Many of us know that stress has a negative impact on our health. Unfortunately, that awareness doesn’t always lead to a life change. Since April is National Stress Awareness Month, we decided to dedicate our monthly blog to offering insight and resources on this important topic. Our Healthcare associates Lewisville TX team (as well as the specialists at Bedford and Benbrook) are here to support you – you don’t need to tackle this alone! Read on to learn more.
Stress & Your Health
Stress is a response of the body to external or internal changes that require action or adaptive response. Stress is not necessarily a bad thing as it can motivate and help us achieve our goals, but if stress levels exceed a person’s abilities to cope, it can lead to harmful health outcomes. Prolonged stress can lead to anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, heart diseases, and even cancer.
Fortunately, there are various methods that one can undertake to reduce stress levels in personal and professional life.
Another effective way to combat stress is through meditation and mindfulness practices. These are ancient techniques that have been adapted by modern medicine to help reduce stress. Meditation involves sitting quietly for 10-15 minutes and focusing on breathing or a specific sound, image or phrase. Meditation has been found to offer benefits such as:
- Decreased blood pressure
- Reduced resting heart rate
- Improved respiratory rate
- Improved overall stress response
Research has shown that mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) can have long-term benefits on physical and psychological health. Talk with your Lewisville pain and wellness team (as well as our specialists at the Benbrook and Bedford clinic locations) for more specifics on the benefits of mindfulness in your life.
Make Exercise a Priority
One of the best ways to manage stress is through exercise. Exercise releases endorphins, which act as natural painkillers, reduces tension, and stimulates the body’s relaxation response. Besides physical wellbeing, exercise can help improve mood, self-esteem, and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. A 30-minute workout, three to four times a week, can significantly reduce stress levels.
Build A Community of Support
Social support is also essential in combating stress. It’s okay to ask for help, talk to a friend or a confidant about your concerns. Social support can provide comfort, aid in problem-solving, offer distraction from stressful situations, and improve overall mood. Being connected to others can also foster a sense of belonging, which can reduce anxiety and depression. We encourage you to consider trying one of the following virtual mental health support communities this week:
- Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA) offers free, anonymous online peer-based communities
- The American Institute of Stress is a wealth of educational resources, communities and more on the topic of stress
- HeyPeers is an organization that quickly gets you connected to coaches, trained specialists and peer support networks for help with anxiety and a variety of other personal challenges
- NAMI Texas (National Alliance on Mental Illness) offers online webinars and presentations specifically for our region
It’s important to address stress as soon as possible to prevent lasting health outcomes. Remember, stress management is not a one-size-fits-all approach. It’s essential to find what works best for an individual in combating stress levels. At Your Family Medical, we take the time to find customized solutions for each patient based upon their unique needs. Call today to learn more about our services and specialties today.