Concerns over finances and job security have made many Michiganians prime targets for stress.
A small amount of stress can have positive effects. It can be an effective motivator, for example. “But, prolonged stress could not only make you feel bad, it could literally make you sick,” says Hampton Mansion, D.O., a family medicine physician at Botsford Hospital. “Stress raises blood pressure and floods your system with hormones that magnify the risk for heart disease and other serious illnesses.”
Even if you’re not naturally calm, you can still reduce the many ill effects of stress. How?
Exercise regularly. Aerobic exercise reduces stress hormones, improves mood, boosts fitness and regulates weight.
Eat well and include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Cut back on alcohol and caffeine.
Get enough sleep. Fatigue magnifies stress.
Cultivate enjoyable personal activities.
Ask friends and relatives for needed support in difficult times and to be your partner in fun times, too.
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services offers an online tip sheet, “Getting through tough economic times,” at www.samhsa.gov/economy.