April Is Stress Awareness Month

Are you feeling more stressed than you used to? If so, join the club. In many cases, it’s the result of a combination of factors. Including the pandemic, inflation, extreme weather events, war and crime.

“We are facing a national mental health crisis that could yield serious health and social consequences for years to come.” That’s according to the American Psychological Association (APA).

The APA has conducted an annual “Stress in America” survey since 2007. It measures the sources of stress. As well as its intensity. And how people are responding to stressors. 

Not surprisingly, it determined that Americans feel more stress than ever before.

Stressors Affect Body and Mind

The survey determined that Americans have been “profoundly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

And that the “external factors that Americans have listed in previous years as significant sources of stress remain present and problematic.”

Among those previous stressors were personal finances, job responsibilities and relationships. Plus political conflict, crime and violence. As well as racial issues and the future of our country. 

The APA goes on to say this. The combination of these stressors is having “real consequences on our minds and bodies.” 

Stress Can Have Long-term Consequences

In 1992, April was selected as Stress Awareness Month. It’s a month in which healthcare professionals and health promotion experts join forces.

Their goal is to increase public awareness of the causes. And offer ways to deal with the modern stress epidemic. 

They inform people about the dangers of stress. And warn of harmful misconceptions and offer coping strategies.

Now, there is no single definition for stress. Mainly because it affects people for different reasons in different ways. But we all know what it feels like.

Physical Issues Abound 

The American Institute of Stress defines stress this way. It’s a physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension. Sometimes it’s all three. The physical results of stress – especially long-term stress – are not pretty. 

They can involve everything from headaches to stomach disorders. And a weakened immune system. Plus high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease. Stress can also affect our digestive, muscular and reproductive systems. Why does this happen?

When we face stressful situations, stress hormones rush into our bloodstream. The hypothalamus in the brain issues the order. These hormones increase our heart rate, blood pressure and glucose levels.

These increases can help us in a fight or flight situation. But when we experience this adrenaline rush for extended periods of time, it can be dangerous. We can become susceptible to these physical problems.

Emotional and Mental Stress 

Not only is April Stress Awareness Month, but today is World Health Day. Designated as such by the World Health Organization, this year’s theme is “Our Planet, Our Health.”

In addition to the physical effects of stress, we have emotional and mental issues. Alexandra Lo Rey is a New York-based clinical social worker.

“If there is a silver lining to be found… in the COVID-19 crisis,” she said, “it is the focus on the importance of our mental health.” She suggests getting ahead of emotional stress by seeking care early in the process.  

Stress can wear people down to the point where they become depressed. And that can lead to insomnia. Other emotional and mental symptoms of ongoing stress include irritability and anxiety.

What often follows are unhealthy behaviors in an attempt to combat stress. These include overeating or not eating enough. Also, social withdrawal and alcohol or drug abuse.

Specific Suggestions

Following are three recommendations for dealing with stress:

Eat healthy and exercise regularly. Exercise lowers your body’s stress hormones and can improve sleep quality.

Take time for meditation. Some meditate on Bible passages, others on relaxation techniques. Some practice yoga. Deep breathing exercises can lead to calmer feelings.

Laugh often. Laughter releases endorphins that promote a sense of wellbeing. It triggers healthy physical and emotional changes that strengthen your immune system and boost mood.

Brand New Foot Massager

Often when I conclude a communication with a product mention, it’s one you’re familiar with. Today I want to tell you about something you’ve probably never seen before.

It’s the SpaPro Rejuvenating At-Home Foot Massager.

Now, that’s a mouthful. But I don’t want to be accused of putting my foot in my mouth. So here’s a simple explanation about this practical and effective product.

If you’re like me, your feet feel pretty good in the morning. By afternoon, they’re starting to tire. And by evening… well, they’re often sore and need a break. Getting off your feet helps, but not enough.

Easy, Versatile and Good for You

It’s time for a simple yet profound feel-good rejuvenation. And that’s what this incredible device provides for your feet. The powerful shiatsu massage nodes dig deep where your feet need it most.

The relaxing heat and strong compression then help you – and your feet – de-stress after a long day. It’s so easy – the buttons are right there on your SpaPro. So you don’t have to worry about misplacing a small remote. 

And it’s lightweight – only 8.3 pounds – and comes with five intensity levels and three massage modes. Not only does the SpaPro feel good, it’s good for you. It can increase blood flow in your feet by activating blood cells. That boosts circulation.

Don’t get cold feet when it comes to acquiring something that will help the two body parts that keep you standing tall all day. Here’s how to order yours…  

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