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Did you know that more than 1 in 4 Americans say that they have had a great deal of Stop Stressstress in the past month? Plus, half of all adults say that they have experienced a major stressful in the past. These adults add up to more than 115 million stress out Americans. April is Stress Awareness Month, and although May is fast approaching, we felt that this topic deserved some attention that could hopefully be carried out in months to follow.

Stress is a normal part of life. Our bodies are built to experience and react to stress. Believe it or not, stress can actually be positive because it helps us stay alert and avoid danger, but it can quickly become negative when bodies don’t get the time to recover.

Nearly all trips to the doctor’s office are due to stress-related ailments and complaints. Stress can play a major role in problems such as headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, asthma, arthritis, depression and anxiety.

We think it’s time to nip these problems in the bud by reducing the amount of stress we put on our bodies. We’ve compiled a list of ways to achieve stress relief:

  1. Breathe.

Could there be possibly an easier way to relax? By taking slow, deep breaths, you can lower your blood pressure and heart rate.

  1. Write it down.

Studies have shown that simply by writing down your thoughts and feeling can help combat anxiety and clear the mind of stress.

  1. Declutter.

A cluttered environment reduces your ability to focus. By organizing your space, you are removing all potential work that might be otherwise staring you in the face.

  1. Eat chocolate.

Yes, you heard us correctly! When used in appropriate quantities, dark chocolate has been shown to significantly improve mood by increasing serotonin and endorphin levels in the brain.

  1. Enjoy the great outdoors.

It’s been shown that nature is a natural stress reliever. Wide-open spaces mean more opportunities to boost your health.

Did you know that you could enjoy some time this summer in what we feel is the best open space, the Wisconsin Lions Camp? WLF is again hosting Visitor Days every Wednesdays over the summer, and there are still openings. If you do choose to visit, be sure to stop by at the Lions Pride office. You can achieve stress relief in two ways because we are always stocked with chocolate!

There are several more ways to reduce the amount of stress in your life, and many take less than 5 minutes of your day. Take advantage of these tips to reduce your stress and improve your overall health. How do you accomplish stress relief?

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