NOTE: The following is an excerpt from TeleVox’s Healthy World report, “A Stressed Nation: Americans Search for a Healthy Balance”, which highlights the negative impact that stress is having on the health of Americans. Download it HERE!
According to Travel and Leisure, five of the top 20 fittest cities in America are located in the Northeast. Thanks to the surplus of outdoor activities in the region, many Northeasterners are thought of as being in great physical condition. With healthcare providers suggesting exercise as one of the best ways to manage stress, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Northeasterners reported being less stressed than other regions.
According to A Stressed Nation: Americans Search for a Healthy Balance, Northeasterners reported the lowest percentage of Americans that said their doctor suggested exercise as a way to control their stress level. With the already high activity levels in the region, however, this isn’t alarming. Additionally, 62 percent of Northeasterners said they would be interested in and/or happy to receive communications from their doctor with tips on how to manage stress.
Positively Dealing with Stress
Unfortunately, not all parts of the Northeast reported sunny days and smooth sailing. The region is also a business hub, full of hard-working men and women who spend many hours at their jobs. As reported by A Stressed Nation, more than half of Northeasterners (58 percent) reported feeling stressed during a typical workday. The American Heart Association lists four ways to positively deal with stress. Each of these can be done easily:
- Positive self-talk – This helps you calm down and control stress, while negative self-talk (including using “can’t” and “hate” in sentences) just increases stress. Practicing positive self-talk every day when noticing negative thoughts can make it easier.
- Emergency stress stoppers – These stress stoppers can be altered based on the situation. Examples of emergency stress stoppers include counting to ten, taking three to five deep breaths, and not being afraid to say “I’m sorry”.
- Finding pleasure – You don’t have to go above and beyond to find pleasure in a situation. In fact, trying to do at least one activity that you enjoy daily – going for a drive, listening to music, or reading a good book – can boost your overall mood and help reduce stress.
- Daily relaxation – Popular forms of relaxation include yoga, tai chi and meditation, but taking time to watch your favorite TV show or closing your eyes to picture a relaxing place before a stressful meeting can work just as well.
When work or responsibilities take over in everyday life, many stressors are going to be difficult to avoid. The Northeast led all regions in A Stressed Nation, with 54 percent of the region saying they would be more likely to ignore stress or treat a symptom of stress than fix the overall problem. However, managing stress doesn’t have to involve reinventing the wheel. There are many proven stress management techniques and understanding how to effectively put them into place is key.
Providers Can Help
Talking with healthcare providers is a great way to learn about these techniques. Healthcare providers across the nation can also turn to technology to communicate these management techniques. Keeping the lines of communication open between patients and healthcare providers continuously between visits can help Northeasterners manage stress and live a healthier life.