Manage Your Stress

    How you handle stress in day-to-day situations can affect your health. While everyone goes through stress, dealing with it for a long period of time can cause problems, and make you feel overwhelmed and out of control.

    According to the American Psychological Association (APA), African Americans are disproportionately affected by stress. In addition, only 1 out of 3 African Americans who need mental health care receives it. Some reasons may include perceived discrimination, environmental stress, and socioeconomic status.

    The Centers for Disease Control lists the following symptoms of stress:

    • Disbelief and shock
    • Tension and irritability
    • Fear and anxiety about the future
    • Difficulty making decisions
    • Being numb to one’s feelings
    • Loss of interest in normal activities
    • Loss of appetite
    • Nightmares and recurring thoughts about the event
    • Anger
    • Increased use of alcohol and drugs
    • Sadness and other symptoms of depression
    • Feeling powerless
    • Crying
    • Sleep problems
    • Headaches, back pains, and stomach problems
    • Trouble concentrating

    There are a number of healthy ways to handle stress and taking care of yourself plays a huge role. It includes talking to someone about what you are going through, staying healthy through diet and exercise, and taking part in activities.

    In addition, the American Heart Association has these tips for managing stress:

    • Engage in positive self-talk
    • Practice emergency stress stoppers
    • Finding pleasure in things you enjoy doing
    • Daily relaxation

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