International Stress Awareness Week was created in 2018 to raise awareness about stress prevention, following the establishment of Stress Awareness Day in 1998. International Stress Awareness Week has developed as a major annual event focusing on stress management. Subjects this year’s event will address include –
- Experiences people have with mental health challenges and what can be done to help them
- How employers are responding to mental health issues and what can be learned
- Campaigning against the stigma associated with stress and mental health issues
- The role of stress management professionals in alleviating stress, with practical and proven techniques for building resilience
- What further actions need to be taken in the light of the pandemic and possible changes in future working practices
- Ensuring that those suffering from stress know where to go to seek advice
As Covid-19 has caused an increase in mental health issues, particularly loneliness and grief, this International Stress Awareness Week will focus on emotional management. It will also discuss the lack of investment in mental health services, as highlighted by the pandemic’s devastating impact.
WHY IS STRESS MANAGEMENT IMPORTANT?
With 74% of people reportedly unable to cope with the levels of stress in their lives, stress management is more important now than ever. The psychological effects of stress result in 61% feeling anxious, and a worrying 32% with suicidal thoughts.
WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON CAUSES OF STRESS?
Pressure to Succeed – 60% Young Adults
- Self-Image – 49% of Young Adults
- Health – 36% of Adults
- Body Image – 36% of Women & 23% of Men
- Housing – 32% of Young Adults
- Work – 26% of Adults
- Debt – 22% of Adults
With such staggering statistics in mind, International Stress Awareness Week is a vital event for us all to recognize, particularly in the workplace where burnout is common.
Stress can’t be completely avoided in life today, but its impact can certainly be reduced or minimized. Learning to implement creative ways to reduce stress is a vital part of making the most out of life. Obviously, a doctor should be consulted if medical problems are involved, but folks who are simply looking for ways to reduce stress might try some of these activities:
- Deep Breathing Exercises. Many times, the mind simply needs a timeout to get recentered and calm down. Deep Breathing is a great way to regain focus and get reenergized, even for just a couple of minutes in the middle of a workday.
- Regular Exercise. One excellent way to keep stress at bay is to keep the body moving. Running, walking, bicycling, or movement activities like yoga can all be incorporated into an anti-stress lifestyle.
- Reduce Caffeine. A healthier diet can be a huge stress-buster, and caffeine can be a significant culprit for creating anxiety. Limit the caffeine to one small serving a day to gain a noticeable difference in the amount of stress put on the body and the adrenal system.
- Journal or Talk About Feelings. One way to cope with stress is to tell a friend or therapist about difficult things in life. Don’t have one? No worries! Journaling can sometimes be just as therapeutic as a listening ear.
Stress Awareness Day is an ideal opportunity to start looking after yourself and your life and break down the individual stressors in your life. Failure to deal with stress in your life effectively can lead to serious health problems, including increased blood pressure, susceptibility to heart disease, and a decline in the immune system.
Observing Stress Awareness Day can take on all sorts of forms. From creating an individual action plan to getting involved with raising awareness on a community level, there are many great ways to get involved.
Once a person starts experiencing any of these signs and symptoms, they can landslide into each other, resulting in growing sickness and, by extension, more stress. It’s truly a self-feeding problem and a cycle that is necessary to control to enjoy our lives. And the first step to getting out of the cycle is becoming aware of it in the first place.
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