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Stress Management

Stress is a natural part of everyday life.

Stress is the body’s natural reaction to danger or a perceived threat. A certain amount of stress in life is desirable, even exciting. It keeps us motivated and productive. Too much stress, however, can be harmful to both physical and mental health.




What Causes Stress?

What happens at home can cause stress on the job and what happens at work can cause stress at home. We tend to carry our feelings of tension and frustration with us from place to place. Many things can cause stress - both positive and negative personal changes.



Managing Stress in a Crisis

 

Get Out

Physically leave the source of stress. If it’s a co-worker, walk away. If it’s a situation, leave until you are able to calm down, think things through and come back with a healthy attitude and perspective.


Take a time-out

Stop what you’re doing, find a quiet place, close your eyes and take a deep breath. As you exhale, imagine the tension streaming out of you. Do this several times, concentrating on relaxing key body areas - forehead, shoulders, neck and stomach.


Organize and Prioritize

Give yourself more time. Being too  busy is a big source of stress too! Remind yourself that you’re only human; you cannot do it all. Decide what’s most important and let go of the rest.



Ways to Reduce Stress
 

Look for whatever helps you to cope with change in a positive way. Some people find their religious faith or talking with family and friends helpful. Others find time alone to be beneficial. Here are some stress reducers:


Exercise

No matter what type of exercise you enjoy, including it into your everyday regimen can be helpful. Exercise causes a chemical reaction in your brain that naturally relaxes you and improves your mood. Make sure you exercise on a regular basis. It is best to consult your doctor before beginning an exercise routine.


Get a Healthy Amount of Sleep

Lack of sleep is one of the most common causes of stress. Remember that your body needs energy to deal with stress. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours of sleep for adults 18 years of age and older.


Eat Right

A healthy, balanced diet helps the body handle the physical demands of stress. Stress can hinder the immune system’s ability to function. Limit the intake of caffeine, alcohol, refined sugar and salt. Increase the amount of low-fat, high -fiber food you eat everyday.




Stress Test
 

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, stress may be affecting your health.
 

  • You can’t sleep

  • You feel nervous, tired or cranky

  • Your heart feels like it’s racing

  • Your muscles are tight

  • You have an upset stomach, high blood pressure or muscle pain

  • You get sick more often than normal

  • You have trouble concentrating or remembering things

  • You overeat, eat compulsively or don’t eat at all

  • You’re using tobacco, alcohol or other drugs to cope with your feelings

     

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