(WKBN) — April marks the beginning of Stress Awareness Month, designed to bring awareness to the negative impacts of stress.

The National Institutes of Health states that knowing how to manage stress can improve mental and physical well-being as well as minimize exacerbation of health-related issues.

Mercy Health published a behavioral health newsletter detailing stress, its symptoms and coping methods.

Stress is defined as physical, mental or emotional strain or tension, and long-term stress can have harmful impacts on a person’s mental and even physical health. It has many similar symptoms as an anxiety disorder, though stress ends when the triggering situation ends whereas anxiety disorders are more continuous regardless of circumstances.

Symptoms of stress can include feelings of irritation, anger, and denial, triggering exhaustion or burnout. This can lead to problems with concentration or sleeping.

The following are healthy ways of coping with stress:

  • Taking breaks from social media
  • Taking care of your body by exercising regularly, eating healthy, well-balanced meals, taking deep breaths, stretching and meditating
  • Avoiding excessive alcohol, tobacco and substance use
  • Making time to unwind and do things that bring joy

This is not an all-encompassing list — different forms of stress management are effective for different people. It is important to focus on what is best for your individual health.

It is also important to recognize when you need more help. If problems persist, consider talking to a licensed counselor. You can also text 4HOPE to the crisis text line at 741-741.