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Work, school, relationships, finances, family – each of these things can cause stress in our daily lives.
“While a little bit of stress can keep us motivated and on top of things, too much can be harmful,” says Michael Martin, MD, from Charlotte Medical Clinic-Waxhaw, part of Carolinas HealthCare System. “Unchecked, stress can lead to or worsen a host of health problems including headaches, high blood pressure, digestive issues and depression.”
Stress has a negative impact on both your physical and mental health, and minimizing it can help improve your overall health and sense of well-being.
To keep stress in check, try incorporating these stress-busters into your daily routine.
Many times, stress comes from simply doing too much. Don’t overschedule your time. It’s important to be realistic about what you expect from yourself.
Getting a good night’s sleep sets you up for a low-stress day. Most people need between seven and nine hours of rest every night to feel refreshed. If you have trouble falling asleep, try setting up a routine to follow every night. Stretch before bed, do simple breathing exercises or take a hot shower.
Make it a habit to shut off electronics an hour before bedtime. You’ll feel more relaxed and ready to ease into sleep.
Limit screen time with your devices throughout the day, as well. Checking your email or phone only once an hour can free you from the stress of constant demands and stimulation. And, if you use your phone to check the time, try wearing a watch instead. You can’t get distracted by your phone if you don’t take it out!
Exercise is a proven stress reliever. Cardio releases endorphins into the blood stream that help regulate your mood and stress levels. Exercise also helps limit the amount of cortisol, a hormone caused by stress, your body produces. Get the good stuff pumping through your veins by getting moving at least 30 minutes a day.
When things pile up, it can seem like you don’t have time for fun. But don’t let a stressful situation cut you off from friends. Having someone to confide in can be a huge help, and friends and family often offer the best advice. To keep it consistent, try scheduling weekly face time with your friends.
The primary care doctors at Carolinas HealthCare System can help you get (and stay) on the path to wellness.
Call 844-881-2180 or complete an online request form to find a doctor near you.