Coping with Stress
Your inability to cope with stress can wreck havoc with your mind and body. It can lead to:
- Anger, tension and irritability
- Lack of motivation
- Heavy drinking of alcohol
- Loss of appetite or overeating
- Upset stomach
- Feeling out of control
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- High blood pressure and high cholesterol levels that lead to heart disease
Sources: Centers for Disease Control, and the American Heart Association
Stress can also contribute to erectile dysfunction, infertility, and prostate cancer.
Are you more focused on getting a date? One study suggests that stress is linked to decreased facial attractiveness in men. How much incentive do you need?
The American Psychological Association reports that 42 percent of men are stressed, and 16 percent have “extreme stress.”
The biggest causes:
- The economy
- Family responsibilities
- Family health problems
- Personal health concerns
- Job stability
- Ability to pay your mortgage or rent
- Personal safety
What Happens When You’re Stressed Out
Not all stress is bad. That pending deadline can make you more focused and can actually help you get things done. But when a stressful situation becomes overwhelming, you’ll notice:
- A faster heart rate
- Skipped heart beats
- Rapid breathing
- Dry mouth
- A need to go to the bathroom more often
- Problems swallowing
Here are some tips from the American Psychological Association and the National Institutes of Health that can help you reduce stress:
- Address the specific causes of your stress. If you feel stressed out over a big project, try breaking it down into incremental chunks and establish a reasonable timeline to accomplish it. That might mean delegating certain tasks to spread the workload. List all your commitments, prioritize them and then eliminate non-essential tasks that don’t help you achieve your goals.
- Build stronger relationships. Friends or relatives can offer fresh ideas and support to help reduce stress. So don’t be afraid to solicit solutions from others. If you’re having problems with your wife or girlfriend, open up and talk it through. Need some help? Bellin Health offers couples therapy.
- Walk away when you're angry. When something really bothers you don’t take your hostilities out on others. You not only hurt them, you hurt yourself. Pause. Walk away. Regroup. Think about a more reasonable way to resolve differences.
- Fruits and vegetables improve your health and well-being.
- Blow off steam: Running, cycling, tennis, golf, hiking, walking or other types of exercise increases the production of endorphins, your body’s natural mood-booster. Regular exercise is also an excellent diversion from work. It’ll clear your mind and increase your energy. Need some guidance or a place to work out? Check out Bellin Fitness.
- Get some sleep. Stress keeps more than 40 percent of adults lying awake at night and studies show you need seven or eight hours of sleep each night. Cut back on caffeine, which is in coffee, tea and soft drinks. Listen to music. Go to bed at the same time each night, and implement the other stress relieving tips you just read about. You’ll be nodding off in no time.
Call a Bellin Health Primary Care Physician
Bellin Health offers plenty of solutions to ease your stress. You can get the guidance you need from a Bellin primary care physician.
Call Bellin Health On-Call 24/7 at (920) 445-7373 for more information and to make an appointment.