#livingwell – Dealing With Stress

— Written By

Woman working at computer who appears stressed

During difficult times, we can all become worn out from all the things around us. This can include what happens at work, home, or our world. In celebration of Extension Living Well Month, we will talk a little bit about stress, how it can impact your health, and the strategies to help with coping with being stressed out.

According to our friends at Penn State University Extension, Stress is the response your body has when facing any type of demand or threat to yourself and your environment. When your body perceives a danger or action, it can produce hormones like adrenaline in the body, to give you energy to be alert. Although some stress can be great to keep you alert and energize, with too many responses to stress, it can have a negative impact to your health.

Stress can come from situations that lead to a stress response. These are called stressors. Example of stressors can be handling a child’s suspension from school, managing financial debts, and being overloaded with deadlines at work. When someone deals with these stressors over a longer period of time, it can contribute to many health problems such as obesity, hypertension, and even heart disease.

There are some great ways to combat chronic stress that are simple to implement into your daily schedule. Here are a few ideas to improve upon chronic stress from Utah State University Extension and Penn State University Extension.

  • Keep yourself organized. Make sure to record tasks you have to complete based on priority. Having a to-do list can be very beneficial and prevents your work from piling up, causing you to feel stressed out!
  • Get in physical activity. Moving and getting in exercise can be very beneficial towards your mental health. Activity can also release your chemicals in your body that make you feel strong and good.
  • Eat healthier. Make sure to have a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, grains and protein to keep your body running optimally. Some foods can help with brain and nervous system functions based on their nutrients. This can help with your body combatting stress.
  • Relax. Make sure you are getting a good night’s rest. You should aim for around 8 hours of sleep.
  • Do something fun! Taking a break from is a great way to get yourself centered to complete a tasks that can be stressful. Some things you can do when taking a break can be reading your favorite book, watching an episode of a tv show, or picking up a hobby to practice for a short moment each time.

Remember, stress is a natural thing that can occur in our lives that can bring us down sometimes. But when we manage it by following simple tips, we are able to feel better, and accomplish anything everyday!

References:

“Why Stress Management Strategies Work” – Ask an Expert – Utah State University Extension

“De-stress For Health” – Penn State University