WStress can have a profound impact on health and affects your body, thoughts, feelings, and behavior.  Symptoms like chronic headaches, insomnia, and lower productivity can be a direct result of stress.  Being able to recognize common stress symptoms can give you a jump on managing them.  Stress management is important, because, left unchecked, it can cause high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.  It can also lead to behavioral health conditions like anxiety or depression.

Each year since 2007, the American Psychological Association publishes a study called the Stress in AmericaPaying With Our Health.  This year’s report came out last week.  It’s only 23 pages long- so it’s digestible.  The survey measures stress among Americans including the leading sources of stress, things people do to manage stress, and the impact that stress has on our lives.

The Association’s annual awareness campaign educates folks about the connection between stress and physical health and how you can change your lifestyle and behaviors to better manage stress.  They also have a Psychology Help Center, which is an online consumer resource featuring articles and information like Stress management: How to strengthen your social support network; Face the numbers: Moving beyond financial denial; Money and family: Creating good financial habits; and Happy couples: How to avoid money arguments.

Helping our team manage stress is one key to helping employees achieve wellness.  Benefits Options are available for employees, retirees, and their spouses and dependents.  In addition to an Employee Assistance Program, Benefit Options offers resources like Fact Sheet: Mental Well-Being and Learn How to Stop the Cycle of Stress.