By Alena Walrath, PTA
If you are in a constant state of stress, you may not realize the effects stress can have on your mind and body. Prolonged periods of high-stress levels can lead to numerous side effects, including high blood pressure, back and neck pain, a compromised immune system, headaches, and difficulty sleeping, to name just a few. On top of that, if you are recovering from an injury, stress can increase healing time by 25% or more.
So what can you do to deal with stress? Exercising regularly is a great way to cope with stress. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem.” Even if you feel like you don’t have time to exercise, make it a priority because the benefits are worth it.
In addition to exercise, here are some other ideas of ways to manage stress:
· Make sure you are eating well and getting enough sleep
· Go for a walk and get some fresh air
· Have a conversation with someone you know and trust
· Improve your efficiency by working on your time management skills
· Don’t be afraid to say “no” to things that cause stress
· Schedule time to relax
Whether your stress is caused by work, illness, injury, strained relationships, or any number of life changes, don’t leave high-stress levels unchecked. Take a deep breath and relax.