VA Loma Linda Healthcare System
Managing Stress: Good for Your Health
If you’re like most people, you’ve probably felt stress at one time or another. Maybe it was a challenging situation—like being late to work—or a demanding event—like an important meeting—that made you feel nervous, your heart beat faster, your muscles tense up, or your palms get sweaty.
A little stress in your life is normal and expected. But too much stress over a long period can have serious consequences—both for you and those around you. If you’re overly stressed for too long, you may have difficulty concentrating and sleeping, or feel worried, tired, irritable, and fearful. And long-term stress can negatively affect you and your family’s health.
The solution is to keep your stress under control. But what’s the best way to manage stress?
Fortunately, there are lots of effective ways to help manage your stress. Getting regular physical activity, for example, can help reduce stress. So can doing things you enjoy, like spending time with friends, doing a favorite hobby, or traveling. Learning how to better solve problems, manage time, and relax can also help you plan for and cope with life’s challenges. And doing simple things like thinking positively and sharing your feelings with others can lower your stress levels, too.
It’s important to remember that no matter how stressful life becomes, help is always available. At the VA, it’s easy to find ways to better manage your stress. In addition to counseling and clinical care, VA offers a variety of tools and resources—like training on mindfulness, relaxation techniques, time management, and positive thinking—that can help Veterans cope with stress. To learn more about how to manage stress, talk with your VA health care provider or visit www.prevention.va.gov.
And if you or someone you know is having an emotional crisis, you can call the Veterans’ Hotline anytime at 1-800-273-TALK and press “1’ for Veterans.