Managing Stress Levels

Friday, October 12, 2018

By: Anna Buchanan

 Stress is a normal occurrence of life. Although we all experience some form of stress pretty consistently, we don’t always know why we are stressed or how to deal with it. First of all, we must be able to identify our stress triggers. Stress triggers can be smaller, every day occurrences, or larger life stressors. Small life stressors include things like public speaking, traffic, misplaced keys, or social interactions. Large life stressors include things like divorce, job loss, death of a family member or friend, moving to a new place, emotional distress, or chronic illness/injury. Whatever it may be, it is important to understand what your own triggers are, so that you can possibly prevent stress situations from affecting you and so that you can manage your stress in a positive manner.

 Several symptoms occur as a result of stress. You may experience many of these symptoms, or you may only experience one or two. Symptoms associated with stress include headaches, backaches, digestive problems, dizziness, high blood pressure, and heart palpations. Other effects of stress include fatigue, trouble sleeping, feelings of anger or irritability, depression, and trouble concentrating. Any of these symptoms can have a huge impact on daily productivity and mood. No, we cannot avoid stressful situations forever, but we can determine positive ways to deal with our stress.

 Eating healthy is a great way to combat the symptoms of stress. Providing your body with nutrients that it needs will help combat fatigue and headaches by giving you more energy. Avoid sugary foods and caffeine, because these foods will only provide short-term energy and leave you feeling hungry and tired in the end. Physical activity can help blow off steam and improve mood as your body releases endorphins. When you release endorphins, your mood is better! Make time for yourself every day. Take 15 minutes to do something to benefit you so that you can mentally recharge. This may be going for a walk, calling a friend, listening to music, drawing, or meditating. One of my favorite quotes is “You cannot give from an empty glass.” Take time for yourself so that your glass will be full before you can give anything away to others. Some people really benefit writing down their thoughts. If you are one of those people, try journaling. Write down your thoughts, read over them, reflect on your words, and it can help you make calm, thought out, clear headed decisions. Get plenty of sleep. It is recommended that you get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep. Lastly, know your limits, and don’t be afraid to say no. Sometimes you cannot mentally or physically take on another task or another request, and you will need to say no. This can be very difficult, but it will help decrease stress levels and be better for you.

 These are just a few ways that you can manage your stress. Try picking one or two things to work on, and you will be on your way to a less stressful week, month, year, and life. 

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Elkhorn Logan Valley
Public Health Department
2104 21st Circle / PO Box 779, Wisner, NE 68791
Phone: 402.529.2233  - or -  877.379.4400
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