April is International Stress Awareness Month

Stress kills. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), people with high levels of chronic stress are more likely to contribute to death by many causes including heart disease and stroke. It is also linked to major depression and other anxiety disorders. Stress has been around since the beginning of time, but as times have become more advanced and more complex (city life, work demands, constant communications via Internet and cell phones, COVID, etc.) stress has become more prominent and has been called an epidemic. Stress is a worldwide problem and that is why April has been designated as Stress Awareness Month across the globe.

If you are feeling the pressures of stress, the AHA has some “Stress Busters*” to help.

*Fight stress by focusing on your physical and mental health.

  • Get out of the house: Take a walk in nature and enjoy the sights and sounds.
  • Sleep tight: Set a regular bedtime and wakeup routine and turn off or dim electronic screens as bedtime approaches.
  • Use your network: Reach out and connect regularly with family and friends.
  • Put your mind to it: Explore mindfulness, a type of meditation that focuses your attention on your present experiences without interpretation or judgment.
  • Lean on a furry friend: Pets may help reduce physiological reactions to stress.
  • Work it out: Regular physical activity — a recommended 150 minutes of moderate activity, 75 minutes of vigorous activity, or a mix of both weekly — can relieve tension, anxiety and depression and give you an immediate exercise “high.”

For more tips on the mind-heart-body connection, visit heart.org/BeWell”

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