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It could be related to an issue at work, a fight with a friend, or problems with family; everyone feels stressed sometimes. A little stress every now and then is not something to be concerned about. Ongoing, chronic stress, however, can cause or exacerbate many serious health problems and is associated with adverse effects on the immune system and can worsen the symptoms you experience from any medical condition. Stress also puts you at risk of substance abuse. Stress and pain are often closely linked. Each one can have an impact on the other so  part of pain relief is learning how to better manage stress. Since we all respond to stress differently, there’s no “one size fits all” solution to handling stress. But if you feel like the stress in your life is out of balance, it’s time to take action. Here are some tips for dealing with stress:

Identify the Stressors

Look closely at your habits, attitude, and excuses to identify the sources of your stress. Your stress level will remain outside your control until you know the role you play in creating and maintaining it

Check Your Pain Relievers

Sometimes, side effects from medications (prescription or over-the-counter)  can cause restlessness, insomnia, anxiety, and stressful feelings

Get Moving

Just about any form of physical activity can help relieve stress and burn away anger, tension, and frustration. All forms of exercise, including yoga and walking, can ease depression and anxiety. Take the stairs up and down a few flights, or do some stretching exercises like head rolls and shoulder shrugs. Pace yourself. Engaging in an activity routine that alternates between more or less physically demanding activities can help you to increase your activity level and decrease your pain and stress

Set Boundaries

Avoid unnecessary stresses. Learn how to say “no” – taking on more than you can handle is a surefire recipe for stress. Take control of your environment and avoid situations that stress you out. Sometimes it is best to step away from a situation and think about whether it is worth getting upset over. Pay attention to your daily tasks, including work-related and personal activities. Decide what’s necessary and what satisfies you the most

Look at Your Lifestyle

Find a balance between personal, work, and family needs. Eat a healthy diet, limit how much alcohol you drink, and don’t smoke. Staying healthy is your best defense against stress. Try to chill out with relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, guided imagery, and meditation. These can force you to relax and decrease stress and become techniques you can use throughout the day

Get enough sleep

Your body recovers from the stresses of the day while you are sleeping. Avoid coffee, chocolate, and caffeinated soda, in the evening. Try to keep worry and stress outside the bedroom and get adequate sleep to fuel your mind, as well as your body

Recurrent pain can definitely affect your quality of life, but learning how to find a balance and cope with stress can help you manage that pain and lessen its harmful impact.

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