Stress Awareness Month
Planning ahead helps to reduce the stress of any situation, and stress reduction is something else we should all think about when we think healthy. Stress Awareness Month is the perfect time to think about the amount of stress in our lives and the ways in which it affects our health. Too much stress can literally make you sick. It is linked to health problems like asthma, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, gastrointestinal problems, headaches, depression, anxiety, and premature death.
Stress creates a natural physical response in our bodies that is part of our response to danger. When we feel stress, our blood vessels narrow while pulse and blood pressure rise. Breathing increases and the body releases hormones like adrenaline and cortisol into the blood stream. These symptoms can all lead to serious health problems when they continually occur over a long period of time. To fight these negative effects use stress management techniques to help moderate your response to stress and help you stay healthy. Breathing deeply can help you calm down and stop the stress process. Try to shift your focus away from thoughts of worry or regret and focus on the moment you are in. If you find yourself in a stressful situation that is beyond your control, like being stuck in traffic, stop and realize that the situation will not be helped by anger or frustration. Instead, put things in perspective and take a few minutes to calm your stress and anxiety. Some people find regular exercise and stress-reducing activities like meditation or yoga to be beneficial in long-term stress management. Whatever you choose, when you reduce the stress in your life, you’ll increase your energy and feel better mentally and physically.
National Humor Month
Perhaps the best way to reduce stress and live a healthier life is to laugh. It’s National Humor Month, and we celebrate all the positive things that laughter can bring to our lives. The old adage “laughter is the best medicine” has a great deal of truth in it. A good laugh can relax your muscles and relieve stress and tension. When you laugh, you take in more oxygen which stimulates your body and increases the release of endorphins in the brain. Over time, this helps to improve your mood, relieve pain, help you cope with stress better, and even boost your immune system. That all adds up to a better quality of life.