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Ask a Doc: What are some simple ways I can fight stress?

AAD Abbott

Our answer comes from Dr. George Abbott, HMC Center for Behavioral Health 

Question:  What are some simple ways I can fight stress? 

Answer:  The first step in successful stress relief is deciding to make a change in how you manage stress. The next step is identifying your stress triggers. Some causes of stress are obvious — job pressures, relationship problems or financial difficulties but sometimes the daily hassles and demands can also contribute to your stress level. Once you've identified your stress triggers, you can start thinking about strategies for dealing with them. Relaxation techniques are an essential part of stress management. Common techniques include meditation, mindfulness, tai chi and yoga. For a more traditional approach, walking outdoors or participating in a sports activity can be relaxing. Relaxation helps to slow your breathing and to focus your attention on the here and now. And don't feel like you have to figure it out all on your own. Ask friends and family members what works for them.

Stress won't disappear from your life. And stress management isn't an overnight cure. But with practice, you can learn to manage your stress level and increase your ability to cope with life's challenges.

If you would like additional information on stress management, contact the HMC Center for Behavioral Health at (413) 534-2698.

‘Ask a Doc’ is a weekly post by Holyoke Medical Center. To ask a question, please feel free to submit to webadministrator@holyokehealth.com and we will do our best to answer it.