NDSU Extension - Sargent County

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Stress is Part of Life

StressStress.  Not all of it is bad.  Good stress can actually inspire us and motivate us in certain situations.  However, when we perceive a situation as being unstopping, and fail to manage it in positive ways, we experience chronic stress. 

Chronic stress can negatively impact our physical and mental health.  It can lead to high blood pressure, heart attacks, headaches, back pain, ulcers, and a weakened immune system.  Turning to alcohol, tobacco, or drugs in an effort to relieve or escape stress can lead to addictions that actually cause more stress. 

The key is to manage stress so that we don’t experience the negative effects of chronic stress.

Practicing healthy lifestyle behaviors can help us cope with stress. 

Nutrition:  Limiting caffeine, monosodium glutamate (MSG), sugar, and saturated fats can be helpful because those foods induce stress. 

Physical Exercise:  Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise four or more days a week is a great stress-buster and promotes well-being in general.

Sleep:  Sleeping seven to nine hours each night goes a long way to keeping our life in balance.

Other personalized strategies can also help reduce and manage stress in positive ways.  Some of the options include learning relaxation techniques, making time for having fun in tobacco-free, alcohol-free, and drug-free ways, sharing your concerns with a close, trusted friend or counselor, creating a quiet place and time for yourself, focusing on important relationships, and seeking education or counseling for issues that cause the stress. 

To learn more, read the brochure, “Manage Stress for Better Health” online at https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/yf/fitness/fs1730.pdf, or call 724-3355, ext. 5 to request a copy of it from the Extension Office.

PHOTO CREDIT:  https://pixabay.com/en/despair-stress-alone-being-alone-862349/  (Downloaded 2-22-16)

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