From home projects and work deadlines to family activities and responsibilities,
a full to-do list can leave anyone feeling stressed out — yes men,
that means you too.
It’s true that we need a certain level of short-term stress in our
lives as a motivator to accomplish tasks, solve problems and to help challenge
ourselves to produce change. However, long-term stress that is left unchecked
can escalate into many other health problems and reduce your quality of life.
“Stress can negatively impact almost every system in your body,”
said Dr. Jason Kihneman of
Catawba Valley Family Medicine – West Mountain View. “Over time stress can trigger a variety of health problems from
high blood pressure or heart disease, to diminish brain functioning and
decrease the immune systems ability to fight illnesses.” This is
why being able to identify signs of stress and knowing how to manage it
are an essential part of staying well.
Possible Signs & Symptoms of stress:
- back pain
- constipation or diarrhea
- difficulty concentrating
- high blood pressure
- problems with relationships
- shortness of breath
- stiff neck
- upset stomach
- weight gain or loss
6 Tips to Help Manage Stress
- Get moving – Believe it or not, exercising not only helps relieve
your tense muscles, but helps your mood too. Your body makes certain chemicals,
called endorphins, before and after you work out. They relieve stress
and improve your mood.
- Sleep – Sleeping is a great way to help both your body and mind.
Your stress could get worse if you don’t get enough sleep. You also
can’t fight off sickness as well when you sleep poorly. With enough
sleep, you can tackle your problems better and lower your risk for illness.
Try to get seven to nine hours of sleep every night.
- Eat right – Try to fuel up with fruits, vegetables and proteins.
- Talk to friends and family – Finding someone who will let you talk
freely about your problems and feelings without judging you does a world
of good. It also helps to hear a different point of view.
- Plan your time – Think ahead about how you’re going to spend
your time. Write a to-do list. Figure out what’s most important to do.
- Help others – Helping someone else can help you. Help your neighbor,
or volunteer in your community or local hospital.
Don’t deal with stress in unhealthy ways – this includes drinking
too much alcohol, using drugs, smoking or overeating. If you think you
are under stress, ask for help. Talk with your primary care provider about
the symptoms you are experiencing and together you can decide the best
way to manage your stress. To make an appointment with Dr. Kihneman at
Catawba Valley Family Medicine – West Mountain View located on 1940 Briarwood Drive, call 828.294.1116.