Public Health Is…Stress Managment

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Have you been feeling under the weather lately?  Experiencing headache, fatigue, chest pain, or stomach upset? It might not be an illness, it might be stress.

Generally we try to avoid stress, but stress can be either bad or good. Distress is the negative emotion that happens in response to unpleasant events (ex: losing your job, dealing with illness). Distress can creep into our lives in many ways, such as bills, work, and relationships. It is common to feel stressed about wasting time, meeting high standards, or being lonely. In contrast, eustress is the positive stress we experience during the more exciting moments of life (ex: falling in love; buying a car).

Furthermore, stress can fit into different categories depending on the source and frequency:

Time      Routine      Anticipatory      Chronic      Situational      Traumatic      Encounter

Whether it is good or bad, stress is a natural part of life and learning to manage it is key to a healthy and balanced life. The first step in managing stress is to recognize when your stress levels are rising to prevent the critical mass of distress. Take a look at the different ways stress can manifest in your life. Do any of them sound familiar?

Source: American Psychological Association’s “Stress in America” report, 2010

If you are already in distress what can you do? Learning to handle stress is a long term process, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get started right away.

8 Things you can do to De-stress the Di-stress Right Now!!!

  • Take a deep breath – let it out sloooowly. Then repeat.
  • Get 6-8 hours of sleep at night
  • Talk it out with a friend or loved one
  • Keep a stress diary to understand what stresses you out
  • Exercise
  • Eat your fruits and veggies!!!
  • Get organized – use a planner, create a peaceful work space
  • Seek counseling

For more information:

Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale

Build a Stretch Break Into Your Work or Study Routine

Specific Types of Stress (& Stress Management Techniques!)

How stress affects your body

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