No Joke: It’s Stress Awareness Month!
By Elizabeth Scott, M.S., About.com Guide
I’m a big fan of April Fool’s Day (if it’s celebrated with harmless silliness) because celebrating playfulness and maintaining a sense of humor are both ways to relieve stress and begin observing Stress Awareness Month, one of my favorite months! This year, whether or not you’ve celebrated with me before, I’d like to encourage you to observe both the day and the month, for perhaps obvious reasons:
1. Your Health: Because stress can affect your health in many ways, stress management is great for your health and longevity. So is laughter. (Read this for more research on laughter.) If you commit yourself to stress management this month (or even commit yourself to maintaining a sense of humor for this one day), you’ll be doing something to lead to a healthier lifestyle.
2. Your Happiness: Finding the fun in a given situation is an easy path to greater happiness. Start today by looking at the funny side of various situations. Start this month by managing stress and bringing your level of overall happiness up. Do it for yourself.
3. Do It For The Children: Okay, it is a bit if a heartstring-pulling reason for stress management, but managing stress in your own life is a way to help your children learn stress management as well. You can do this by setting a good example of stress management, and by helping children manage their own stress by actively helping them learn stress relief techniques like deep breathing for kids. There’s no time like the present.
So how can you celebrate April Fool’s Day in a way that relieves stress? Rather than pranking people in mean ways, just work on finding the humor in various situations you face today–it’ll make you and yours feel good all day. (See this article on maintaining a sense of humor for tips.)
And how can you observe Stress Awareness Month? I’ll have extra resources for you all month long, but the following are a great place to start:
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