Identifying chronic stress and coping strategies

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If you're felling stressed, step back and assess your stress levels. Are you feeling overwhelmed and fatigued? Are your muscles tight or is your jaw sore from grinding or clenching your teeth at night? Do you feel anxious or moody, or do you have headaches and trouble sleeping? The Mayo Clinic notes there are red flags that you might be under stress.

Stress is a significant contributor to sleep problems. Chronic stress also can contribute to heart disease, obesity, depression as well as other health problems.

Good self-care is an important way to cope with life's stresses. Set aside time each day to check in with yourself. Organize your thoughts and to-do list so that you feel ready to tackle your commitments. Take a bath or enjoy a massage to relieve your tense muscles. Find a fulfilling creative outlet such as art or music. Reconnect with hobbies you enjoy or try something new. Getting proper sleep, adequate exercise and a healthy diet also can help you keep stress in check.

Relaxation is invaluable for maintaining your health and repairing the toll that stress takes on your mind and body. Many relaxation techniques and practices such as meditation, tai chi, deep breathing, yoga, visualization, progressive muscle relaxation and mindfulness help you to slow down, refocus your attention and increase your sense of well being.