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Manage Stress For Your Health

Woman StressedStress is a fact of life. Sometimes stress is beneficial although most often, stress accumulates and becomes overwhelming.

The October issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter offers an overview of stress providing suggestions on how to cope and live with this inevitable fact of life.

According to the experts, not all stress is bad. The stress response — also known as the fight-or-flight response — occurs automatically and rapidly when a person feels threatened.

The physical response may include increased strength and agility, quicker reaction times and increased heart rate and blood pressure.
Historically, this response has been important for human survival.

But today’s stressors, such as jobs, relationships or finances, tend to be prolonged, and they pile up. The result can be a fight-or-flight response that runs far too long, and can cause ill health effects such as digestive difficulties that range from stomachaches to diarrhea, anxiety, irritability, insomnia and depression.

Mayo Clinic professionals provide the following tips to help reduce the negative effects of stress:

  • Identify the causes: Are they external, such as job difficulties or family problems, or internal, such as perfectionist tendencies?
  • Concentrate on dealing with stressors that can be changed: For example, a diagnosis of diabetes can’t be changed, but a patient can change how she manages the condition.
  • Limit needless daily stressors: Plan the day, leaving plenty of time between activities. Learn to say no to commitments you’re not up to.
  • Change the pace: Break the routine. Take time each day to relax and do something enjoyable, such as pleasure reading, gardening, interacting with a pet or walking with a friend. Take a mini-vacation from the usual routine.
  • Recognize signs of stress: Some people experience neck or back pain when they are stressed. Others become more forgetful. Whatever the early signs, learn to pay attention so you can interrupt the stress cycle and change what you can control.

For stressors beyond your control — such as the death of a loved one — it may help to recognize the stressful situation for what it is and try to accept it.

Avoid letting the situation and thoughts about it become all consuming. Seeking diversions can help you keep a healthy perspective.

Source: Mayo Clinic

Manage Stress For Your Health

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Manage Stress For Your Health. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 26, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2007/10/04/manage-stress-for-your-health/1366.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.