other diseases of the body can be managed in several ways that can also help to clear the mind. We can manage stress in the following ways:
- Use of essential oils (i.e. lavender)
- Drink teas (i.e. chamomile)
- Laugh: watch your favorite TV shows or comedies that make you laugh or spend time with you loved ones
- Exercise: this helps in lowering the stress hormones, relaxes the body and helps you feel good and at peace
- Breathing and relaxation: deep breathing lowers the heart rates and promotes relaxation. Engaging in relaxation like yoga, meditation and massages can also help the body release tension
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