Stress Awareness Month and Ways to Reduce Excess Stress

Catherine Cowlin

Wellness Writer

April is Stress Awareness Month and with finals and graduation coming up, stress is one emotion that we can all relate to. It is important to realize the risks that excess stress can place on your body and to know ways to combat stress.

Although, it is important to know that stress in itself is not a bad thing. It can force us to be more conscious of our surroundings or even push us to achieve our personal goals. It’s when stress becomes near constant, or chronic that it becomes dangerous. Chronic stress has been linked to insomnia, depression, anxiety, hypertension and increased risk of Type 2 diabetes.

The good news is that there are several easy ways to combat stress. Staying active is one key way to fight off excess stress. Whether you walk, swim, do yoga, or engage in any physical activity, all of these can alleviate stress.

Meditation is another form that helps people relax and stay centered. There are many guided imagery apps available for free on the app marketplace to help. Being surrounded by loved ones in a laid-back environment also helps to relieve stress. Other things like spending time with pets can lower blood pressure.

Getting regular amounts of sleep and eating regular meals are absolute necessities but also help at fighting off stress. Eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is one specific method when it comes to diet. If these steps do not reduce your stress or you are in need of help, please reach out to your advisor, school counselor, religious leader or healthcare provider. There are always resources available to help support you.