What is stress?
Stress is a person’s response to an experience resulting from an environmental challenge, which negatively affects a person's mental and physical well-being.
Why is stress a big deal?
Stress is recognized as the number one killer today. According to the American Medical Association:
- Stress is the cause of 80 – 85% of all human illness and disease, and at the very least has a detrimental effect on our health.
- Every week, 95 million Americans suffer some kind of stress related symptom for which they take medication.
- Over two-thirds of office visits to physicians are for stress related illness.
- Stress is a major contributing factor either directly or indirectly to coronary artery disease, cancer, respiratory disorders, accidental injuries, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide; the six leading causes of death in the United States.1
How can you reduce stress?
- Get moving – Exercise increases energy, sharpens focus, and relaxes the mind and body.
- Make good food choices - Eat small but frequent meals to maintain an even level of blood sugar in your body. Low blood sugar makes you feel anxious and irritable but eating too much can make you tired.
- Get enough sleep - When you are sleep deprived, it is harder to handle stress.
- Get organized – make a list and prioritize tasks so you can see what needs your attention now and what can wait until later.
- Give yourself time – get ready for work, meetings, or appointments 10 minutes early. Running late will only add more stress.
- Think positively – if you always think negatively you will be drained of energy and motivation. Try to see the upside of a situation and when you do a job well done – pat yourself on the back – even if no one else does.
1. World Welfare Mission. (n.d.). Stress Management. Retrieved from http://www.worldwelfaremission.org/stress_management.html