Fact: Stress happens. And it can be caused by so many things happening in your life. From work and money to family and health, stress is on the rise for Americans. According to a Stress in America survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, 1 out of 5 Americans reports feeling extreme levels of stress and more than a third say that their stress has gone up in the past year.
Over the past decade, Doctor Howard Murad has also seen stress rising through his patients and refers to this stress as Cultural Stress – the stress of modern living. This type of stress is constant and reflects the society we live in today. So, how do you address it in a healthy and productive way?
The best way to manage stress is to be ready for it and have the ability to recognize it when it comes up. Do you have a particularly stressful week coming up at work? Are you going into a tense situation with family or friends? Be prepared with a couple tricks to fall back on, like going for a mid-day walk, using essential oils, and meditating. By preempting your stress and tackling it head on, you ultimately take control of your stress.
It’s scientifically proven that exercise helps reduce stress too. Whether it’s running or yoga, physical activity releases endorphins in your brain which are the hormones that fight stress. Doctor Murad calls this awakening your body and says that the best way to keep exercising is to find something you enjoy – try thinking outside the box and try new classes to explore all your options.
Consistently eating healthy nutritious meals and making sure you get enough sleep are imperative since stress can physically wear out your body. Water-rich fruits and vegetables will help to hydrate your body since stress has dehydrating effects on the body.
Stay positive. Stress feeds on stress. While it is easier said than done, try to focus on the good things in your life. Try Doctor Murad’s Inspirations app to simply read and reflect on one each day and kick-start your new approach.
This might seem like a tricky one, but try to stay objective about the source of your stress and whether or not it’s manageable. When it begins to affect your ability to focus on day-to-day tasks, then it may be time to reach out for additional support from a professional. With stress on the rise, the good news is that stress education is also on the rise and it is important to remember that you are not alone.