For many of us, stress is just a part of everyday life. But it’s important to remember that stress —when not managed properly — can be damaging, leading to insomnia and headaches, and contributing to high blood pressure or even heart disease.
To help keep your stress levels under control, Sanjiv Josh, MD, MPH, family medicine with ProMedica Physicians offers five tips for coping with stress:
1. Take deep breaths. Making an effort to breathe in a slow and gentle pattern can calm the automatic nervous system and make you feel more relaxed in times of stress.
2. Get plenty of sleep. Aim for 6-8 hours of sleep each night to restore your energy and help your body repair damage caused by stress.
3. Eat well-balanced meals. Sugary and fatty foods deplete your body of nutrients and can affect your mood negatively, making your stress levels increase.
4. Get moving with exercise. Even adding a little bit of movement to your day can boost your endorphins, clear your mind from stressful thoughts and improve your sleep.
5. Seek support when you notice a spike in stress. The stress you’re feeling is very real. Seek help from a friend, family member, supportive boss, counselor, or support group when it’s too much to handle on your own.
“These simple stress-reducers will help you stay happy and healthy, even during life’s most challenging moments,” says Dr. Josh.
If stress has you unable to sleep, work or carry on every day activities as usual, please call your primary care provider.