How To Manage Your Stress
GOT STRESS? HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO…
OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH STRESS
S-T-R-E-S-S: It’s not a four-letter word, but for plenty of people, it might as well be. Although too much stress, or ongoing stress, can spell bad news for your health and overall well-being, some stress is a part of a healthy life.
Here’s a look at what causes stress and what you can do to keep it under control.
Everyone feels stress at some point or another. The reasons for stress can vary and how people react to the stressors in their lives also varies.
There are many things that can make you feel stress.
WHAT STRESS LOOKS LIKE
About three-quarters of people report experiencing at least one symptom of stress within in the past month.
Just as many different things can cause stress, people’s reaction to stress can take a variety of forms as well.
HOW WOMEN & MEN REACT TO STRESS
Stress affects men and women differently. The APA’s survey found that women are more likely to report higher levels of stress than men. Women are also more likely to experience symptoms of stress, such as anxiety and depression.
MAKE THE MOST OF STRESS
Although too much stress, or ongoing stress, can lead to serious health issues, not all stress is “bad.” If you didn’t have some amount of stress in your life, you’d coast on through, never feeling challenged or rewarded. In some instances, you need stress to trigger that “flight or fight” reaction that can save your life as well as others. When you do feel stressed, how you respond to it can influence whether the stress ultimately helps or harms you. Here’s what you can do to make the most of stress:
Change your perception: Instead of looking at stress as a thing that brings you down, look at it as something that will help you prepare for a challenging situation. If you feel nervous before going on stage for a presentation or when you’re meeting new patients, it’s your body’s way of getting you ready for an uncertain situation.
Detach from the stress: There’s a big difference between feeling stressed and being stressed. Recognizing that stress is an experience, not who you are, can help you better
manage it and move forward with what you need to do.
Investigate the stress: It can also help to ask yourself why you are experiencing stress. Once you’re able to recognize the source or cause of the stress and can understand your reaction in a stressful situation, you’ll be better able to use your feelings of stress to your advantage.
KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON
There are multiple ways to calm your body down when you are experiencing stress. Positive ways to deal with stress include:
- Taking deep breaths
- Distracting yourself from the source of stress (turning off the news or logging off from Facebook, reading a book, taking a 20-minute walk)
- Eating a healthy diet — B vitamins are known for their ability to help reduce stress. Foods with B vitamins include bananas, dark green vegetables, meats, and avocados.
- Talking to a friend or family member
- Talking to a psychologist