The term “to turn over a new leaf” is used to refer to making a new start, more specifically to describe changes in personal behavior that are made with the goal of being a better person or improving lifestyle. One way to make improvements this year is to learn how to better recognize and manage stress.

Stress is often caused by change. Even positive changes, like getting married or getting a job promotion, can be stressful. However, too much negative stress can become a serious problem. You may feel worried, angry, irritable or depressed. Stress can make it hard for you to maintain your focus on important tasks. And, it puts you at risk for physical ailments such as:

  • Headaches
  • Back pain
  • Problems sleeping
  • Upset stomach
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Tense muscles
  • Frequent or more serious colds

Long-term stress is a challenge, and is hard to avoid. Death of a loved one, chronic illness, divorce, caring for someone with a serious illness, work or money problems are some of the causes of long-term stress. When you’re faced with one or more of these difficult issues, you can manage your stress by:

  • Noticing when you feel stressed
  • Taking time to relax
  • Getting active
  • Eating healthy foods

It is OK to ask for help. Talk to family members and friends if you feel stressed. If your stress continues or worsens, consider talking to a mental health professional such as a psychologist or social worker. They can often help treat these conditions with talk therapy or medication.

Many people experience short-term stress from time to time. It can be caused by issues such as having an argument, or by experiencing lots of different little problems during the same day (your alarm clock doesn’t go off; you get stuck in traffic). Sometimes it all boils down to having too much to do in too little time. Preventing and managing chronic stress can help lower your risk for serious health issues like high blood pressure, heart problems, obesity and depression.

Stress can be prevented or reduced when you:

  • Plan ahead
  • Decide which tasks need to be done first
  • Prepare for stressful events

Hopefully these tips will help you to enjoy a healthy and stress-free new year.

Published | Category: News.