Stress is your body’s response to uncomfortable or awkward situations.
Dr. Michelle Yates of Steward Internal Medicine in Port St. John said that in the extremes with life in danger it is probably the most stressful.
The heart rate goes up, breathing increases and sometimes we get sweaty. Stress can be either chronic or occasional where it is empathetic — you are doing fine and suddenly get stressed like from a death or planning a big event.
“Allow the mind to take control of the situation, slow breathing down as a physical response, develop a plan to address the situation and, if necessary, see a primary care provider to help you medically,” Yates said. “As necessary, avoid situations that cause you additional stress or limit the time spent in this situation.”
Yates suggests having a plan. If it is family causing the stress. Limit the time with them. You need to be aware of the stressful situation and aware of your body’s response so you can then decide or choose to change the body’s response.
Slow your breathing and continuously take control of the situation so it’s not controlling you. It could be financial stress for retirees not taking control of the situation and a need to have contingencies like a safety fund for the unexpected.
“One of my answers is counseling,” said Mariam Vermiller, a psychologist and mental health counselor in Rockledge.
“When stress builds up, I have somebody I can talk to in the process,” she said. “Talking to someone helps to alleviate stress. If you are talking to family, it can get emotional. But, it is safer to talk to a counselor because they don’t get caught up in the information.
“Taking care of yourself or self-caring is important. Selfishness is when you put self ahead all the time. But being self-caring is ‘I am going to take care of myself, so I have the equipment to take care of others.’ Self-caring is lunch with a friend, getting a pedicure or a haircut. Don’t get over-extended and it is OK to tell people no, you can’t do something. One of the first things is to take care of yourself.”