April is National Stress Awareness month, and as such we wanted to highlight a few effective ways to minimize the harmful effects of chronic stress in your life. Studies have shown that “sudden emotional stresses—especially anger—can trigger heart attacks, arrhythmias and even sudden death.” Chronic stress can interfere with your ability to think clearly and live a healthy, balanced life. Prolonged stress can be tasking on our body and should be minimized if at all possible. It’s important to find constructive ways of dealing with our stressful problems. These are a few:
- Locate your stress cues: According to the APA journaling your daily stresses can help. It is recommended to document when you feel stress and try to brainstorm ways to address each circumstance. Is the traffic on your commute home stressing you out? Try an alternate route home. Documenting these moments can make it easier to find a solution.
- Foster strong relationships: Fostering positive relationships with loved ones and family members can make all the difference. Spend time with those you love and invest in your meaningful relationships.
- Walk it off: If you are feeling upset it may be time for a walk. Exercise releases endorphins causing a feel good factor. Going for run or taking a bike ride may significantly help balance out your anger. According to the APA “Research shows that activities like yoga and relaxation exercises not only help reduce stress, but also boost immune functioning.”
- Rest Up: Be sure to get your 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. Put away your coffee cup and silence your smartphone.
- Call the Doctor: Whether it is a psychologist or another licensed medical professional, they are there to help you find effective coping mechanisms and action plans to combat your stress.