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The Impact of Stress

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

Stress is the body's reaction to tense situations. Stress can be influenced by self-care matters such as diet and exercise, and organizational issues such as time management. Constant stress can result in permanent mental and/or physical harm.

Although some stress keeps you mentally challenged, long-term, or chronic, stress will eventually harm you in one way or another. Stress-related losses and costs are very high. According to the World Health Organization, stress costs U.S. businesses more than $300 billion dollars per year. While not all stress is completely within your control, working to keep stress levels at a minimum benefits everyone.  

Ignoring stress does not make it go away. Being aware of what causes your stress helps you change how it will affect you.  There are several common strategies to help relieve stress, including diet and exercise.  A healthy body leads to a healthy mind. 

Consistently eating a balanced diet - carbohydrates, fats, and proteins - and not skipping any meals is extremely beneficial. Along with a balanced diet, exercise is essential. When you exercise, your body produces endorphins, which are chemicals that make you feel good. These endorphins help improve your mood, increase sleep, and reduce depression and anxiety. You don't need to join a gym or lift weights, all you need is a consistent exercise plan that keeps your body moving. There are very simple ways to increase physical activity, including using the stairs instead of taking the elevator or parking your car a little farther away from the building to increase your walking distance. Exercising for just 10 minutes several times a day will increase energy and improve your health.

A lack of sleep is also a big contributor to stress. Sleep deprivation contributes to obesity, depression, and other chronic diseases. If you are not consistently waking up refreshed, you are most likely sleep deprived. While everyone is different, the Center for Disease control recommends adults receive, on average, 7-9 hours of sleep per night. You can take small steps to gradually change change your sleep pattern Begin going to bed earlier, limit caffeine intake prior to bedtime, and sleep in a quiet, dark place (without the TV). Also, watch your alcohol intake. Alcohol is a stimulant the can cause mood swings and interrupted sleep patterns.  When you're able to consistently wake up on time, feeling refreshed, you're body is most likely getting the sleep it needs. When your body gets enough sleep you will notice a remarkable difference in your energy and stress levels.

Stay tuned for more tips and tricks an reducing stress.

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