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Stress Awareness Month

April is Stress Awareness Month. Stress is something we all experience and learning how to properly cope with difficult situations can go a long way in leading a healthy life. Stress is something we all feel, but it can be experienced in different ways. Stress is a physical, mental, or emotional strain from adverse circumstances. It can be caused by major lifestyle changes, work or school, relationship difficulties, financial problems, and more.

Symptoms of stress may be cognitive, emotional, physical, and behavioral. Common signs of stress include anxious or racing thoughts, constant worrying, feeling overwhelmed or anxious, rapid heart rate, dizziness, sleeping too much or too little, eating more or less than usual, procrastinating, or neglecting responsibilities, etc.

Stress may not seem detrimental, but it can be debilitating and cause or worsen additional health problems. People under stress, especially chronic stress, are more susceptible headaches, insomnia, high blood pressure, heart disease, and other health issues.

Sometimes we do not have the power to change what is causing stress in our lives. You can learn to overcome stress you cannot change by recognizing when you do not have control and let it go, taking control of your thoughts and reactions and focus your mind on something that makes you calm, and setting realistic goals for your health and wellness.

Practicing healthy ways to cope with stress is pertinent. Unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as drinking or using other substances can be detrimental to one’s health and wellbeing and even increase the stress one is already feeling. Healthy coping mechanisms include healthy lifestyle behaviors like eating healthy and regularly exercising, talking about your problems, engaging with your senses, and getting enough sleep. It is also important to recognize when you need more help from a professional.

Recognizing Stress Awareness Month is important because it reminds us that we all feel stressed at times, and it reminds us to pay attention to our health. To observe Stress Awareness Month, you can help increase public awareness of not only causes but also treatments of stress. Your mental health matters.

If you are feeling anxious or stressed and need someone to talk to call the Portage Helpline at 330-678-HELP or text 4hope to 741741.


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