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Stress Awareness Month

Stress has become a normal part of our daily routines. From overflowing inboxes to packed schedules, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and underprepared for life’s curveballs. But stress can have serious impacts and can reveal unhealthy patterns in our lives.

This April, Valley Oaks Health is observing Stress Awareness Month and helping you find ways to deal with everyday stress and manage your mental health.

Why the stress?

The American Psychological Association found the most common sources cited for stress included: 

  • Money
  • Work
  • Family
  • Economic outlooks
  • Relationships

While these aren’t the only sources of stress, you may have nodded your head to a few and thought of other spots in your life where stress rears its head. It’s important to remember that stress is a normal part of life and can actually be helpful on occasion. The National Institute of Mental Health recognizes that in life-threatening situations, stress signals the body to prepare to face a threat or flee to safety, and in non-life-threatening events, it can motivate people to prepare for important events like tests or job interviews.

But when stress gets out of control, it can have negative impacts that decrease the quality and length of your life.

Stress’s effects

Prolonged stress can have the following effects on your mind and body: 

  • Changes in mood
  • Irritability 
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Depression
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Skin problems such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis

Drawing the line

When stress starts taking a toll, it’s time to draw the line. Some ways to manage and prevent stress include: 

  • Regular exercise
  • Healthy diet
  • Better sleep
  • Relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, and deep breathing
  • Relationship building
  • Talk therapy

If you believe more intervention is needed to help you manage stress and lead a happier life, the team at Valley Oaks Health is here with resources such as individual counseling

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