How can you manage stress?

  • Published
  • By Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
Stress. We've all felt it. We all deal with it differently. But what do you do when it becomes overwhelming? Even better, how do you prevent it from becoming overwhelming?

The signs of stress can range from physical symptoms to emotional symptoms such as muscle tension, sweaty palms, and difficulty sleeping to feeling worried, fearful, fatigued, and irritable. Sometimes, you may have multiple symptoms at one time. This can lead to having a hard time concentrating, poor health habits, and all kinds of sleep issues. The consequences of not managing stress can be harmful to your life and well-being. They can also have a negative impact on those around you.

Fortunately, we can keep stress under control by learning stress management skills. There are a many resources available to you through VA that will help you with handling stressful issues and situations. Options range from simple relaxation or pleasant activities you can do on your own, to working with a counselor. VA also has resources to help you improve both problem-solving skills and anger management.

Money problems? VA offers classes that help you to think differently about those problems. These also help you find time for hobbies and activities that help you relax. Physical health problems? Relaxation classes are offered as well to help you find the best way to take part in light physical activity in order to keep your body moving and strong.

Many VA facilities offer many options that can help you through your own, uniquely stressful situation often including stress management classes.

It is important to remember that no matter how challenging life becomes, there is help available. To learn more about how to manage stress, talk with your health care team. You can also watch "Managing Stress: Good for Your Health" (above) and visit the Manage Stress Workbook from VA's National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention to help guide you through steps to identify and track your stress.


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