National Stress Awareness Day: Ways to manage & signs your stress may be too much

Posted at 12:01 PM, Nov 03, 2021

(WXYZ) — It's normal to be stressed. The human body is actually designed to experience stress and react to it. But when that stress begins to take a toll on your body, doctors say stress management is important.

That's because long-term stress can cause wear and tear on the body creating physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, physical symptoms of stress include:

  • Aches, pains, chest pains
  • A racing heart
  • Exhaustion or trouble sleeping
  • Headaches, dizziness, or shaking
  • High blood pressure
  • A weak immune system
  • Stomach or digestive problems.

They say it can also lead to emotional and mental symptoms like:

  • Anxiety or irritability
  • Depression
  • Panic attacks
  • Sadness

Most people try to deal with chronic stress in unhealthy ways the Cleveland Clinic says. Taking to things like drugs and alcohol to cope. Others abusing food, gambling, or shopping excessively to deal.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, there are healthier ways to manage stress every day. Those include:

  • Exercising, if even just a brief walk
  • Yoga or daily breathing exercises 
  • Focusing on what you did instead of what you have not done yet
  • Saying "no" to additional responsibilities when you are too busy or stressed
  • Lighting a scented candle 
  • Enjoying a soothing bath 
  • Practicing mindfulness 
  • Journaling
  • Get quality sleep, at least 7 to 9 hours each night

According to the Cleveland Clinic, taking that time for yourself will drastically decrease the stress you are experiencing.

But they say if you continue to feel overwhelmed and or use drugs or alcohol to cope, reach out to your doctors so they can offer advice, prescribe medicine, or refer you to a therapist.