National Stress Awareness Day
annually on the day after Income Tax Pay Day (since 1992)
Health Resource Network in 1992
Stress can be defined as a physical response of the body to changes, during which chemicals are released into the blood. There are so many reasons people become stressed, such as issues with finances, relationships, or work, or a sudden traumatic event. Some stress, positive stress, is good, as it can push us forward. But negative stress—if it is extreme or constant—can do both physical and mental damage to the body. There are many warning signs and damaging effects of stress, such as anxiety, depression, dizziness, dry mouth, headaches, an upset stomach, diarrhea and constipation, a weak immune system, back pain, a stiff neck and other tight muscles, fatigue, insomnia, weight gain or loss, expanded difficulties with relationships or at work, high blood pressure, and even heart disease.
National Stress Awareness Day takes place the day after taxes are due—a day on which there may be a lot of stress. The day also takes place during Stress Awareness Month. Since 1992, the year both the day and the month were created, they have been sponsored by the Health Resource Network (HRN), a non-profit health education organization. On National Stress Awareness Day, we focus on this leading health problem and raise awareness about the causes and cures of it. It is a day when people recognize their own stress, and figure out what steps they are going to take to overcome it.
How to Observe
If you are part of a health-related organization, you could sponsor a stress education program or event today. If you are observing the day, you could look for these types of programs and events. The best way to observe the day is to recognize your own stress and figure out what steps you are going to take to overcome it. The following are a few ideas of how you could start dealing with your stress:
- Figure out what things trigger your stress.
- Take control of your own body. For example, focus on taking control of your diet and exercise routine. Exercising can have a huge impact on helping you with stress. Something as simple as a power walk or jog can relax you and help you feel less stressed.
- Make some sort of change in your life. Shift something or do something differently. It doesn't matter if it is small or big. You could do something as small as cleaning your room, or you could do something big like taking a vacation. By shifting your thinking you will help combat your stress.
- Focus on the present, not the past or the future. The stress that comes from the disappointment of the past and the fear of the future can't touch you if you are living in the present.
- Reflect on your life. Have a conversation with yourself about what is going well. You could even write about these things in a journal each day.
- Try to look at everything you do in a positive light.
- Take some deep breaths.
- Do things that make you laugh. Read or watch something funny, go to a comedy show, or spend some time with a friend that always gets you laughing.
- Meditate today and get into the routine of meditating every day.
- Help someone else. By doing so, your mind will be taken off your own problems and the things that are bothering you. You'll be helping someone else at the same time, too!
- Treat yourself to something you enjoy.
- Make sure you are getting enough sleep.
- Get a pet.