Since 1992 The Health Resource Network (HRN) has sponsored Stress Awareness Month in April, with National Stress Awareness Day observed on April 16th. Stress affects all of us, so take this time to learn how to identify your stressors and familiarize yourself with the tools for coping with stress. Kinds of Stress There are two forms of stress: acute and chronic. We all face acute stress each day - from the traffic on the way to work to the realization that you didn’t prepare for tonight’s dinner. Acute stress is highly treatable and manageable. Acute stress can even be exciting (remember your first roller coaster?). Stress initiates our fight or flight response, sending chemicals through our brains and bodies that help us react. For example, think about the last time you were in a car and someone cut you off. How did your body feel? What was your physical reaction? How about verbal reaction? This is stress triggering your fight or flight response. When stress becomes frequent and negative, it is known as chronic stress. This kind of stress takes a toll on our bodies. Chronic stress can raise blood pressure, increase heart rate, cause stomach problems and headaches, and the development of feelings of anger, anxiety, or depression. Eating habits may become poor, substance use may increase, and physical [...]
Some people who experience holiday sadness or depression have feelings that are triggered by the holidays but go away when the season ends, while others experience a more severe depression that is triggered during the holiday season and lasts well into the New Year. The holiday blues - feelings of anxiety or depression around the holidays - can lead to long-term mental health conditions. The National Alliance on Mental Illness shared tips for managing the Holiday Blues in this video:
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms: to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. Victor Frankl Have you noticed those upbeat people in your environment who never seem to let anything get them down? They seem to manage life’s stresses and challenges with a smile on their face and a skip in their step. No matter what lemons life seems to throw at them, they are still able to make lemonade. What is the quality that these people have and how can you start to cultivate it in your own life? The quality you are noticing is called optimism. Optimism is defined as a general inclination to anticipate positive outcomes in any given situation. An optimistic person expects things to turn out for the best. You can imagine how this kind of attitude immunizes one against the inevitable challenges encountered in any stressful situation. How we appraise a situation in determining the stress and/or anxiety the situation generates plays a key role. We generate negative or positive thoughts on a day-to-day basis based on how you appraise a situation. Often the experience of stress is based more in the perception of a situation as opposed to the subjective reality. So, if you see [...]
Domestic Violence Awareness Month happens in October, but every day of the year several thousands of people are experiencing harm in their relationships. Normally when people hear of domestic violence stories they think of a woman, scarred and bruised from being battered by a man. The image of a woman’s swollen face with a black eye and bloody lip is probably the first visual that forms in most minds when they imagine someone who has experienced domestic violence.