Stress Awareness Month

Since 1992, April has been used to increase awareness regarding the causes and remedies to handle stress. Often stress makes you feel like you are drowning in quicksand and every time you try to break free from the stress, it swallows you up again. Until we can address our stress complications and establish better ways to handle the stress, it will continue to be a vicious and never-ending cycle.

Stress does not discriminate and creates so many further problems. With everything going on around the world, the level of stress is increasing at a rapid speed. Over the past five years, American’s who ensure moderate stress reported an increase of 44%. Since the pandemic began more than a year ago, stress has increased by 55%. These numbers are staggering, and we need to work together to find a way to reduce stress, especially for things we have no control over.

What Is Stress?

Stress for some people is not as simple as a slight predicament but it is a daily debilitating battle that is extremely consuming. Stress is something that affects everyone in different ways. It depends heavily on the situational factors involved. Stress is a broad topic, but it can be further explained in the following five categories.

1, Acute Time-Limited Stressors refers to situations such as public speaking or mental arithmetic.

2. Brief Naturalistic Stressors may be real, short-term challenges such as an exam or interviews.

3. Stressful Events Sequences are stresses that take place and continue to give way to stress in the future. This might revolve around a specific event, such as the loss of a relationship or a natural disaster.

4. Chronic Stressors result from ongoing and everyday situations affecting or having the chance to influence an individual’s body, mind, family, or community.

5. Distant Stressors refer to traumatic experiences that occurred in the past but still have the potential to continue effecting the immune system function due to the long-lasting cognitive and emotional repercussions. A few examples include child abuse, combat trauma, witnessing a brutal crime, or an accident.

Stress is a struggle to deal with and can also be extremely dangerous. There are numerous effects stress creates and each should not be ignored but handled promptly. The following are a few of the effects of stress:

Cognitive/memory problems include poor judgment, inability to concentrate, brain fog, indecisiveness, start numerous tasks and not achieve much, and self-doubt.

Emotional troubles include moodiness, irritability, panic, fatalistic, cynicism, anxiety, frustration, and the feeling of being overwhelmed. Chronic stress wears you down emotionally, which is what leads to an increased risk of depression.

Physical issues include fast heartbeat, aches and pains, reoccurring colds, skin conditions, indigestion, and high blood pressure. Also, may have intensified headaches and tension. Long-term stress weakens your immune system defenses, leaving you vulnerable to illness, infections, viruses, etc. And escalated risks of a heart attack due to increased heart rate and high blood pressure which is damaging the arteries. The muscles that assist with breathing can tense when stressed, which may lead to shortness of breath,

Behavioral issues include isolating yourself, sleeping too much or too little, feeling unmotivated, and a loss of sense of humor. Stress can make it challenging to fall asleep and stay asleep leading to insomnia.

Stress awareness is only in April, but so many people, including myself, live with stress issues all year. Instead of only paying attention and raising awareness to stress in April, maybe we should try to focus on a few ways to observe stress year-round. The following three ideas might help us all!

1. Utilize meditation practices. To manage stress effectively, we sometimes must silence our minds. I find this exceedingly difficult because my mind is always going in a million different directions. Meditation is a very well-known and common way to achieve this goal. One of our fellow bloggers, Bella at https://thoughtsnlifeblog.com/ has shared some fabulous information regarding easy ways to meditate. If you have not already visited her site, you should check her out and you will find great information. She is also very understanding and helpful and responds quickly to messages!

2. Develop an exercise regimen. I will be the first to admit that I do not do much exercise. Honestly, the only exercise I get is walking up and down the stairs multiple times a day. As you already know, I work from home and the home office is set up in the finished part of the basement. This might not be considered exercise, but right now it is all I do. This in no way shape or form means you need to join a gym, but this only needs to be a short or long walk outside enjoying the fresh air or other simple exercises that do not put too much harsh impact on your legs or back.

3. Schedule an appointment with your doctor. Try to not wait until your stress gets too out of control and dominants your life before getting the needed help. Your doctor should have the most knowledge and advice to help you discover a stress-free lifestyle. One simple phone call to schedule an appointment is the first step!

4 Most Know Stress Facts

1. The National Institute of Mental Health has suggested that at times stress can be beneficial. Stress can motivate people to be more prepared. It is a catch 22 because of the pros and cons there are with stress.

2. Stress can literally make you sick. Those that susceptible to chronic stress are also prone to a variety of ailments, such as headaches, insomnia, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

3. The American Psychological Association discovered the five most common sources of stress are money, work, family, economic outlook, and relationships.

4. WalletHub shared a report regarding stress. These findings indicated the three most stressed-out states in America are Louisiana, New Mexico, and West Virginia. The three states in America with the least amount of stress are Minnesota, North Dakota, and Utah.

Unfortunately, we all face different types of stress during our life, and we do not always have control over certain types of stress. However, we can learn how to conquer the circumstances we cannot change. While dealing with times like this, the Federal Occupational Health suggests changing your technique to the situations. You can try this simply by the following:

1. Acknowledge when you do not have control and let it go

2. Avoid becoming anxious regarding things you are unable to change

3. Focus on something that keeps you calm and maintain control of how you react

Managing stress can be challenging considering sometimes it seems like an endless battle. I can and will fully admit that I do not always deal with stress in the best and most effective way, but over the years I have become somewhat better and partially because I know the massive issues stress and Multiple Sclerosis cause. I found some useful ideas the CDC offered to assist with dealing with stress.

1. Take care of yourself by eating healthy, exercising regularly, get adequate sleep, and give yourself a break when you feel stressed.

2. Discuss your problems with someone you can trust, such as a parent, friend, or someone else you feel comfortable confiding in.

3. Avoid drugs and alcohol

4. Recognize when you need help and when you need to talk to a psychologist, social worker, or counselor.

Thank you for reading this post I hope the information in this post was helpful for you and will help you find ways to a stress-free life! We have all heard that stress is a silent killer, so it is crucial for anyone that has massive amount of stress to find ways to get it under better control. If you have any other advice for those battling stress, please let us know! I promise to respond to all comments as fast as I possibly can.

I think it is important to have an outlet in life, which is one reason I love to write. I hope you have a great day and please continue to stay safe because COVID is still a problem. Of course, many people have received the vaccine, but know there are other variants to COVID that keep popping up! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

13 thoughts on “Stress Awareness Month

    • Thank you so much! With everything that is going on in the states, we have to be ruthless with controlling stress. I ignore most things, especially because my husband watches the news way too much! I would love to learn how to knit, I only know how to crochet. I am sure there are plenty of YouTube videos showing how to knit:)

      Liked by 1 person

      • There are. It is a learning curve for sure, especially if you crochet, because you are hooking the yarn through a loop… without the hook!… and it can be frustrating. Once you are there, though, it is much more meditative and great for stress relief.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I will probably try to learn this at some point, but really do not want to get too frustrated. I am good with crocheting, so it can’t be too hard to learn. Actually it might be really hard to learn!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I learned both as a child and I was taught to knit Continental which means that you hold the yarn in your left hand and pull yarn through the loop on the needle with your right hand. You don’t throw the yarn around the needle like people who knit the English way do. It is soooo much easier if you have been crocheting with the yarn in your left and the hook in your right. My other advice is to use bamboo needles and a light colored yarn.

        Liked by 1 person

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