Stress is generally a product of the tension you feel in response to a change or threat. With 90 percent of office visits attributed to stress symptoms, this may be a result of life’s demands, good or bad, and your perceived lack of resources to meet them.
Not all stress is bad. In fact, we need a certain amount to have a meaningful life, although learning to stay away from the strain zone helps us optimize performance while preventing dysfunction, health problems and burn out.
Understand your stress to better manage it:
For additional stress reduction resources, visit your mental health provider Optum's liveandworkwell site. To get full access to the website, follow these instructions. Optum is not available to Oregon Health Plan (OHP) members.
Stress reduction techniques
Mindfulness is about being fully aware in the present moment without filters or the lens of judgment. When we are being mindful, we are bringing curiosity, interest and attentiveness to what is happening right now. Mindfulness has its roots as a fundamental practice of Buddhism and has been around for 2500 years. Over the last 30 years or so, mindfulness has gotten attention in the west due to the efforts of Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn and the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. This program, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, has been the subject of many research studies in pain and stress reduction that document its benefits. Providence periodically offers an in-person mindfulness class series. Call the Providence Resource Line at 503-574-6595 or visit the classes and events page.
Try these introductory videos on mindfulness:
These apps can help you relax when you need it most:
- Headspace provides 10-minute meditations and helps you to build meditation into your day.
- Stop Breathe and Think is a simple tool to guide people of all ages and backgrounds through meditations for mindfulness and compassion.
- Calm offers a series of meditations based on specific goals such as focus, anxiety, sleep, happiness and many more.
- Live awake podcast helps bring you back to your grounded center through reflection and guided meditation. This podcast lends a new outlook to some of life's hard landscape. Perspective is everything, and by choosing to live awake to all that blooms in front of us we begin to live a more empowered life where joy becomes our natural state of being.
- Insight Timer is a free tool that gives you access to hundreds of guided meditations and spiritual talks from around the world.
Depression and addiction resources
Access your mental health benefits
Sometimes talking with a counselor or other mental health provider is needed. Mental health provider Optum offers trained counselors available by phone 24 hours per day: 800-711-4577. The number is also on the back of your benefits card.
From the National Sleep Foundation: