April is stress awareness month

Stress comes in many forms whether it is good stress or bad stress; everyone has dealt with some sort of stress in their lifetime.

April is National stress Awareness month. Stress comes in many forms whether it is good stress or bad stress; everyone has dealt with some sort of stress in their lifetime. Stress is a reaction to a stimulation that disturbs our physical and mental equilibrium. Stress basically represents a threat to a person’s wellbeing, whether good or bad, that can be very complicated and confusing as it takes on different types.

There are many misconceptions about stress that, if better understood, can be addressed and tackled. You might think that stress is the same for everyone. This is untrue because what is highly stressful for one person may not be as stressful for another, as every person responds differently to stressors. Stress is not always bad. Knowing how to manage your stress can help us to be productive, but mismanaged stress can hurt us. For example, a balanced diet with physical activity gives the body what is needed to stay healthy, but too much unhealthy food and lack of physical activity can create health issues.

The most popular techniques for managing stress are not always the best ones. We are all different and react differently to different situations. A tailored stress management is most likely necessary for each individual. Because stress is everywhere, effective planning by setting priorities and working on simple problems first, and then going on to more complex situations after completing the first problems can help a person to not allow stress to overwhelm their life.

If a person does not exhibit symptoms that does not mean they are free of stress. If medications are masking the signals of stress, it can be a big strain on the physiological and psychological areas of a person. Stress can manifest in many different ways and someone who exhibits no symptoms but lives a high-stress lifestyle can suffer from sudden stroke or heart attacks. Even though the symptoms are silent, stress can also lead to high cholesterol and diabetes.

Keep in mind that it is not just the major symptoms of stress that may need attention. Minor symptoms such as headaches and stomach acid issues are easily ignored but can lead to bigger, more detrimental health problems. Visit the American Psychological Association  for more information on managing stress and contact your local Michigan State University Extension for stress management information and workshops.

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