Type the word “stress” into your Internet browser and you’ll get 755 million results. That’s a lot of information. But at this point it shouldn’t really be a surprise that stress is rampant in our modern, technology-dependent, busy-24/7 culture – and also that it causes problems for our bodies and our overall quality of life.
It takes both awareness and dedication to learn how to break deep-rooted habits that commonly contribute to stress. Although it’s normal to have some stress in life, you want to be aware of high levels of persistent stress if you don’t want negative and lasting effects on your health.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), stress is an automatic response that helped protect our ancestors from predators. When faced with danger, our stress hormones are released to elevate our heart rate, increase blood pressure, boost energy and prepare us to deal with the problem.
The APA also says that modern-day causes of stress trigger the same physical response.
“These days, you're not likely to face the threat of being eaten. But you probably do confront multiple challenges every day, such as meeting deadlines, paying bills and juggling childcare that make your body react the same way. As a result, your body's natural alarm system — the “fight or flight” response — may be stuck in the on position. And that can have serious consequences for your health.”
These consequences include anxiety and depression, fatigue, high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, obesity and heart disease – to name a few.
In 2014, Statistics Canada found that 23% of Canadians aged 15 and older (6.7 million people) reported that most days were ‘quite a bit’ or ‘extremely stressful’. Luckily there are many ways to help you bring a sense of calm and control back into your day – you just have to look for them – and International Stress Awareness Day (ISAD) on November 1, 2017 is a great place to start.
Dating back to 1998, ISAD takes place on the first Wednesday every November to help people identify and reduce the stress factors in their lives. It’s a reminder to prioritize health over everything else.
The first step is to take time to examine your life and determine your causes of stress – such as relationships, time pressure and financial stress – and start looking at the necessary steps to lessen them or remove them completely. Then turn to experts and credible resources for an action plan.
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It’s the time you’ve been waiting for all morning at work: the long-awaited lunch break. The moment that you can sit back, enjoy your meal and relax with a much-deserved break from work.
While you may be tempted to stay seated at your desk, there are many ways that you can spend your lunch break that are more healthy and active. Who says your lunch break has to be sedentary too? Check out five healthy ways to use your break at work.
Summer is on its way out, and the delightfully chilly fall season is already stepping through the door. With the drop in temperature and the changing colour of the trees, it’s incredibly tempting to stay indoors where it’s warm and smells like apple cider, pumpkin pie and ginger spice.
But this beautiful and bountiful season has so much to offer in terms of keeping active! Take advantage of the gorgeous weather and keep active this fall season with one of the eight suggestions here.