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Stress Awareness MOnth

With April just around the corner and that being Stress Awareness Month, it is quite fitting that we think about stress and it's effect on our daily lives. It has been said that not all stress is bad for you. For example, it can give you energy when things are stressing you. But too much stress or stress that lasts a long time can cause or worsen health problems. These include high blood pressure, fatigue, chronic pain, diabetes, anxiety and depression.

So what's stressing you out? It could be financial or legal trouble, more work with less time to do it, a new job or a job loss, daily chores (cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc), death of a loved one, recent or upcoming marriage, recent divorce or breakup, pregnancy, adoption or birth of a child or the myriad of things that influence our lives each day. When you are stressed you might eat too much or too little, smoke, drink alcohol or use other drugs, sleep too much or too little, feel anxious, irritable and quick tempered, or verbally lash out at other people. These are signs that you don't manage stress well.

    You can manage your stress by following these tips:
  • Accept what you cannot change. For example, if you get stressed out while stuck in traffic, tell yourself to stop because there is nothing you can do about this situation.

  • Focus on what you can change. Maybe leaving a few minutes early would eliminate being stuck in traffic.

  • Look on the bright side. Be positive by replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. Find some comic relief. Some ideas on how to get you to laugh include watching a funny movie or TV show, or reading a comic strip. Be grateful. Focusing on the good things in your life makes one feel better about any stressful situation.

  • Manage time well. Get up on time so you won't feel rushed as you start your day. Set priorities about what and when tasks need to be done. Making a to-do list helps a lot with this. Take breaks once in a while and you'll have more energy and be more efficient when you get back to whatever task is at hand. Break big jobs into small chunks. Get help. There is nothing wrong with having children do age-appropriate chores or having your spouse help shop or cook.

  • Eat a healthy diet. Limit your fats, cholesterol, salt and added sugars and make lean, low-fat or fat-free choices.

  • Get enough physical activity. Get at least 150 minutes of moderate activity each week and spread out your activity throughout the week.

  • Get enough sleep. Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep a night. If you have trouble going to sleep do something relaxing right before bed, like a hot bath or relaxation technique.



All of the above tips are great ways to reduce stress in your life. However, the most important tip is to get professional help, if needed. Your health care provider can offer information on exercise, nutrition and relaxation. For more information on stress and other mental health tips check out our website at: www.mentalhealthamericajc.net.




Contact Us

Laura Stahl
P.O. Box 51
Seymour, IN 47274
Phone: (812) 522-3480
Fax: (812) 524-8176
E-mail: mhajc@cabjackson.org