Manage Stress for a Healthier Family
Maintaining a healthy family is challenging in today’s fast-paced world. Whether you work in or out of the home, are a single parent, dual-earner family, or care for one or multiple children, remaining calm and full of energy can help everyone get through the day. Understanding the potential negative effects of stress and learning positive ways to manage it are essential in our complex modern society.
Negative consequences of stress
Stress can provide needed energy to handle emergencies, make life changes and reach goals, but even though some amount of stress is helpful, the long-term consequences of ongoing stress can be damaging to our mental and physical health. If stress is constant and unresolved, the body has little time to recuperate. Symptoms of unrelieved stress in children and adults are similar and can include: headaches, stomachaches and other digestive problems, neck and back pain, sleep disturbances and high blood pressure. Continuous stress also makes it more difficult for the body to fight off infections and increases the risk of accidents, leading to unintentional injuries.
The relaxation response
Fortunately, each of us have a natural way to regulate our response to stress by counter-acting the effects of the fight or flight reaction through relaxation. We can create a relaxation response by using simple stress-reducing techniques, such as deep breathing, muscle relaxation, using positive images and positive self-talk. When we are relaxed our mind/body state balances to counteract the harmful effects of stress and we are more able to focus, solve problems, be creative and learn.