The first week of October is recognized as Mental Health Week, giving us the chance to evaluate how our mental health affects our overall health and wellness. This year’s theme is stress. Stress can come in all different shapes and forms, and can often go unnoticed. You may not even realize that stress is affecting your health. Stress can influence not only your body, but your mind, feelings, and behaviors too! So don’t let stress wreak havoc on your life. Learn how to control and manage stress symptoms before they cause more serious harm, like high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
There are several common effects that stress can have on your body:
- Headaches or migraines
- Muscle tension/pain
- Sleeping problems
- Chest pain
Stress can also cause individuals to indulge in unhealthy habits like overeating/undereating, having sudden and angry outbursts, and engaging in tobacco, drug and alcohol use. It’s also common to feel withdrawn from social activities and find yourself exercising less. Practicing stress management strategies can help ease your frustration and let you live a healthy and happy life.
There are several ways to go about controlling stress signals. Regular physical activity is a great way to relieve frustration. You could also try relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or getting a massage. Although stress can make you feel anti-social, it’s actually beneficial to push through and spend time socializing with family and friends. Try to avoid releasing stress by watching tv, surfing the web or playing video games – they may seem like stress relievers but they atually increase your stress over time.
Learning how to reduce your stress levels can not only improve the way you feel now, but is also beneficial to your health long-term. If you are unsure about what exactly is causing you stress or which stress management techniques you should try, speak with your healthcare provider. Community Care Physicians is available to give care and support to patients who need help managing their stress. Ask your primary care practitioner if you could benefit from meeting with one of our Behavioral Health Consultants. Our Behavioral Health Consultants are licensed mental health professionals who work with our practitioners to evaluate the mind-body-behavior connection and provide solution-focused interventions for our patients. If you’d like to learn more about this service, please speak with your CCP provider at your next appointment.
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