The Epidemic of Stress

Stress isn’t avoidable, but it is manageable.

Stress has been shown to have serious health consequences ranging from reduced immunity to increased risk of heart disease. There are a variety of factors that can contribute to stress—health issues, relationships, financial difficulties, work, or even just our responses to daily life can all result in increased stress.

A survey on stress done by the American Institute of Stress (AIS) found that at some point in the previous year, 77% of people regularly experienced physical symptoms of stress and 33% feel they are living with extreme stress that they are unable to manage.

How to reduce stress?

Although we can not eliminate the source of stress, we can take actions to reduce it. Here are some ideas to help you get started.

Take a break

when you’re feeling stressed at work, take a break by going to the toilet, have a snack, stretch your legs, or talk to your colleagues near the water cooler. Don’t push yourself too hard. You work better when you’re relaxed and well-rested.

Exercise

Exercising on a regular basis benefits not only our bodies but also our minds. It enables us to better cope with the daily stressful events by promoting the secretion of dopamine and endorphins. Long-term exercise can clear and relax your mind.

Listen to music

Listening to music is also one of the most common methods to reduce stress. It is reported that 47% of people listen to music as a leisurely activity. Classical music, in particular, can slow down our pulse and heart rate, lower our blood pressure, and decrease the level of stress hormones.

Have some dark chocolate

Study found that eating dark chocolate every day can also reduce stress. Dark chocolate, which has at least 70% cacao solids, has fewer unhealthy ingredients than milk chocolate, such as fat and sugar. Dark chocolate has been found to improve mood by increasing serotonin and endorphin levels in the brain. The next time you feel stressed, grab a bar or two of dark chocolate.

Religious/Spiritual Practices

A survey points out there are about 29% of people who manage stress by praying. People who are religious and pray have fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as a better ability to cope with stress. Spirituality and meditation can decrease stress by allowing a person to create inner quietness, stillness, and peace. If you have any religious or spiritual beliefs, try praying frequently to relieve your stress.

Getting Emotional support

57% of people say they spend time with friends and family to manage their stress. Study has shown that having strong social support can help reduce manage trauma-induced disorders. When you are in a bad mood or having heavy stress feeling stressed out, pour your heart out to the people you trust. After you speak out, you will feel better than when you bottle everything up.

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Most people do not know that they have stress (or high blood pressure). Unless abnormal blood pressure is measured or the symptoms are severe, those people will find that their health is worse than normal. 

Usually, we will recommend people to track their blood pressure by using MOCAHeart andMOCACuff. Blood pressure changing is itself related to emotional, psychological, mental stress and environmental factors. We can track the numbers to know our health status. It’s nice to know if the changes you’re making are working, and now more than ever, it’s easy to measure your changes keep track of your progress with a smart heart health tracker like MOCAHeart and MOCACuff.

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