Whether we like it or not, stress is a part of life. From work demands to family, finances, and other obligations, it’s easy to start feeling overwhelmed. But staying stressed can negatively impact your overall well-being, so it’s important to understand our stress triggers and plan for a constructive response.
As April is Stress Awareness Month 2021, this is the perfect time to delve into the best ways to deal with stress. Stress management isn’t always easy, but it’s paramount in caring for our physical and mental health.
Risks of high stress
Different forms of tension can manifest itself in a variety of ways, affecting our mood, behavior, and physical health. From headaches and back pain to high blood pressure, irritability, and shortness of breath, high stress causes a laundry list of symptoms. While small doses of stress are normal, chronically high stress levels left unchecked and unmanaged can result in serious health implications and long-term damage.
Health risks of long-term stress include:
- Depression and anxiety
- Obesity and eating disorders
- Sexual dysfunction
- Sleep problems
- Memory impairment
- Digestive issues
- Menstrual disorders
- Cardiovascular disease
Consistent and unmanaged strains on our minds and bodies can lead to grave consequences that affect your entire body — that’s why it’s critical to adopt healthy stress management techniques. Simply identifying the need to better understand and manage the causes of stress in our lives can effectively lead to stress levels.
Stress management tips
While experiencing stress from time to time is unavoidable, getting a firm grasp on how to deal with stress will make a difference in your physical and mental health.
These are some proven coping mechanisms for dealing with stress:
- Every day, reflect on three good things that happened that day.
- Perform breathing exercises, like pursed lip breathing and alternate nostril breathing.
- Practice progressive muscle relaxation, in which you mindfully and intentionally relax every muscle in your body, one zone at a time.
- Go for a walk for a change of scenery and fresh air, and to remove yourself from the stressful situation.
- Practice yoga.
- Give yourself dedicated time for hobbies you enjoy.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Channel positive self-talk over negativity.
- Share your problems with others — don’t keep your feelings bottled up.
- Unplug. News and current events are a common stressor for many people. Checking out from time to time can benefit your mental health and reduce stress.
Resources for Stress Awareness Month 2021
Stress Awareness Month is a time to acknowledge the triggers and impacts of stress in our daily lives. This year is especially important to raise awareness, since the American Psychological Association wrote in its Stress in America 2020 report that “we are facing a national mental health crisis that could yield serious health and social consequences for years to come.”
For more resources on Stress Awareness Month, visit APA for insights on how the pandemic has impacted national stress levels and the Stress Management Society for helpful guides on dealing with stress.
Managing ongoing tension is also an important part of quality patient safety and care. ObservSMART technology ensures validated compliance with patient safety check standards, helping healthcare staff properly monitor at-risk patients.
Contact us to learn more about how ObservSMART can help manage stressful patient monitoring situations.