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Stress management

Stress is a common reaction to the demands of life. Stress has been shown to impact both emotional and physical health. Learning to manage our reactions to the stressors in our lives will improve our sense of well-being. Effective stress management focuses on distinguishing between those factors in our lives we can control and those that are beyond our control. We can change our diet, but not the price of food. We can change careers, but not the state of the economy. Stress management relies on making these distinctions then learning effective problem solving, assertiveness, relaxation and other skills.

Facts about Stress Management

  • 44% of adults say they are not doing enough to manage their stress.
  • One in five Americans say they never engage in stress management activities.
  • The most comm stress management activities include listening to music (48 percent), exercising or walking (43 percent), going online (42 percent), watching TV or movies (40 percent) and reading (39 percent).
  • A majority of adults (62 percent) who exercise or walk to manage stress say it is extremely or very effective.
  • Adults also see stress benefits in mental health care. Of the 5 percent of adults reporting that they visited a mental health professional for help managing stress, 68 percent report that it was extremely or very effective.
  • Many adults report lying awake at night (43 percent), overeating or eating unhealthy foods (38 percent), and skipping meals (30 percent) due to stress.
  • Sixty-three percent of adults report that getting enough sleep is extremely or very important to them, but only 30 percent say they are doing an excellent or very good job at achieving this goal.
  • Fifty-five percent say that eating healthy is extremely or very important to them, but only 30 percent say they are doing an excellent or very good job at this.
  • Half (50 percent) of adults say that being physically active or fit is extremely or very important to them, but only 27 percent say they are doing an excellent or very good job at this.

Rediscover your health and well being. Make positive changes that will last.

Possible Causes of Stress

According to the WebMD:

  • Being unhappy in your job
  • Having a heavy workload or too much responsibility
  • Working long hours
  • Having poor management, unclear expectations of your work, or no say in the decision-making process
  • Working under dangerous conditions
  • Being insecure about your chance for advancement or risk of termination
  • Having to give speeches in front of colleagues
  • Facing discrimination or harassment at work, especially if your company isn’t supportive
  • The death of a loved one
  • Divorce
  • Loss of a job
  • Increase in financial obligations
  • Getting married
  • Moving to a new home
  • Chronic illness or injury
  • Emotional problems (depression, anxiety, anger, grief, guilt, low self-esteem)
  • Taking care of an elderly or sick family member
  • Traumatic event, such as a natural disaster, theft, rape, or violence against you or a loved one

Symptoms of Stress

Based on WebMD:

  • Becoming easily agitated, frustrated, and moody
  • Feeling overwhelmed, like you are losing control or need to take control
  • Having difficulty relaxing and quieting your mind
  • Feeling bad about yourself (low self-esteem), lonely, worthless, and depressed
  • Avoiding others
  • Low energy
  • Headaches
  • Upset stomach, including diarrhea, constipation, and nausea
  • Aches, pains, and tense muscles
  • Chest pain and rapid heartbeat
  • Insomnia
  • Frequent colds and infections
  • Loss of sexual desire and/or ability
  • Nervousness and shaking, ringing in the ear, cold or sweaty hands and feet
  • Dry mouth and difficulty swallowing
  • Clenched jaw and grinding teeth
  • Constant worrying
  • Racing thoughts
  • Forgetfulness and disorganization
  • Inability to focus
  • Poor judgment
  • Being pessimistic or seeing only the negative side
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