April- Stress Awareness Month

Take time to relax, renew and rejuvenate yourself… 

April marks Stress Awareness Month, stress happens to the best of us, at times it can be unavoidable and at times unbearable. Not only does stress affect your mind, it goes down to the cellular level, causing headaches, stomach issues, depression and can even cause serious conditions like stroke and heart disease. Understanding the connections can help you better manage your stress levels and improve your health and well-being. 

Fight Or Flight

The sympathetic stress response is a ‘mechanism’ of sorts already hard wired in our bodies, in the nervous system. This response gives us quick reflexes, when in imminent danger, for example swerving to avoid an accident. 

When a threat is imminent ‘stress hormones’ rush into your bloodstream, which increases heart rate, blood pressure, and glucose levels. Some hormones suppress functions like digestion and your immune system, which is why people who suffer from chronic stress leaves them more vulnerable to illness. 

Danger, work conflicts, worries about debt, anxiety and even bad memories trigger the stress response. one bad day won’t affect your health, but weeks or months of continued stress will affect your immune system, and your risk for disease. 

Fighting Stress

If you have chronic stress in your life, can’t influence or change the situations, then try changing your approach. Be flexible, only you have the ability to choose your response to triggers. Many people try to overcome stress by:

Not getting anxious about situations that cannot be changed. 

Taking control of your OWN reactions, focusing on what makes you feel calm, whether it be a room full of puppies or the ocean, visualize it. 

And as Elsa always sings “Let it Go!” 

Relax and Recharge 

Take time for fun in the sun! Time to relax and recharging helps you better handle stress . Take a few moments each day, if you can, to care for yourself, I know with work, kids and other social activities it may be hard to focus on you! Even if it is for just a 10 minute period. 

Some Ideas-

– Take a walk, evenings are most nice in Arizona! 

-Read a book- Call me old fashioned, I love the approach of a paper bound book any day over the E-books!

-Go out for a run!

-Have a soothing cup pf tea

-Sign up for a sports league, like bowling, softball..etc.

– Spend time with the kids or grand kids or have fun with some old buddies!

– Meditate

-Do yoga or Pilates 

Obviously, we can’t avoid all stress factors, you can minimize it by changing your responses to it. The ultimate reward is being healthy, have a balanced life, with time for work, relationships, relaxation and fun. 

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