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Stress. A term thrown around by just about every single person you know. It normally sounds something like, “Wow, I have a huge midterm coming up and I am so stressed out.” Stress is an extremely common word used by college students because of our rigorous courses, our heavy workload, the constant worry of paying off student loans, balancing work and a social life, and the list goes on and on. We may not realize it, but all this pressure we put on ourselves takes a serious toll on our bodies. Stress plays a role in everyone’s life and needs to be addressed.  Living a life filled with stress is hard on our bodies, and frankly, no fun.

Stress Awareness Month has been held every April since 1992 according to stressawarenessmonth.com. It was founded by Dr. Mort Orman, M.D. and sponsored by The Health Resource Network, Inc. “During this annual thirty-day period, health care professionals and health promotion experts across the country will join forces to increase public awareness about both the causes and cures for our modern stress epidemic” (Mort, 2016). Developing ways in which people can cope with stress and manage it is the key to living a healthier and fuller life. Stress Awareness Month allows people to learn more about how they can help themselves overcome the stress monster.

There are many tools available for people who are struggling with stress. One tip is to head to the Internet for helpful tools on how to deal with overwhelming stressors in life. The article, “10 Ways to Celebrate National Stress Awareness Month” on beliefnet.com, describes approaches to relieving stress. The article offers ideas as simple as, “make a plan to get/or stay healthy,” meaning to take charge of your body and be in the best health possible as that will relieve a lot of stress. Another idea the website offers is to, “make a change.” Whether it is making a change to keep your bedroom cleaner or deciding to make a new friend, it is always beneficial to make the changes needed to help you live your best life. Another option is to, “focus on now.” Focusing on the present is possibly the best tool to use because stress feeds off your worries of what will happen in the future or in the past. The article said it best, “focusing on this perfect moment, right now, provides a magical escape from the disappointment of what once was and the fear of what might be, and leaves stress stuck in a time warp” (beliefnet).

Coping mechanisms and stress management skills can be learned anywhere and with sufficient practice, your stress won’t be half as un-manageable as it once was. However, many people may not know they’re dealing with stress since they’re wrapped up in deadlines and responsibilities that they don’t take proper time to recognize the stress or take time to properly de-stress. Once a person can recognize the stressors in their life, they can understand how to deal with the weight on their shoulders. The everyday stressors that people attempt to brush off may be causing more damage than believed.

Stress Awareness Month is a great time to learn about your owns stressors and how to properly manage them.  Take time to learn about how to de-stress this month for a happier and more productive future. 

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