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April is Stress Awareness Month

Since it’s conception in 1992, Stress Awareness Month has been held every April. Sponsored by the Health Resource Network Inc., it’s a time when healthcare professionals from across the country join forces to increase public awareness about not only the causes, but also the treatments for the growing stress epidemic in our country.

There are several types of stress and we all tend to face these at different times in our lives. The everyday stresses of jobs and family are the most common. Then there is the stress of sudden changes in our routines such as a job change, an illness, or a divorce. But a type of stress that is much more concerning is that of traumatic stress such as a major illness, an accident or a tragic death of a loved one.

People handle stress in many different ways. Some symptoms of stress include headaches, insomnia, digestive issues and anger. Prolonged or chronic stress can also lead to more serious issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. Unchecked, stress can also lead to debilitating anxiety and depression.

But help is out there. Below are some tips to help you cope with stress before it gets out of control:

  • Exercise – Even 20-30 minutes a day of walking is a great stress reliever and a good way to get your mind off your daily worries.
  • Relaxation – Learn to incorporate some relaxation techniques into your daily life. Meditation, journaling, yoga and breathing exercises are just a few ways to find a moment of escape and to reduce those stress hormones.
  • Laugh a little – Even when you don’t feel like it, carve out some time to spend doing something you enjoy that will make you laugh. Spending quality time with family and friends, or simply watching your favorite sit-com can often be just the distraction you need. Making some time for fun is an important part of your overall health.

According to a recent survey by the American Institute of Stress, 77% of people surveyed indicated that they experience physical symptoms caused by stress and 33% stated that they are living with extreme stress.

We all have stressors in our daily lives, but chronic stress can really take a toll on your health. At AFC we are committed serving the needs of our patients, both mentally and physically. Let our friendly staff assist you with your symptoms by visiting www.americanfamilycare.com to find a location near you.

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