April is Stress Awareness Month. Could there be a better time to focus on stress awareness?
After the experience over the last two years, many of us have become all too familiar with the feeling of stress. As we become accustomed to feeling stressed, we may lose sight of the importance of addressing this feeling head-on.
First, we need to begin to recognize how stress presents itself for us individually. For some of us, we may experience sensations in our body related to stress (sore shoulders, headaches, stomach pains). Others may experience changes in sleep or appetite (insomnia, sleeping too much, eating an unhealthy diet or lack of appetite).
Additionally, stress can certainly show up in our emotional state, leaving us feeling anxious, depressed, or burned out.
Once we recognize that we are feeling stressed, it is time to develop a plan to alleviate that stress.
Below are five key tips to alleviating stress and improving our wellbeing.
- Get out in nature. Research shows that as little as 10 minutes in nature per day (even if it is looking at pictures online) can reduce our stress level.
- Make time to laugh. Laughter is proven to reduce the hormones associated with stress. Watch a funny movie, look at funny pictures, talk to a friend who makes you laugh, or check out laughter yoga.
- Get moving. Exercise (even low-impact walking) has a positive impact on stress levels.
- Practice gratitude. Take time each day to notice 2-3 things you can feel grateful for, even if they are small.
- Know when to get help. If feeling stressed is impacting your functioning, reach out for professional help. Northside Behavioral Health Services is here to support you. Please call 404-851-8960 for more information.
Learn more about behavioral health services at Northside.