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6 Ways to Turn Down Stress to Tune Up Your Health

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By    |   Monday, 13 Nov 2017 02:26 PM

Americans are suffering from the highest levels of stress ever measured by the so-called “Stress in America” poll – an annual survey by the American Psychological Association begun a decade ago.

“The results of the January 2017 poll show a statistically significant increase in stress since the survey was first conducted in 2007,” notes the APA.

In the decade the APA has been running their Harris Poll survey the usual stressors prevail: money, work, and the economy. But this year a new culprit factored in: Politics.

More than 57 percent of the respondents said that the current political climate was a “very or somewhat significant source of stress.” A full two-thirds of respondents to the survey said they were stressed out about the nation’s future, with 76 percent of Democrats and 59 percent of Republicans reporting such sentiments.

Young people, the so-called millennials, and urban dwellers registered the highest levels of stress.

“There is a huge disconnect between the ideology of young people who have been leading sheltered, entitled lives and the practicality of the real, corporate world in the political horizon,” says Dr. Terry Lyles, a well-known expert on stress and author of “Good Stress: Living Younger Longer.”

Some experts believe high stress levels are tied to feeling a lack of control of events in their own lives.

“The primary element that makes stress traumatic is the sense of being out of control,” Heidi Hanna, executive director of the American Institute of Stress tells Newsmax Health. “When political policies are being enforced that people can’t change or believe they can’t influence in some way, it can feel overwhelming.

“People are experiencing changes at a very rapid rate with this current political shift, which can lead to an extreme sense of stress and this feeling can be highly contagious.”

Dr. Jack Singer Ph.D., a certified clinical psychologist from Raleigh N.C., tells Newsmax Health that he agrees Americans feel out of control which is fueling their stress levels.

“This lack of control and our officials lambasting each other in public has undermined their sense of safety and confidence in the future of our government. All this creates major stress,” he says.

The solution, say experts, is to remain optimistic and to take care of yourself by taking steps to ease and manage stress.

“Regardless of situations, events and circumstances, people need to think optimistically, to see today’s difficulties as temporary and develop their own signature strength,” says Singer.

Dr. Judy Kuriansky, an adjunct professor of psychology at Columbia University Teachers College, tells Newsmax Health that taking action can help reduce the feeling of being out of control and minimize the sadness and anger that is plaguing most of the nation. Here are some ways to consider:

Talk out your feelings. Tell a good listener exactly what is bothering you and don’t cut corners or hold back.

Involve yourself in activity. If you are not a talker, get active and distract your troubled mind whether it’s absorbing yourself a tangible activity. It could be cleaning out a closet or taking a run around the block.

Pamper yourself. Do something nice for yourself to ease stress. This could be getting away for a long weekend, scheduling a massage, or simply spending time with loved ones.

Relax and get enough sleep. “Get quality sleep, prioritize down time, and make sure you feed both your body and brain with things that nourish you,” Hanna says.

Accentuate the positive. Limit stress-inducing activities, including watching too much television. “Studies have shown that people who watch just three minutes of negative news in the morning were 27 percent more likely to rate their day as negative, so limit your exposure to the media and turn off your devices at least an hour before bedtime,” Hanna says.

“Set some boundaries around how often and for how long you will look at important updates on news, politics, stock market and the like and spend an equal amount of time — or more — with positive, uplifting people who make you feel happy.”

Keep perspective. “Don’t be like Chicken Little. The sky is not falling so relax and let things fall into place,” Lyle says. “Learn to take care of your own backyard and stop depending on others for your health, wealth and happiness. We all fear change, but sometimes we just have to embrace it. Who knows if what happens to our country may all be for the better?”

© 2017 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.

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Stress is a normal part of modern life, but is also an underlying cause of many mental and physical health problems. Fortunately, there are ways to turn down stress to tune up your overall health. Here's how.
stress, health, remedy
Monday, 13 Nov 2017 02:26 PM
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