April is National Stress Awareness Month

I'm sure right about now you are thinking,
"I'm totally aware I have stress, I don't need some article to tell me that."

woman hunched over frustrated and stressed

Now your mind is wandering to at least 5 things that are stressing you out right now, for instance that stack of bills on the kitchen counter, the unfinished report on your desk at work, the talk you have been putting off with your partner, or the list of things you have to do before the kids get home and you need to run them to baseball, soccer or dance lessons, not to mention fix dinner.

The truth is all those things are stressful for many. Even good things in our lives like new friends, a new relationship, a new baby and a new promotion can be stressful, even though they're what you want.

The funny thing is, "If you were to ask a dozen people to define stress, or explain what causes stress for them, or how stress affects them, you would likely get 12 different answers to each of these requests. The reason for that is there is no definition of stress that everyone agrees on. What is stressful for one person, may be pleasurable or have little effect on others. We all react to stress differently." Dr. Mike Evans

Some experience headaches, chest pain, fatigue, some may become angry or anxious; others may have problems sleeping or focusing, and still others may experience depression and social withdrawal.

Always remember, what you think is stress symptoms, could be a symptom of a more serious condition, so heed the advice of www.mayoclinic.org when they recommend, "If you're not sure if stress is the cause or if you've taken steps to control your stress but your symptoms continue, see your doctor. Your doctor may want to check for other potential causes. Also, if you have chest pain, especially if it occurs durring physical activity or is accompanied by shortness of breath, sweating, dizziness, nausea, or pain radiating into your shoulder and arm, get emergency help immediatedly. These may be warning signs of a heart attack and not simply stress symptoms.

So, you're aware you have stress, you're aware you have been or are experiencing some of the feelings described above. Now what do you do with this awareness?

According to www.mayoclinic.org, "If you have stress symptoms, taking steps to manage your stress can have numerous health benefits. Explore stress management strategies, such as: physical activity, relaxation techniques, meditation, yoga and/or Tai Chi. And be sure to get plenty of sleep, eat a balanced diet and avoid tobacco use and excess caffeine and alcohol intake."

Another very important factor in managing stress is mindfulness. You can't control what happens to you, you can only control how you respond. So be mindful and remember what Dr. William James said, "Our greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another." Additionally, Dr. Mike Evans added, "Let go of distractions and be in the moment, let go of worry so you don't get trapped in anxious loops, and choose where to place your attention."

For additional help with mindfulness, meditation, relaxation techniques and getting plenty of sleep, remember to check out www.SleepPhones.com to purchase SleepPhones, cd's and free mp3 downloads.

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