Stress Can Lead to Serious Health Issues, Both Physical and Mental
Stress is a natural part of life that everyone will experience in some way several points throughout their lives. It can appear in many different forms, and some of these are not inherently bad. The stress that comes with planning a wedding or working a job you love means that you care about what you do and are excited about the outcome. On the other hand, some stress is bad and is the result of negative actions or life events, such as getting laid off or losing a loved one. Regardless, experiencing stress is a normal part of life, both good and bad.
Every April, we celebrate Stress Awareness Month. Since stress is common, and everyone has some experience with this function, this month is a time that anyone can engage in. Stress is prevalent in the lives of most Americans. After all, the U.S. is one of the most stressed countries in the world. 55% of Americans reported feeling stress daily, putting the U.S. only four points behind the world leader Greece (59%) and 20 points over the world average (35%).
At Lifeworks Counseling Center, we understand that stress is a common feeling. We understand that not all forms of stress are good and can even be debilitating and affect your way of life. This April, we will be celebrating Stress Awareness Month by providing you with some essential facts about stress and ways that you can manage your own.
Stress by the Numbers
As we have previously stated, stress is incredibly common. 55% of Americans reported that they felt stressed at some point during the day. The American Institute of Stress has compiled a list of useful facts about stress and its effect on the lives of workers.
- Americans rate their stress levels at a 4.9 on a scale from 1-10
- 57% of respondents stated that their stress paralyzed them; alternatively, 43% of them stated that it invigorated them
- Women experience stress more than men
- A third of respondents admitted to visiting their doctor for stress-related symptoms in 2018
- 83% of US workers experience work-related stress
- In 2019, most American workers (94%) reported that they felt stress in the workplace
- 63% of American workers admitted to being ready to leave their job due to work-related stress
- 54% of workers reported that their home life was affected by work stress
- 66% of Americans experienced sleep deprivation because of stress
- 41% of workers say that their stress results in a loss of productivity
As you can see, stress impacts the lives of millions of Americans across the country. Not only are their professional lives affected, but so are their personal lives, too. Sleep deprivation is concerning, as sleep is vital to your overall health and mental health. Stress can even lead to increased health risks that threaten the lives of Americans.
Stress Awareness Month aims to shine some light on some of these statistics, as well as how dangerous stress can be if it goes unchecked. Lifeworks Counseling Center is here to help you manage your stress to ensure that your health and mental health are cared for.
Managing Your Stress
Even though stress can occur for numerous different reasons, you have plenty of options at your disposal that can easily help you manage your stress while keeping your mental health and overall health in check. This Stress Awareness Month, Lifeworks Counseling Center encourages you to practice these strategies to manage your stress.
We have spoken ad nauseam about the benefits of exercise when it comes to your health and well-being. Getting the recommended amount of exercise every day (roughly 30 minutes) can help you manage your symptoms. Exercise helps reduce your elevated blood pressure, which is a common symptom of stress. Exercise also provides you with a healthy outlet to channel your stress. Endorphins are released during exercise, which helps boost your happiness, not to mention that it also reduces the level of stress hormones, cortisol.
Improve Your Diet
Just as exercise is great for your body and mind, so is your diet. Your body requires a host of nutrients to ensure that it remains healthy. Plenty of foods contain nutrients that help combat stress naturally. It’s important to avoid stimulants like caffeine, cigarettes, and alcohol. While they may provide you with short-term relief, they increase stress, reduce your quality of sleep, and worsen the effect stress has on your body.
Get Healthy Sleep
As we mentioned earlier, sleep is vital to the health of your body and mind. When you don’t receive the recommended hours of sleep (7-9 hours for adults), your body can’t handle the stressors it interacts with, even if they are minor. This can lead to increased symptoms of anxiety and depression, as well. Having a healthy sleep schedule allows your body to deal with stress in a healthy.
Another great way to manage your stress is through meditation. Meditation helps you quiet your mind and give your body a sensation of calm. Fortunately, meditation is easy to do even if you have little to no experience doing so, and it only takes up a small part of your day.
Talk to Someone
Sometimes the best way to manage your stress is to simply talk through it. Doing so gives you an opportunity to vent your frustrations. You don’t even need to go to a professional. If a friend or family member is available, confide in them. Express how you are feeling and what is causing your stress. However, if you feel embarrassed to discuss your issues with your loved ones, speaking to a trained counselor like the ones at Lifeworks Counseling Center can help.
Stress Awareness Month is a time to spread awareness on just how prevalent stress is throughout the country. Over half of Americans express that they experience stress at least once a day. If you do suffer from stress, you are far from alone. This April, join Lifeworks Counseling Center in celebrating Stress Awareness Month. If you do suffer from stress and would like to discuss your problems, do not hesitate to contact us.