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'I’m stressed, you’re stressed, we’re all stressed! What’s the big deal?'

Stress can come from serious life events or even something as small as an argument with a friend or a traffic jam on your commute to work. Regardless of the reason, it is important we learn to deal with and process stress. When you repeatedly experience the fight or flight stress response in your daily life, it can raise blood pressure, suppress the immune system, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, speed up the aging process, and leave you vulnerable to a horde of mental and emotional problems. But not to worry, you have more control than you might think!

Below are five healthy ways to manage your stress!

  • 1. Move often. One 30-minute exercise session can generate up to 120 minutes of the relaxation response, not to mention it is also great for your heart!
  • 2. Focus on your breath. Closing your eyes and becoming aware of each in and out breath can stabilize your nervous system.
    3. Smile. A smile signals the brain that we’re happy about something. So sit back and think about what makes you happy, and smile about it!
    4. Take time for you. Whatever your favorite hobby is, schedule time for it! Whether it is baking, biking, gardening or reading, make sure you spend time doing it.
    5. Eat a healthy diet. It’s plain and simple; Well-nourished bodies are better prepared to cope with stress. Start your day with a healthy breakfast, reduce caffeine and sugar, and eat plenty of fresh vegetables.

You can manage your level of stress by focusing on your mind and body. Stress-free is the way to be! As a reminder, Novant Health employee assistance program (EAP) provides short-term counseling for team members. For more information on the services they provide, click here.

Posted on Monday, April 24, 2017
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