Are YOU Stressed? It’s Time to Shift Gears this New Year!

Get your New Year started on the right foot. Create a life with more joy, relaxation, happiness and less stress in 2015.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), there are at least three different types of stress. They each carry physical and mental health risks:

  • Routine stress related to the pressures of work, family and other daily responsibilities.
  • Stress brought about by a sudden negative change, such as losing a job, divorce, or illness.
  • Traumatic stress, experienced in an event like a major accident, war, assault, or a natural disaster where one may be seriously hurt or in danger of being killed.

Stress increases the risk of heart disease by 40 percent, the risk of heart attack by 25 percent, and the risk of stroke by 50 percent! Forty percent of stressed people overeat or eat unhealthy foods.

“There are some key body systems that react to stress differently. When stressed, either physically or psychologically, the body will shift its energy resources to fight off the perceived threat,” said Kim Huddleston, Wellness Coordinator at Forrest General. Going into a new year, here are some tips for reducing stress.

girl doing sport exercises

  • Exercise – releasing endorphins can improve your mood;
  • Sleep better – lack of sleep is a key cause of stress;
  • Proper nutrition and eating – good nutrition will fortify your body;
  • Talk yourself through it – tell yourself why you are stressed and what you can do to ease the tension;
  • Laugh – it releases endorphins that help improve the mood;
  • Drink some tea – it has less caffeine and contains an amino acid that has a calming and soothing effect on the nervous system;
  • Listen to music – calm music has a positive effect on the brain and body;
  • Relaxation breathing techniques – deep breathing oxygenates the blood, helps center the body and clears your mind;
  • Call a friend – a reassuring voice, even for a minute, can put everything in perspective;
  • Talk to a therapist or doctor – they can assess your situation and find proper treatment;

Pine Grove Behavioral Health & Addiction Services can help you evaluate your lifestyle and recommend treatments and stress reduction techniques to help you cope with stress. Visit for more information.

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