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It’s no surprise that stress can affect your health, but you may not be aware of the true toll stress has on your health and happiness. Did you know that stress increases your risk of heart disease by 40%, your risk of heart attack by 25%, and your risk of stroke by 50%? [1]

Stress comes from all sorts of sources. For some, stress may be job-related. For others, stress may be due to an illness, family strife (e.g., divorce), or something else altogether. And while we may be unable to eliminate stress from our lives completely, you can do things that help decrease stress, or allow your body to better manage it.

Here at Horizon Family Medical Group, we’ve listed 4 ideas to help you manage or decrease stress in your day-to-day life.

  1. Take time every day to do something you like to do. For example, if you’re a music fan, take 5-10 minutes to quietly listen to your favorite music without interruptions. If you love to read, take a 30 minute lunch break and escape into a book. Whatever your thing is, make time to do it. It will help you get your mind off your stressors and onto something more enjoyable.
  2. Get some exercise. Exercise has long been one of the best ways to reduce your feelings of stress. It doesn’t even have to be a lot, or an intense workout. Something is better than nothing. Take your lunch break walking around your building, or go for a quick walk after dinner. Just get out and get moving. [2]
  3. Just say no. We know you’re an overachiever. You’re juggling a million things between work and family, and yet there’s always one more thing vying for your attention. Don’t be Wonder Woman or Superman. Say no to the things that will only add more stress to your plate. Sit down and determine how much time you have for everything, and then cap it at that. Don’t become a prisoner of your own design.
  4. Eat and sleep well. People who are stressed sometimes eat poorly, which in the long run, can make your problems worse. You should also strive for consistent sleep hygiene. That is, try to get the same amount of sleep every night, going to bed and getting up at consistent times. Not only will it help your sleep patterns, but people who are well-rested are better able to handle stress. [3]

If you’re feeling overly stressed and need some help, talk to your healthcare provider here at Horizon Family Medical Group. We can help.

Additional Information

The American Psychological Association has some great information you may want to check out, including this wonderful infographic:

Resources

  1. http://www.stress.org/stress-is-killing-you/
  2. http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/10-ways-to-relieve-stress#9
  3. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001942.htm
  4. http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2013-sia-Snapshot-Infographic-1024.jpg
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