For better or for worse, stress is inevitable. Though everyone deals with it, how you manage your stress is key.

For Stress Awareness Month, Meredith Beeler, DO, a family medicine physician with Adventist HealthCare Adventist Medical Group, offers important tips on how to cope with stress in healthy ways.

Symptoms of Stress

Stress not only affects you mentally and emotionally, but also physically. Here are some physical symptoms to keep an eye on:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Muscle tightness

“It’s important to note any concerning physical, mental or emotional changes as soon as they occur so you can combat it early,” says Dr. Beeler. “Unmanaged stress is unhealthy and can increase your long-term risk of serious health conditions, including heart attacks or strokes.”

How to Stress Less

Dr. Beeler recommends exploring these tips to help you stress less.

  • Talk to someone you trust– Talking to someone you trust about a stressor can help you view a situation from a different, more productive angle.
  • Meditating – Meditating can help you focus and ease your mind from stress and anxiety.
  • Exercise – Your body releases endorphins when you exercise, which calms your body down and reduces stress.
  • Read a book – Studies show reading can lower your heart rate and put your muscles at ease, reducing stress.
  • Sleeping – Getting enough sleep is critical in helping your body restore itself physically and mentally.
  • Eat a healthy diet and stay hydrated – Eating whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and drinking water are associated with more energy and less stress.

Quick Tips

  • Recognize the physical, mental and emotional effects of stress.
  • Come up with coping strategies in advance.
  • It is no longer a “bad day” when you’re stressed for longer than five days.
  • Simple changes, like managing your time better, can prevent stress.
  • Keep your work environment tidy and stress-free.