Use the three steps below to begin your journey to Best Health.

1. Know this

Stress is what you feel when you have to handle more than you are used to. When you are stressed, your body responds as though you are in danger. It makes hormones that speed up your heart, make you breathe faster, and give you a burst of energy. But if stress happens too often or lasts too long, it can have bad effects.

Stress can be linked to headaches, an upset stomach, back pain and trouble sleeping. It can weaken your immune system, making it harder to fight off disease. Sometimes it is clear where stress is coming from. You can count on stress during a major life change such as the death of a loved one, getting married or having a baby. But other times it may not be clear why you feel stressed.

2. Do this

It’s important to figure out what causes stress for you. You may not be able to get rid of stress, but you can look for ways to lower it. You might try some of these ideas:

  • Find better ways to cope. Look at how you have been dealing with stress. Be honest about what works and what does not.
  • Take good care of yourself. Get plenty of rest. Eat well. Don’t smoke.
  • Try out new ways of thinking. When you find yourself starting to worry, try to stop the thoughts. Learn to say “no.”

3. Use this

Check out the following Best Health offerings to help you manage your stress.

  • Stress management health coachingEnroll in free health coaching and work one-on-one with a Best Health Coach.  
  • Online introduction to stress workshop – Learn ways to reduce, channel or cope with stress in your life.
  • Online resource guide – Access wellness tools, join a workshop or find a support group.

Log in to best health

Source: Healthwise. Stress Management. Medical Reviewer: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry. © 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Last Revised 5/3/13.