Stress Awareness Month began in 1992. Every April since, Stress Awareness Month has been recognized. The purpose for Stress Awareness month is to raise awareness, help others to recognize the signs, understand the dangers, explore treatments and learn to manage stress.
Recognizing the Signs of Stress
Many times, people experience stress and don’t even realize it until it is too late. The best way to get ahead of stress is to understand what to look for and why it happens.
Stress can be caused by a number of things such as a traumatic experience, major life shifts (household move, birth of a child, divorce or difficult relationship, etc.), work and/or school demands. According to HelpGuide.org, the top 10 most stressful life events include:
- Death of a spouse
- Marriage separation
- Death of a close family member
- Injury or illness
- Job loss
- Marriage reconciliation
When those life events and experience take place, stress can begin to slowly and subtly creep in without you noticing it at first.
Some of the telltale signs of stress include things like:
- Loss of sleep
- Loss or increase of appetite
- Becoming isolated
- Memory issues
- Poor judgement
- Substance abuse
- Nervous habits (nail biting, pacing, fidgeting)
- Loss of sex drive
- Frequent illness
Understanding the Dangers
Chronic stress or enduring stress for a long period of time can have some major impacts on your body and your overall health. Some of the things you may be exposed to or susceptible to due to long term exposure to stress includes:
- Onset of autoimmune disease
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Weight gain or loss
- Reproductive issues
- Skin issues
And, that is just the short list. Stress can be extremely detrimental to you. The good news is, you now know how to recognize it and, you can do something about it!
Taking Action Against Stress
It’s always best to be proactive when it comes to your health. If you are not experiencing stress, there are some things you can do to help you manage stress if it starts to creep into your life. But, if you are already experiencing stress, the first step is recognizing the that you are under stress. The second step is to take action! Below is a list of things we recommend doing to help you diffuse stress:
- Exercise. Find what works for you. Some like aggressive outlets like kick boxing while others find exercise like yoga a huge benefit to calming the mind and body
- Guided Meditation. Calm your mind with the help of an instructor who can help guide you to a state of relaxation. Based upon clinical evidence, meditation is considered to be one of the better therapies for Allergies, Anxiety, Arthritis, Asthma, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic Pain Syndrome, Coronary Artery Disease, Digestive Disorders, Fibromyalgia, Headaches, High Blood Pressure, Insomnia, Migraine, Panic Disorder and Prevention of Heart Attack, to only name a few.
- Healthy Diet. Feeling good happens from the inside out. Make sure you are giving your body the nutrition it needs to help you manage and fight off the onset of stress.
- Acupuncture can be very effective when it comes to alleviating stress and relaxing the body.
- Sleep. Plan to get enough sleep every night. A rested body is a strong body.
- Essential Oils. Consider adding essential oils to your daily routine. Their healing properties may be just what you need to take the edge off.
Stress Management Tips
Other things you can do to make sure you manage stress well are:
- A good support system: Connect with trusted friends, family and confidents who are good listeners. Sometimes just talking out what is bothering you helps tremendously.
- Take A Bath. Seriously! A warm tub enhanced with healing bath salts can do wonders for your spirit and sore muscles. The warm waters can ebb away tension and sooth sore achy joints.
- Do what you love. Spend some time doing the things you like to do. It can be anything like reading, going for a walk, sitting by the ocean, going on a bike ride or trying something new.
- Get a massage! Taking care of you during a stressful time can not only help you relax but it can also ease pain due to tension.
- Change of scenery. Sometimes it helps to leave your normal routine and surroundings. You never know, you make come back with a renewed sense of creativity and appreciation for your daily life!
Remember, recognizing the experiences that bring stress and knowing the signs can help you lead a longer, happier and healthier life.
To determine how acupuncture and, or other modalities may help you manage stress, it is recommended that you contact us for a free consultation where we can explore your condition more closely.
About Dr. Marie Perkins, OTR/L, LMT, DOM, Dipl.Ac.
Dr. Marie Perkins, OTR/L, LMT, DOM, Dipl. Ac. is one of the most recognized practitioners in Palm Harbor as a “non-pharmaceutical” pain specialist.
Born and raised in Quebec City Canada, Dr. Perkins received her Bachelor Degree in Occupational Therapy from University Laval in 1993.
Her passion led her to leave everything behind and immigrated to Florida in 1995. She proceeded with acquiring her Massage Therapy license from Bahkti Academy in 1999 and her Master’s Degree in Oriental Medicine from the Florida Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine in 2004.
Her goal for founding East West Healing Solutions was to be a pioneer in the community working at bridging the gap between Eastern and Western Medicine. She has established strong partnership with Medical Doctors, Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine, Orthopedic Surgeons, Neurologists, Pain Management Physicians, Doctors of Chiropractic, Rehabilitative Specialists, Athletic Directors, Coaches and Personal Injury Attorneys in the community proving not only that it can be done but also that a cohesive team approach is often the most efficient way to help a patient.
Over the years I have continued to add to my knowledge in order to be able to help as many patients I possibly could. Most of the time, a joint effort from Western and Eastern Medicine is required to obtain optimal health. For that reason, patients should proactively seek a team of highly trained professionals in various fields, all working toward one common goal; the PATIENT’S best interest. Your health portfolio should be built with the same concepts as your financial portfolio; diversification is the key!,” Dr. Marie Perkins tells her patients.
34876 US Highway 19
Palm Harbor, FL 34684