Stress and Healthy Living

Person lying on back on couch covering face with hands

Stress is how our brain and body respond to demands. Any type of event, whether positive or negative, can cause stress, and stress is a part of everyone’s life to some extent. Stress is typically thought of as harmful, but in fact, not all stress is bad. For example, it can motivate people to accomplish difficult tasks.

Stress affects a lot more than just the way we feel. It can impact our physical health as well. One example of this is migraines, or “stress headaches.” Stress can also affect our appetite, sleep, raise our blood pressure, and much more. Long term or chronic stress can affect our cardiovascular, immune, digestive, and gastrointestinal systems. Fortunately, there are many different ways of coping with stress. Some may work better for you than others, but they can all help us handle stress in a healthy way.

Some simple things you can do when you’re feeling stressed out include:

  • Talking to someone about what you’re feeling
  • Connecting with people you care about and that care about you
  • Doing something fun
  • Being physically active
  • Trying to get enough sleep
  • Having a healthy, balanced diet
  • Getting some fresh air
  • Helping others

This is a brief list and there are many other ways to better handle stress. Check out these other resources.

If managing stress on your own isn’t enough, get help! Talk to your health care professional. If you find that stress is negatively affecting your overall health or relationships, there are many effective treatments.


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