Keep Your Stress in Check

Shvetali Thatte
Updated 7/10/2018 10:13 AM

A coffee spill, bad hair, and a broken down car -- the perfect recipe for a bad day. Whatever the reason may be, we've all had and are bound to have these kind of days.

Most of these bad days are attributed to a variety of causes including work-related stress, a lack of sleep, illness, and financial worries.

While stress is inevitable, the Stress in America poll by the American Psychology Association has found that the US is experiencing its highest stress level yet.

In a majority of cases, the stressors have been seen to manifest in mental disorders as well. The National Institute of Mental Health finds that the United States has the highest record for the number of citizens facing mental health conditions.

Fortunately, there are ways to manage these stressors. Dr. Victoria Priola, a psychologist at Advocate Condell Medical Center, Libertyville, Ill., explains how in her experience, "most patients benefit from learning how to both, identify and communicate their source of stress, and then developing strategies to address it."

In Dr. Priola's opinion, if stress triggers changes in typical behavior or lifestyle, such as causing problems with sleep or appetite, it can be worthwhile to consult a professional.

"Psychotherapy can be a very effective tool for learning how to prepare for and manage current stress as well as prevent it in the future. In some cases, anxiolytics or mood stabilizers may also be given," says Dr. Priola.

Learning to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy stress is critical to proper mental health. If stress is impairing your overall ability to function, it's best to start taking measures to cope with it.

Dr. Priola reminds everyone that self-care is the best antidote to stress. She offers the following tips to help create a more balanced lifestyle:

1. Set good boundaries

2. Eat sensibly

3. Get enough sleep

4. Make time for leisure

Remember, stress may loom in the future, but proper management techniques can help keep it from turning your good days into bad ones.

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