Whether it’s a tough boss at work or balancing your kids’ schedules, most people have experienced stress. In recognition of National Anxiety and Depression Week, Rose Melendez, RN, director of the Emergency Department and Nursing Administration at Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center, tells us about stress and how to manage it.

Rose Melendez, RN, director of the Emergency Department and Nursing Administration

Each year, more than 40 million Americans will suffer with an anxiety disorder. Stress can even have a negative impact on your physical health. In fact, about two out of every three doctor visits are actually stress-related.

Stress can lead to a range of health issues including:

  • Lowering the immune system, making you more susceptible to illness.
  • Increasing risks of heart disease, including boosting blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Insomnia or difficulty sleeping.

Sometimes, people do not recognize the physical signs of stress but it is important to listen to your body. If you’re experiencing headache, backache, upset stomach or sleeplessness, you may be more stressed than you realize.

Stress is often more easily recognized by these emotional signs:

  • Anxiousness
  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Helplessness

With many of us leading busy, fast-paced lives, it’s impossible to completely avoid stress, but these stress management techniques can help you relax, relieve tension and counteract the negative consequences of stress.

  • Exercise regularly: Aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least five days per week, like brisk walking, riding a bike, jogging or raking leaves.
  • Find a hobby: Take time to do something you enjoy every day, whether it’s reading, gardening, listening to music or enjoying nature.
  • Pray or meditate: Find a relaxation technique that works for you, like meditation, yoga, tai chi or prayer – and engage in five to 10 minutes of relaxation daily.

While these techniques are useful, everyone experiences and responds to stress differently. Not sure where to find stress management help? You can request a FREE behavioral health consultation online from Adventist HealthCare Behavioral Health & Wellness Services.

Additional Health Tips from Rose

Hear more health tips from Rose by tuning in to WGTS 91.9 FM every Wednesday at 7:40 a.m.