Do you feel like you are experiencing stress a majority of the time? This is extremely common in today’s society, so don’t stress about it and make it even worse! Seventy-five percent of the general population experiences at least “some stress” every two weeks (National Health Interview Survey). Stress is a feeling that occurs when we react to particular events in our daily lives. Everyone deals with stress differently, but if not dealt with, there are many harmful physical and mental consequences that may arise. Some major risks that stress can cause are heart disease, high blood pressure, and strokes. Stress is also harmful on the immune system. I honestly believe that this is why people who experience stress may be sick more often. Stress may also exacerbate harmful behaviors such as; substance abuse, alcoholism, obesity, suicidal behavior, and tobacco addiction. Stress is so prevalent, that the U.S. Public Health Service has made reducing stress one of its major health promotion goals. There are many more symptoms of stress. If you are interested in reading more about this subject, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stress_(biology).
Okay, enough of the bad news. Now, let’s discuss the good news! There are positive ways to deal with stress. Exercise is one of the best ways to help people manage stress. As mentioned in a previous post, exercise helps with depression by the release of endorphins. Exercise can also boost self-esteem, reduce STRESS, and improve sleep. The way I look at it, it is worth a shot. To read more about the benefits of exercise, read this previous post I wrote http://goo.gl/0QK3d.
Another way that I have found helpful managing stress is to talk to someone about it. It is very easy for people who are stressed to push the issue aside and not deal with it. The problem with this approach is that a lot of different stressors will accumulate and explode and attack all at once. Talk about a stressful situation! One option is to talk to an objective friend or family member to discuss something that may be bothering you. A professional may be an even better choice to help you with your daily struggles. Let me make this very clear right now, by no means whatsoever am I an expert on dealing with stress. I am just giving my opinion on what I have learned over the years. Reaching out and talking to someone is always very difficult at first (even to someone who cares about you). Who wants to show that they are “weak” or “troubled” to another individual? If you reread the statistic that shows the prevalence of stress in the U.S., you will realize that you are not alone. Try to reach out to another human being and begin to deal with the stress as soon as possible.
There are many other ways to deal with stress, but in this post I have chosen to discuss two helpful ideas. Next time you are feeling stressed, either talk to someone about it and/or exercise and feel better about your situation and yourself. Enjoy!