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Finding comfort key in handling stress

Lori Osachy shares tips for stress reduction

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. –  

Recognizing the signs of stress can often be difficult, but there are some key indicators that can help stressed individuals realize that they have more stress than usual.

Sometimes the signals are physical, other times, emotional signs are easier to spot.

"You can start to have panic attacks, which may not be full-blown panic attacks, but you feel like you are about to, when they are stressed out," Lori Osachy, from the Body Image Counseling Center said.

Some physical signs of stress include recurring nightmares or bad dreams, insomnia, waking up a lot during the night, jaw or tooth pain, stomach aches or pains, chest pain, rapid heartbeat, headaches or getting sick a lot.

Sometimes, it can be easier for others to notice a change in a stressed individual's emotional mood. Look for irritability and lack of patience, yelling or arguing more than usual, panic attacks, trouble concentrating or brain fog and feelings of low self-esteem or worthlessness, even stress eating.

These can all be signs of stress.

The life list is divided into five different kinds of stress-busting categories: emotional, physical, social, intellectual and spiritual.

Some of the physical comforts include things like exercise, yoga, stretching or getting a massage. Socially, make new friends, volunteer, play a board game or hold a baby.

"They have found that the largest indicator of longevity is not exercise, but socialization. When we are stressed, we drop our supports and get isolated," Osachy said. "It's really important to schedule that lunch with friends or go out with co-workers."

Intellectual comforts can including learning a new language, taking up an instrument, doing puzzles or taking on a new challenge. Spiritual comforts include spending time with children, spending time in nature or with animals or going to a house of worship. Even watching the sunset can help to relieve stress.