Jeremiah Gums, M.D. Internal Medicine
There was a really good book, years ago, called 'Don't Sweat the Small Stuff,' and I try to tell that to my patients.
Try to look at the situation and understand it for what it really is. Most of the things we stress out about really aren't that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things.
It's very helpful to take a breath, look at the situation, reevaluate things and go from there.
What are the health risks of stress?
Some of the dangers of letting your stress get out of control include things like depression, anxiety, but also other health conditions such as hypertension, high blood pressure.
What can I do to slow my life down?
Try to make a schedule. I know for some people that might stress them out more but it really helps if you have a finite list to look at. Then take the hours in the day and figure out when you can fit it in. What that also helps with is prioritizing things. Trying to realize what's important, what can you do today and what can wait until tomorrow.
When should I seek help for stress?
If a patient is stressed out to the point where they notice that their home activities aren't really coping well enough or exercise isn't cutting it, time alone isn't cutting it. Those are patients we need to evaluate a little bit further and see if there is something else going on. There are things, such as panic attacks or generalized anxiety disorder,that may require help with a prescription medication or maybe formal counseling.