Elizabeth Meyer | Apr 20, 2015
Did you know that April is Stress Awareness Month in the United States? The Health Resource Network (HRN) sponsors this initiative, which began in 1992. Stress Awareness Month seeks to bring attention to stress, the dangers of uncontrolled stress, and ways to reduce stress in our daily lives. Although many of us have experienced moments of stress, it can be a very complex emotion and state. Just how much do you know about stress?
Stress is the result of the body's natural "fight or flight" response. This surge of adrenaline, historically, enabled warriors to march into battle, those in danger to avoid a perilous situation, and caveman hunters to stalk their family's evening meal. However, in modern society, that adrenaline has little or no outlet. We're not going to fight the boss who makes us angry (or at least we shouldn't), nor are we able to go out into the forest to hunt for our food when funds are low.
While a little stress is good for us - it gives us energy and enthusiasm - too much can have serious health effects. According to WebMD, stress can cause everything from headaches, to elevated blood pressure, to chest pain, to insomnia. In fact, they maintain that between 75 and 90 percent of all visits to doctors' offices are for stress-related issues. Experts also caution that people under great deals of stress are more likely to form addictive habits those who have found ways to minimize their stress level. It isn’t always easy, but it can be done!
Eliminating stress completely from our lives is virtually impossible. Not only are older adults or ill individuals prone to the stresses of their age and situation, but family members and loved ones are also particularly prone to stress. It's easy to see why; there's the fear of the unknown future, of not being able to do everything the person you're caring for needs and, often, there are financial and health-related worries.
Fortunately, there are many easy and affordable ways to keep your stress level in check.
Take a few minutes in April to consider the stress factors in your life and set up a plan to combat them with whatever your remedy may be. Exploring stress-focused information can be a great place to start.
Fortunately for us, we have access to a multitude of resources through the Internet, the few items below can help you explore stress and learn more:
While ridding your life completely of stress is nearly impossible, especially if you're caring for an older family member, keeping stress in check is important to your overall good health. For more health tips and resources, sign up for our monthly eNewsletter.