April is Stress Awareness Month

Mindful Living Network, Mindful Living, Dr. Kathleen Hall, The Stress Institute, OurMLN.com, MLN, Alter Your Life, Mindful Work, Work, Mindful Money, Money

Feeling stressed due to tax season? Are you anxious about an upcoming graduation? Feeling the pressure of planning and organizing family and holiday events like Easter and spring break stress? You’re in luck! April is known as Stress Awareness Month, making the next 28 days a perfect opportunity to follow these simple steps to conquer stress.

Since 1992, April has been designated Stress Awareness Month. The Health Resource Network, a non-profit organization that specializes in health education, originally sponsored this month-long awareness campaign. Today, Stress Awareness Month is recognized throughout the United States and it sheds light on all aspects of stress in America. Reports show that 83 percent of American workers are stressed. Statistics from the American Psychological Association shows that the Millennials (those between 18 years old and 33 years old) have the highest average levels of stress. Stress is also impacting the health of a third of American children as well. This month take steps to conquer your stress.

Here are four simple steps to conquer stress that will reduce your stress in a pinch

  1. Hug someone: There are incredible health benefits to hugging someone. Hugging another person is a social interaction and social gestures are known to lower stress. Hugs can also decrease your blood pressure and it encourages your body to produce oxytocin (a bonding hormone) and endorphins. These hormones are known to reduce stress.
  2. Chew gum: There are many health benefits to chewing gum. Research from Swinburne University in Melbourne, Australia now shows that chewing gum helps relieve stress and anxiety. It’s also increases alertness, increases memory, controls appetite, and improves overall performance on multi-tasking activities.
  3. Smile: Just by smiling you can relieve stress and feel happier within the moment.  In fact a study from the University of Kansas found that smiling study participants had “lower heart rates while recovering from the stressful tasks than those who had assumed neutral expressions.” This is because when you smile you release serotonin and endorphins, or “happiness hormones,” which are known to reduce stress.
  4. Chocolate: Around Easter it’s common to find chocolate eggs and bunnies everywhere, which is great, as chocolate is known to reduce stress. Many people want chocolate in times of stress, anxiety, pain, and so on. It is a natural pain killer and stimulates production of endorphins.