Don't worry, be happy

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Anania Tekurio
  • 28 Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Do you find yourself unable to sleep well throughout the night, have difficulty concentrating at work, or are just stressed out overall?

Don't despair - April is Stress Awareness Month, and the Health and Wellness Center is here to help you better manage your stress levels and learn how to deal with life stressors.

"Stress is a normal thing that everyone has," said Lee Sasse, 28th Medical Operations Squadron family advocate outreach manager. "It's not good or bad."

Stress is your body and mind's response to a demand and its adaptation to change. Stress causes one's "fight or flight" system to activate which produces a large release of adrenaline, an increase in blood pressure and shallow breathing. Psychologically, it shuts off our higher-level thinking which can lead to dangerous situations.

When these natural and normal reactions to stress linger within the body and mind for an abnormal length of time, unhealthy symptoms occur.

"Stress can be a positive thing, motivating people to get things done," continued Sasse. "However, when stress is not healthily managed it leads to negative stress which is known as distress."

At the HAWC, Sasse conducts classes on stress management, guiding people on how to manage stress effectively with different methods and relaxation techniques. One method taught is the diaphragmatic breathing technique, where you focus on taking deep breaths at specific intervals and calming your mind.

The HAWC also has a massage chair available for free anytime that through the massage mechanisms helps release tension and stress in your body.

For more information about stress management classes and other support available, call the HAWC at (605) 385-2349.