The first Wednesday of every November is Stress Awareness Day. The idea behind this day is to bring awareness to the physiological and cognitive distress that chronic stress can cause. By understanding what stress is, how it affects you, and what you can do about it help you safeguard yourself from the negative impacts of stress. 

What Is Stress? 

Stress is defined as a bodily response to any thing that requires your action or attention. This can cause a physical, emotional, or psychological strain. While every person experiences stress, your individual response to life’s stressors can really impact your well-being. So, learning to reduce your responses to stress can improve your mental and physical health. 

How Stress Can Impact Your Wellbeing and Safety 

We know that stress has negative effects on your well-being, but what exactly happens? Here are some effects of poor stress reactions: 

  1. Operating vehicles while highly stressed can lead to distracted driving and car accidents.
  2. A highly stressful life can lead to more alcohol consumption and subsequent mental and physical health issues down the line. 
  3. Stress can negatively impact your immune system, making you more susceptible to some acute illnesses and chronic illness over time.
  4. Being chronically stressed can negatively impact your interpersonal relationships. Here are ten of the largest marital issues that couples seek counseling for, and stress is a major one

What Can You Do To Reduce Stress?  

Having a highly stressful life can lead to a whole host of issues in the future. However, reducing your daily stress is easier said than done. Here are some tips to help you live a less stressful life: 

  • Get daily exercise, try for at least 30 minutes a day,
  • Eat a healthy diet full of whole foods and vegetables,
  • Try meditation in the mornings, or a walk after important business meetings. Try to decompress in a healthy way before and after stressful life events.
  • Get plenty of rest, if you struggle to sleep due to stress try a hot bath with epsom salts before bedtime.

Overall, the goal is to find a healthy regime that does not rely on alcohol consumption, overdoing caffeine, or any other coping mechanism with negative side effects. Try some different after work routines to find the one that fits your lifestyle the best. Reducing stress the natural way is a slow but sustainable process, and can sometimes take several weeks to feel better.