Mental Health professional raise awareness on the importance of managing stress

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - The first Wednesday of November is known each year as Stress Awareness Day, but mental health professionals say managing your stress level is something people should be thinking about more often.

"Stress actually a very dangerous, chronic condition because it actually creates an inflammatory response in your body leading to chronic illnesses and chronic pain and chronic diseases and things like that," Mark Harvey, a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner with Resilience Mental Health Service, said.

Managing stress can be as simple as just going for a walk after work. Anything to just give yourself some time to relax and not thinking about everything you have going on.

"Doing something physical every day, or even twice a day, really brings your stress levels down and increases your happiness level, which of course is the antidote for stress," Harvey said. "It just helps keep you be calm and relax."

Being too stressed too often can lead to other mental illnesses, like depression or anxiety. It can also cause a weakened immune system, leaving you vulnerable to sickness and diseases. The risks are even higher in children.

"Chronic stress in kids leads to a wide variety of medical problems later in life such as cancer, too much cigarette smoking, COPD, not being able to quit smoking and obesity, suicide risk and depression," Harvey said. "Chronic stress, especially in young people, is very serious."

It's recommended to teach children at a young age healthy ways to cope and manage their stress.