Stress Awareness Month
April is Stress Awareness Month. This year, we’re diving deeper into the meaning of “awareness”—and how it can help us deal with stress as it arises.
This month, we’re celebrating Stress Awareness Month by looking more deeply at the word “awareness.”
Awareness has layers. Spreading awareness about stress means spreading factual information so that more people are conscious of its harmful effects. This is more surface-level awareness. Generally becoming aware that we ourselves are often stressed out is a slightly deeper awareness.
But what about in-the-moment awareness—the kind of awareness that allows us to sink into the stress, deal with it, and emerge calmer and more peaceful? That’s the kind of awareness we’re going to talk about this month at Beam. Read on to learn how to get there.
Stress: The Facts
According to the American Institute of Stress:
- “55% of Americans are stressed during the day.”
- “Stress causes 57% of US respondents to feel paralyzed.”
- “63% of US workers are ready to quit their job to avoid work-related stress.”
- “Chronic stress is commonplace at work with 94% of workers reporting feeling stress at work.”
Aside from the mental and emotional discomfort it can cause (and the ripple effects it can have on our lives and relationships), stress also has an effect on us physiologically. According to the American Psychological Association, “Stress affects all systems of the body including the musculoskeletal, respiratory, cardiovascular, endocrine, gastrointestinal, nervous, and reproductive systems.”
Stress is both ubiquitous and incredibly harmful—so what do we do about it?
Awareness: Look Deeper
Most of us have reached the first two levels of awareness: we are aware of the facts about stress, and we are aware that we feel stress on a daily basis. However, self-knowledge doesn’t always help when we’re in the thick of it: self-observation can be much more useful in tense moments. Here are some quick tips on bringing mindfulness to stressful situations while they’re happening:
- Narrate, in your head, what is actually going on in the moment. Example: “I am sitting at my desk, and I have just noticed my boss wave me over to her office.”
- Notice your physiological response to the situation: Example: “My heart rate has increased, my jaw has clenched, and my chest is feeling tighter.”
- Breathe in through your nose, and try to notice the sensation of your breath passing through your nostrils. Breathing and paying attention to physical sensations can help bring you out of the scary story your head is telling you.
- Try to identify a feeling that may be underneath the stress. Is it guilt around not having finished an assignment? Fear around what your boss will say about it? Anger that your boss may be “checking up” on the assignment?
- Self-soothe. Talk to yourself (in your head) as if you were a child that needed comforting. Example: “I can feel how scared you are, but I bet it’s nothing big. Remember the last time this happened and everything was fine?”
Taking these 5 steps during stressful moments can help you work through your feelings so that, the next time it happens, it won’t feel as overwhelming. Mindfulness builds self-trust, and helps you to see how much control you actually have over your own responses to things. Deepen your awareness and give it a try.
A Little Help from Your Friends
Long-term wellness can also be a potent solution to the ongoing problem of stress. Better sleep and a boost of mental calm can help set you on the right track. Here are 2 Beam products that can help you de-stress.
Our hemp tincture, The One, is designed specifically to help you achieve balance, zen, and a better state of mind.* Simply put a dropperful into your morning coffee (or right under your tongue) whenever you’re feeling stressed. It comes in several potencies, so if you’re new to hemp tinctures, we suggest starting with the 500mg option.
Several studies have shown that better sleep can lead to lowered stress levels*. Our Dream line of natural sleep remedies includes sleeping powders and capsules made with 5 powerful natural sleep aid-promoting ingredients (Nano Hemp, Reishi, L-Theanine, Magnesium, and Melatonin) to help you get your best sleep ever. Whether you prefer a convenient capsule or a cozy hot chocolate to wind down your day, there’s a Dream for that.
by Samantha Colicchio