A state of mental or emotional strain resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances defines stress. It affects every system in our body. Many emotional and physical disorders that have been linked to stress include depression, anxiety, heart attacks, stroke, hypertension, increased susceptibility to infections, infertility, and a host of viral disorders. Our society fosters a high level of stress. We have almost become numb to its existence, and many people don’t realize that they are overloaded with stress.
Warning Signs of Stress
How stressed are you? How many of the following warning signs of stress overload can you identify in your life?
- Sudden Anger
- Feeling Overwhelmed
- Constant Worry
- Constant Colds
- Lack of Concentration
- Mood Swings
- Letting Yourself Go
- Lack of Time
If you can answer “yes” to less than three, you have a minimal amount of stress. However, if you can check off three to five, keep an eye on your stress levels and make sure they don’t increase. If you can identify with more than 5, you must learn how to reduce and manage your stress before it becomes a serious problem and a risk to your health.
Your Health May Be at Risk
Stress management is important for your health. Try these ten suggestions to help relieve the level of stress in your life.
- Get Organized. De-clutter your environment and schedule.
- Control Your Environment. Eliminate the negative.
- Give Yourself Positive Feedback. Be kind to yourself.
- Plan Leisure Activities. Have something to look forward to.
- Exercise Your Body. A 20-minute walk has been proven to be a good tranquilizer.
- Relax. Learn and practice relaxation techniques.
- Rest. Sleep 7-8 hours a night.
- Be Aware. Pay attention to the distress signals of your body.
- Eat Healthily. Choose a balanced diet.
- Enjoy Yourself. Look for the humor in life
Stress puts our bodies in a “fight or flight” response which can put tremendous wear and tear on our systems over time. That is why learning to relax and care for ourselves is so important. To learn more about the warning signs of stress and ways to reduce it, visit The American Institute of Stress.
Stress and You
Do you have questions about your stress levels or how it’s affecting your health? Contact Creekside Center for Women. Our medical team is here to help and provides you with quality care. Let us know how we can serve you. Call to schedule an appointment at 479.582.9268 or visit our website.