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Relax and Recognize Stress Awareness Month

Relax and Recognize Stress Awareness Month

Whether it’s positive or negative, stress has a profound way of seeping into our lives. While a little bit of stress might not make a huge impact, constant stress over a long period of time can have a significant effect on your health. In fact, stress has been linked to a wide range of health issues, including mood, sleep, appetite and even heart disease.

According to BioIQ, 77% of Americans experience physical symptoms as a result of stress. Additionally, 33% state they are living with extreme stress, while 48% blame stress for negatively impacting their personal and professional lives. No matter how you look at it, stress plays a major role in our lives. 

Because of this, the month of April has been recognized as National Stress Awareness Month since 1992. This month aims to increase awareness about stress, its negative effects and how to relieve it. If you’re experiencing stress, keep these ideas in mind for how to relax.

1. Meditate. This might seem confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. Meditation simply refers to the practice of slowing down and breathing deeply from your stomach. Take a short amount of time every day to calm your body and clear your mind. Focus on centering your thoughts on your breathing. Meditation has enormous benefits for reducing stress, and has even been linked to lessening the risk of heart disease. If sitting still is difficult, try including yoga or walking in your meditation practice.

2. Unplug. Nowadays, it’s practically impossible to get away from the constant stream of information, advertisements and media impacting our brains. All of this input can significantly affect our stress levels. Perhaps you feel overwhelmed by negative news, or feel the need to immediately respond to work emails or want to compare yourself to others on social media. Instead, take at least 10 to 15 minutes per day to unplug and be away from technology. Your stress levels will vastly reduce.

3. Sleep. There’s a reason sleep deprivation is considered a form of torture. A lack of sleep can increase anxiety and depression, making it difficult to deal stressful situations. If you feel continually stressed, check your sleeping schedule. Chances are things are pretty irregular. To establish a healthy sleeping routine, turn off all of your electronics at least 30 minutes before bed. Then, review your nighttime ritual, such as reading or meditating. This signals your brain that it’s time to relax and prepare for a restful night of sleep.

4. Exercise. Not only is exercise good for your physical health, but it can also benefit your mental health. Exercising gives you an outlet to relieve stress through. Rhythmic exercises such as walking, jogging and swimming have proven to be especially effective at reducing stress levels. To avoid stress from the beginning, aim for about 30 minutes of moderate activity per day, five days a week.

5. Eat. Even your diet can impact how your body absorbs and responds to stressful situations. Eating fresh, whole foods can keep your body energized and well-fueled, so you can respond to stress naturally. On the other hand, stimulants like caffeine, alcohol and nicotine tend to amplify stress, interfere with sleep and worse the effects on your body. If you want to reduce stress in your life, investigate the foods and drinks you consume.

6. Ask. Ultimately, if you find yourself constantly stressed without any apparent solution, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Lots of people experience stress, so there is no shame in recognizing a need for support. Talk with your friends and family about your experiences, or seek out guidance from a professional counselor. Not only will he or she provide a listening ear, but they will also have personal insight to help you better combat stress.

At one point or another, all of us experience stress. This is why the April was dedicated as Stress Awareness Month. This month, take time to focus on any stress you experience and consider how best to reduce it. Not only will you feel healthier mentally and physically, but your life will be impacted for the better.

Our Impact in 2018

January 1-December 31
  • CAPSA is a non-profit domestic violence, sexual abuse, and rape recovery center serving Cache County and the Bear Lake area.

  • YCC Family Crisis Center is a domestic violence shelter and rape crisis center provide services 24/7 to victims and their children.

  • Utah Legal Services (ULS) is a nonprofit law office incorporated in 1976 committed to making equal justice a reality by providing free legal help in non-criminal cases to low-income Utahns.

  • South Valley Services is a domestic violence service provider in West Jordan, Utah. We provide safe shelter and supportive services to women, men and their children who have been impacted by domestic violence.

  • Today, the YWCA is Utah’s most comprehensive provider of family violence services; our programs include walk-in services and a crisis line, emergency shelter, transitional housing, children’s programs, and a vast array of supportive services.

  • Established in 1990, Seekhaven assists survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault rebuild their lives. Serving Grand County and Southeastern Utah, Seekhaven provides a wide range of essential services including client advocacy, emergency shelter, and transition assistance.

  • Peace House is dedicated to ending family violence and abuse through education, outreach, support services, and safe housing.

  • New Hope Crisis Center has been serving Box Elder County for 30 years. Our mission is to provide all-inclusive, integrated, victim-centered services to stabilize and support individuals, families, and our community.

  • Founded in 1984, The Center for Women and Children in Crisis has been in continuous operation for 33 years. Our mission is to provide a caring, advocating, safe, and educationally based environment for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

  • Our organization advocates for victims of domestic violence, rape and sexual assault, and the homeless. Serving people in Sevier, Piute, Millard, Sanpete and Wayne counties of Utah.

  • The DOVE Center is the only area agency providing safe-shelter, crisis intervention, and prevention for clients who have been victimized by violence in their home – whether by a family member or cohabitant – that also serves victims of rape and sexual assault.

  • Founded in 1922, Legal Aid Society of Salt Lake is a non-profit organization that promotes safety, stability and self-sufficiency for low income families and individuals, as well as victims of domestic violence, through effective, efficient legal advocacy and assistance.

  • Canyon Creek Services provides free and confidential services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Iron, Beaver and Garfield Counties.

  • Valley Behavioral Health is a nonprofit network of clinics providing treatment for behavioral conditions, addictions, psychiatric conditions, autism and other chronic health conditions. We treat chronic lifelong conditions as well as temporary conditions triggered by traumatic life events. Our programs are tailored to people of all ages and every social, cultural and economic situation.

  • Preserve the heritage. Enhance the wellbeing. Strengthen the future of the People.

  • Our Mission: To help families of homicide victims receive hope, justice, and healing.

  • At Amethyst Center for Healing we are dedicated to helping individuals, families, and communities recover from trauma and abuse, so that we may all live peaceful, empowered lives.

  • Safe Harbor, a non-profit organization, provides shelter, supportive services and advocacy to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as education, awareness and resources to our community.

© 2019 Utah Domestic Violence Coalition

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