April is National Stress Awareness Month. Stress is a natural part of life, but it can be harmful to your health. Long term stress can lead to illnesses and even increase your risk of developing serious health conditions like stroke and heart disease. Stress is natural, your Fight or Flight Response kicks in when a perceived threat approaches, your body releases stress hormones into the bloodstream. These hormones increase the heart rate, blood pressure and glucose levels. Although this is a good thing when you are avoiding a disaster like falling off a mountain, continuous releasing of stress hormones can lead to serious illnesses.
To relieve some of the stress in your life you may have to change the way you approach stress. If the stressor is out of your control, let it go and move on. Control your reaction to stressors. Relax, this will make you better able to handle stress. Take time out for yourself every day, even if it is only twenty minutes. Take time to exercise to relieve stress. Do whatever you do to unwind–for instance, read a book, spend time with friends, whatever makes you happy.
For more information about stress and how to relieve stress, visit your local library and check out these books:
The Mayo Clinic Guide to Stress-Free Living by Amit Sood
The Relaxation Response by Herbert Benson with Miriam Z. Klipper