Health First Helps You Know the Signs, Symptoms and When to Seek Help for Lower Stress

By  //  January 31, 2020

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Tips for Knowing How Stress Affects the Body and Ways to Properly Manage

Stress happens to all of us – some more than others. The New Year’s expectations of a better lifestyle aims to bring fresh beginnings, but last year’s disappointments can still linger. “Stress can become unhealthy when it affects our day-to-day functioning,” said DeAnn Collins, Health First’s Senior Behavioral Wellness Program Manager. (Health First image)

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Stress happens to all of us – some more than others. The New Year’s expectations of a better lifestyle aims to bring fresh beginnings, but last year’s disappointments can still linger.

That’s a quick way for stress to build up and cause many challenges and risks.  

“Stress can become unhealthy when it affects our day-to-day functioning,” said DeAnn Collins, Health First’s Senior Behavioral Wellness Program Manager.

“This can be manifested in many ways, “such as sleep deprivation, avoiding friends or activities you once enjoyed or getting sick frequently.” 

Collins said stress has been found to have many negative effects. Some of them include exacerbating existing health problems, as well as increasing feelings of fatigue, irritability and your risk of coronary disease. Prolonged unmanaged stress can also lead to depression and anxiety.   

With more than a decade of behavioral wellness and health experience, Collins has dealt with patients’ stress levels on a wide spectrum.  

She explains how to effectively manage and properly treat stress when it affects your body. 

Stress Management

Managing your stress can help you to break the hold it has on your life, so you can be happier, healthier and more productive. The ultimate goal is a balanced life with time for work, relationships, relaxation and fun. It can also help build your resilience to hold up under pressure and meet future challenges head on.

Strategies 

A key strategy to managing stress is to identify the stressor. It is important to remember that if it is an issue that you cannot control, it might be necessary to reexamine how you perceive that stressor.

Cognitive behavioral strategies that focus on the mental processes involved in stress responses can help change thoughts, beliefs and attitudes that often contribute to stress responses. 

Other strategies include being kind to yourself. Life can be difficult, and it’s important to reflect on past successes, engage in self-care, limit exposure to the news, seek support from those you trust and learn to say no. 

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When to Seek Professional Help 

Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious. You may even feel plagued by physical complaints, unable to sleep, irritable and hopeless, and unable to face your daily routine.

That’s when it’s time to seek professional help through specialized care. Health First’s Senior Behavioral Wellness program caters to older adults who are experiencing behavioral or emotional difficulties, which result in a need for a level of care beyond traditional services.

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