You are not alone. And the Holiday Season can be an especially stressful time for many with added financial strain, grief and sadness over those we have loved and lost, and overwhelming, over-commitments.
According to the 2014 annual Stress in America™ survey by the American Psychological Association (APA) the Top 4 sources of stress are –
Money, Work, Family Responsibilities, and Health Concerns.
The APA study also found –
- 72% of Americans reported feeling stressed about money at least some of the time during the past month.
- 22% said that they experienced extreme stress about money during the past month
- Parents, younger generations and lower-income households (less than $50,000.00 annual income) have higher stress than others overall
- Some people are putting their health care needs on hold because of financial concerns.
- Stress about money impacts relationships
- 22% say they are not doing enough to manage their stress.
- American stress levels have been trending down since the annual survey first began in 2007, but still “higher than healthy levels.”
Here’s Some Good News –
- Americans who have some emotional support report lower stress levels
- Help is Available!
If you are experiencing negative stress in your life, or feel overwhelmed by stress seek help! Talk to your doctor. Ask about professional counseling. Look into resources in the community. Talk to family and friends for emotional support.
Remember – You are not alone! Stress is a normal and unavoidable part of life. Some stress is even considered positive, such as the stress that motivates us to accomplish a task. But too much negative stress can negatively affect your emotional and physical health and wellbeing. Especially when it occurs on a daily basis.
Stress Response – The response to stress can be physical and emotional tension, pain, lowered immune response, and inflammation. Chronic stress can lead to chronic disease including high blood pressure, endocrine, metabolic, autoimmune, and mental health disorders.
RELAX and DE-STRESS – The opposite of the stress response is the relaxation response. Methods to relax and de-stress include: acupuncture, art therapy, deep breathing, exercise, hypnosis, laughter/humor, massage, mindfulness, meditation, music and dance, reading, reiki, tai chi, and yoga. Consider incorporating complementary and integrative therapies into your ‘wellness care plan.’ Learn techniques that you can incorporate daily for ‘best results.’
REMEMBER to BREATHE. When stressed, people often breathe more shallow or even hold their breath. Breathing relaxation techniques are simple to learn, fast and effective to use, and available 24/7.
WALK or DRIVE by the OCEAN. Views of the water can change your psychology and physiology. Just ask Joey who is lucky to enjoy the View from the Dock every day! Take a drive along BackShore Gloucester or walk Good Harbor or Singing Beach and you will a relief of tension and experience your blood pressure lowering.
Lucky to Live on Cape Ann!