Breathe: Managing stress and its symptoms

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Stress can reach anyone, and it’s become a major health issue.

It’s not something people can see or take a pill to try to cure.

Stress has become so prevalent that it is considered a public health concern because the symptoms is can cause in its sufferers are very real.

“Strong emotions like fear, sadness or other symptoms of depression are normal, as long as they are temporary and don’t interfere with daily activities,” quotes the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “If these emotions last too long or cause other problems, it’s a different story.”

While the source of stress can (and mostly do) vary from person to person, steps can be taken to alleviate the symptoms of stress and limit the impact it can have on the sufferer.

What is stress?

Stress is a normal part of life.

When a person encounters a change in their life that calls for an adjustment or response, stress is the body’s response—a response that may manifest mentally, physically or emotionally.

The American Institute of Stress states that stress is difficult to define because its manifestations are extremely personal to its sufferer.

What does stress do to me?

Many sufferers may already be experiencing the symptoms of stress without even knowing it.

Stress can cause:

  • Headaches
  • Stomach pains
  • Chest pains
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Weight gain
  • Sadness/Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Low energy

Ways to relieve stress

While stress and its symptoms can reach a point of such severity that a sufferer should seek treatment from a physician, there are practices to relieve stress and the level of impact it can have on a person.
  • Exercise
  • Reduce/Limit caffeine intake
  • Socialize with friends/family/loved ones
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Maintain a healthy diet
  • Practice breathing exercises