April is 'Stress Awareness Month' here are some tips to cope

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) -- April is 'Stress Awareness Month,' and doctors all over the U.S. are getting together to make sure you know the warning signs of stress, and tips to help you cope.

Rick Jass from Charis Counseling came on Sunrise 7 Monday morning to discuss stress awareness questions.

He mentioned that even though we all have stress in our lives, the difference is what the pattern shows over time.

"You can tell the difference between a bad day or stress by seeing if the 'bad days' start to turn into a pattern," explained Jass. "Is it a stressful day, week, month or longer? That's a good indicator to tell if you're plagued with stress or not.

Other common signs of stress include:
-Feeling like you're overwhelmed and can't handle all the things in your life
-Feeling nervous and stressed often
-Feeling less confident in your ability to handle your personal problems
-Increased irritability and increased anger

After discovering if you're stressed, it's important to figure out what type of stress you have, as there are good types of stress and bad types of stress.

Jass explained that the good kind of stress can come from doing things like, starting a new job, getting married, or having a baby. Whereas bad stress can emerge when we lose a job, get divorced, or deal with conflict or death in our lives.

"One way to manage that stress is to make sure you're dealing with all the dimensions of your live; the physical by keeping a healthy diet, getting exercise and sleep, the mental by learning something new and keeping a hobby you enjoy, the social and emotional by taking time to rest and find meaningful connections, and finally the spiritual by looking at the meaning of the things in your life," Jass said.

We can improperly handle stress by taking things that we typically do in moderation to an extreme. i.e. sleeping, watching t.v., or drinking. If those start to get out of control, then you may be putting what's stressing you out on the back burner.

"Often when people feel stressed they avoid responsibilities through procrastination, which ultimately ends up increasing the stress more, because they end up getting more and more behind," Jass explained.

Unfortunately, in the long run, stress is unavoidable in our lives. But doing things like taking online stress tests, finding stuff that makes you happy, focusing on the now, making sure the dimensions of your life are well covered, and deep breathing for four breaths can all help to alleviate as much stress as possible so you can go on and enjoy your day.