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Stress Awareness Month: Tips to Reduce your Stress

Stress Awareness Month cover

April is Stress Awareness Month, raising awareness of the impact of stress on individuals. Let’s talk about the effects of stress together and what to do about it. 

By Eboni Gee

 

Managing stress is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Identifying feelings and addressing the effects of stress and anxiety are the initial steps towards developing coping mechanisms and strategies. These can enhance mental health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Stress Awareness Month is designed to help us understand these challenges. 

Stress and emotional eating often coexist. This is not a coincidence. During stressful times, our bodies release a hormone called cortisol to protect us. However, prolonged presence of cortisol can increase your appetite.

Over time, this increased appetite can lead to weight gain and the onset of chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease, to name a few. Hypertension and diabetes are the top two causes of Chronic Kidney Disease, which can lead to dialysis. Our emotions and stress levels directly contribute to physical diseases over time.

Being proactive about wellness is the best thing for our bodies. This means engaging in habits, routines, activities, and behaviors that support sustainable well-being. Consistently incorporating these practices will help you rely on them rather than resorting to unhealthy patterns.

Stress Awareness Month Tips

If you’re feeling stressed, there are various methods that you can employ to help manage and alleviate these feelings:

  • Practicing meditation to stay in the present moment and reduce feelings of anxiety.
  • Regular exercise not only keeps the body healthy, but it can also have a positive impact on mental health by reducing stress levels.
  • Stretching or yoga can help to relax the body and the mind, promoting a sense of calm.
  • Attending therapy sessions can provide a safe space to explore feelings and develop coping strategies.
  • Paying attention to your nutrition by eating a balanced diet can positively influence your mood and energy levels.
  • Reading can be a great way to escape from the pressures of daily life, and can provide a sense of relaxation.
  • Getting enough sleep is important for overall health and well-being, and can help to manage stress levels.

In addition to this, maintaining a healthy diet is crucial. Consider incorporating these healthy snacks into your daily routine:

  • Fruits such as apples, bananas, and berries are not only delicious but also packed with important nutrients.
  • Veggies like carrots and cucumbers make for a crunchy, satisfying snack.
  • Pickles can be a great low-calorie option if you’re craving something savory.
  • Air-popped popcorn is a healthy alternative to high-fat, high-sugar snacks.

No matter what practices you incorporate into your life, ensure they are activities you enjoy and can depend on during challenging times.

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