Anthem Blue Cross :

What you should know about stress and your health?  
Stress can affect both your health and your wallet! The objective for week 1 is to learn about stress, the types of stress, and healthy ways to manage stress. Each week will also include an engagement activity and a heart healthy recipe! 

Facts: The High Cost of Stress 

Up to 75% of visits to doctors' offices are stress-related.

$50-$75 billion per year is spent on these medical visits.

Stress contributes to heart disease, alcohol abuse and some types of cancer.

What is Stress?  
Stress is a physical reaction to a perceived threat. It's a normal, built-in reaction designed to keep us alive. Your nervous system provides the fight-or-flight response needed at the first sign of danger.  

Blood pumps to muscles and the brain.

Breathing increases to supply oxygen to the brain.

Blood pumps to critical areas of the body.

Perspiration increases to cool off hard-working muscles.

Muscles tense, ready for immediate action.

Sugars and fats fuel the body for instant action

Identify your symptoms of stress 
We all handle stress differently and recognizing how we specifically handle stress can help with stress reduction and management.  

Physical - insomnia, fatigue, stomachaches, headaches

Behavioral - fragmented or forgetful, overwhelmed, difficulty concentrating

Emotional - anxiety, anger, depression, and mood swings

Once you identify the ways in which you handle stress you can employ a stress reduction technique that combats that specific symptom. For example, if you have physical symptoms an activity like deep breathing, yoga, or exercise might be an effective solution. For behavioral and emotional symptoms having dinner with a friend, enjoying a cooking class, or journaling might be an effective solution. 
Source: E. Charlesworth, Ph.D. and R. Nathan, Ph.D., Stress Management: A Comprehensive Guide to Wellness. 

Types of Stress

Now that we know what stress is and have identified how it can affect you, let's look at the different types of stress. Click here to learn more.

Managing Stress

Understanding and identifying the types of stress are a great first step. See Steps for Stress Management to learn ways of handling stress.

Let's get engaged!

Each week you'll have an important engagement activity to complete to help you recognize where you are on the spectrum of stress.

Everyday Stress Level

Recipe Therapy

Click here for a heart healthy recipe (corn chowder). It is quick, heart healthy and great for those chilly nights!

Your challenge this week  
Your challenge this week is to use the Everyday Stress Level checklist to gauge your stress level and engage in a stress reduction technique. Now that you have a better understanding of stress and how it affects you; you can begin to manage it more effectively.  
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