Stress Awareness Month has been held every April, since 1992. That month, health professionals and experts join forces to increase public awareness about both the causes and cures for our modern stress epidemic. Sponsored by The Health Resource Network (HRN), a non-profit health education, Stress Awareness Month is a national, cooperative effort to inform people about the dangers of stress, successful coping strategies, and harmful misconceptions about stress that are prevalent in our society.
The Health Power website provides a wealth of information on stress prevention and reduction, including 14 specific approaches that have proved very helpful for many, including:
|Walking & Other Exercises|
|Progressive Muscular Relaxation|
Key Stress Triggers for communities of color:
In many multicultural or minority communities and population groups, there is a greater likelihood of stress because of such situations as:
- More unemployment and underemployment
- Lack of health insurance or inadequate health insurance in spite of a greater burden from racial and ethnic health disparities
- Decreased health literacy, although it is greatly needed to decrease racial and ethnic health disparities
- Decreased access to opportunities for stress prevention and reduction
- Greater exposure to classism because of a greater likelihood of economic disadvantage including poverty
- Greater exposure to racism, with its multiple stress-producing results.
Stress can often lead to unhealthy lifestyles and practices, and these patterns can cause more stress. Furthermore, poor choices made under stress, like the following, can eventually lead to more stress and illness:
- Excess intake of alcoholic beverages
- Eating too much fast food
- Becoming a couch potato
- Participating in, or accepting, violent behavior
It is therefore very important that people of color understand the symptoms of stress, and adopt techniques to prevent and reduce them.
Remember the Health Power motto: Knowledge + Action = Power!