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Stress and Anxiety

Jun 30, 2008 05:00PM ● Published by Super Admin

Just thinking about some of the causes of stress and anxiety - such as job pressure, money, relationships and illness, are enough to make your blood pressure rise. Stress and anxiety cause a myriad of health problems, from sleep disorders to heart disease. The solution to alleviating stress is evaluating priorities. We think that we don't have enough time, but in all actuality we do have the control and ability to bring our lives back into balance.

Exercise is one of the most important things that we can do to positively affect both our physical and mental health. Sometimes just setting aside time each day to turn your mind "off" (even just 15 minutes) will quickly provide anxiety relief, not to mention this time dedicated to exercise or an aerobic activity will benefit your heart. According to Lisa Marrero, General Manager of Roseville Health and Wellness Center, "Exercise raises the levels of certain mood enhancing neurotransmitters in the brain. It may also boost feel-good endorphins, release muscle tension, help you sleep better and reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol." Marrero adds, "Mental health providers are prescribing exercise to their patients more and more."

As we know, mental health and physical health are intertwined and can be dependent on one another. According to the American Council on Exercise, "Recent studies have shown that when large muscle groups repeatedly contract and relax, the brain receives a signal to release specific neurotransmitters, which in turn make you feel relaxed and more alert." JC Charles from the Folsom Health and Wellness Center also says, "A healthy body means a healthy mind. If you don't have a way to release your stress, it may manifest itself in illness."

According to Steve Harrity of Cameron Park Physical Therapy and Wellness, some of the symptoms associated with stress and anxiety include tension headaches, postural changes, depression and a change in the perception of pain (intensified pain response). Harrity suggests the following alternative therapies to help reverse some of these symptoms: yoga, massage, stretching techniques, relaxation and visualization. "By putting yourself in a calmer, more positive place, you are avoiding the negative mindset that often brings on an anxiety attack," says Harrity.

In the event exercise is not an option at the time of an anxiety attack, taking time to yourself is a good solution. Harrity recommends communicating with your spouse, boss or friends to let them know your needs during this time.

If you are dealing with stress and anxiety, you may want to seek help from a therapist, life coach, personal trainer or other health professional skilled in helping you bring your health back into balance.

For more about tips on reducing stress and anxiety, be sure to pick up this month's copy of Style-Folsom El Dorado Hills edition. Click on the "Get Your Copy" link on the bottom of this page for some of our newsstand locations. Or, to order a copy of this issue, please email Gloria Schroeder at gloria@sierrastyle.com, or call her at 916-988-9888 x116.

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