True Health New Mexico | true to your health | Spring 2018

{ SPRING 2018 | FOR MEMBERS OF TRUE HEALTH NEW MEXICO } Pressure overload 6 STEPS TO SOOTHE STRESS I t’s hard to live a stress-free life. But too much stress isn’t good for your health or happiness. Over time, it may cause you to lose sleep, have headaches or be depressed. It can make you irritable and angry. And it can raise your risk for serious illnesses, such as high blood pressure and heart disease. Stress less If stress is a constant companion these days, give the following six stress-busters a try: 1. Ask yourself, “Am I taking on too much?” Often, stress comes from dueling demands on your time. So if family or work respon- sibilities are spilling off your plate, decide which tasks must get done now and which ones can wait. Be honest with yourself and others: You can politely say no to new requests if you have more than you can handle. 2. Take charge—when you can. It’s impor- tant to realize that you can’t control all the stressors in your life. Identify the ones you can, and focus on changing them. If you’re prone to procrastinating, for instance, break big projects into smaller tasks. If talk- ing to a relative makes you tense, limit how much and how often you talk. 3. Nurture your body. Do you tend to head to the couch with your tablet or TV remote after a hectic day? Opt for a walk—even for 10 minutes—instead. Exercise releases mood-lifting endorphins. Eating nutritious foods, getting enough sleep, and avoiding alcohol and too much caffeine are other healthy ways to cope with stress. 4. Recharge your sense of joy. Even if your schedule seems maxed-out, try to squeeze in time for activities you enjoy. Maybe that’s working on a hobby, seeing a movie or having dinner with a friend. 5. Bring on the calm. Develop a list of go-to strategies for relieving stress when it strikes. Frazzled by a deadline? Close your eyes and sit quietly for a few minutes. Stuck in traffic? Turn on upbeat music to tune out tension. Exhausted after a long day at work? Take a warm shower to help ease tense muscles. 6. Tell a good listener. Everyone has a bad day—and it may help to talk about yours with loved ones or trusted friends. You’ll face the next day a bit stronger with their love and support. Sources:; Mental Health America; National Institute of Mental Health If your stress is overwhelm- ing, our comprehensive network of mental and behavioral health provid- ers can help. You can find a listing of all in-network providers by visiting find_a_doctor.aspx or by calling Customer Service at 855-769-6642 . { N E E D A P R O V I D E R ? }