National Stress Awareness Day 2022: History, Significance and Activities

National Stress Awareness Day is annually celebrated on every first Wednesday of November in the United States, which means this year it falls on November 2nd. 

As the name suggests, the National Stress Awareness Day is a day about awaring people about dealing with their stress. As long term stress can cause serious damages to one’s health so this day aims to encourage people towards taking care of their health and mind in case of stress. 

Identifying the stressors impacting our physical and mental health is important. Sometimes, health problems are the cause. But our health can also be affected by external stressors such as physical abuse, stressful work environments, financial stress, or other family health issues.

Event National Stress Awareness Day
Date November 2, 2022
Day Wednesday
Significance The day raises awareness about the stress and ways to deal with it.
Observed by United States

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National Stress Awareness Day History: 

Prior to the introduction of the concept “stress” in the psychological sense which only came out way later in 1955, people already identified a range of more nuanced ideas to describe and confront such emotions as worry, grief, concern, obsession, fear, annoyance, anxiety, distress, suffering and passion. The word “stress” has subsequently become a mainstay of pop psychology in modern century only.  The term stress was borrowed from the field of physics by one of the fathers of stress research Hans Selye.

Hans Selye pioneered the field of stress research and provided convincing arguments that stress impacted health. But not all agreed with his physiological view of stress as a non-specific phenomenon though. What about psychological stress?(i.e.: loss of the beloved, frustration, tending to an ill child, or work problems)? Could these situations also be stressful? Many physicians, psychologists, and researchers thought so. Many argued that if stress was a non-specific phenomenon then everyone should react the same way to the same stressors. But this did not seem right. Many were also convinced that there had to be common elements that would elevate everyone’s stress hormone levels.

In one experiment stress hormone levels were then measured in both people jumping for the first time and their instructors during parachute jumping. They found a big difference! On the day before the jump, student’s levels were normal while instructors levels were very high. On the jump day, students levels were very high, while instructor’s levels were normal. They concluded that 24 hours before the jump, the instructors anticipation resulted in higher stress hormone levels because they knew what to expect. The students were oblivious!

National Stress Awareness Day was established in 1998 by the International Stress Management Association (ISMA) to help provide information on stress, and strategies on how to address it for both companies and individuals. The organization is particularly focused on business relationships and reducing stress in the workplace. Their aim is to help employers and employees support each other by providing comprehensive guides to establishing a program within their organization.  

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National Stress Awareness Day Significance: 

In psychology, stress is a feeling of emotional strain and pressure. Stress is a type of psychological pain. Small amounts of stress may be beneficial, as it can improve athletic performance, motivation and reaction to the environment. Excessive amounts of stress, however, can increase the risk of strokes, heart attacks, ulcers, and mental illnesses such as depression and also aggravation of a pre-existing condition. Stress can be external and related to the environment, but may also be caused by internal perceptions that cause an individual to experience anxiety or other negative emotions surrounding a situation, such as pressure, discomfort, etc., which they then deem stressful.

A stressor is any event, experience, or environmental stimulus that causes stress in an individual. These events or experiences are perceived as threats or challenges to the individual and can be either physical or psychological. Researchers have found that stressors can make individuals more prone to both physical and psychological problems, including heart disease and anxiety.  Stressors are more likely to affect an individual’s health when they are “chronic, highly disruptive, or perceived as uncontrollable”. 

There are mainly two types of stress one is acute stress, this is short-term stress that goes away quickly. You feel it when you slam on the brakes, have a fight with your partner, or ski down a steep slope. It helps you manage dangerous situations. The other one is chronic stress, that is, failure to deal with it for a long time and remaining in a prolonged and constant feeling of stress can lead to life-threatening problems. From hypertension, heart diseases, decreased immunity, loss of sociability, and decreased mental vitality, stress is not to be taken lightly! To break the chain reaction, National Stress Awareness Day is a day-long event to take a deep breath and embrace peace. 

Treatment includes self-help and, when an underlying condition is causing stress, certain medications. Therapies that may help a person relax include aromatherapy and reflexology. Doctors will not usually prescribe medications for coping with stress, unless they are treating an underlying illness, such as depression or an anxiety disorder. However the best way to deal with stress is by adopting a healthy and good lifestyle without any worries and maintaining your body with daily exercises, meditation and healthy diet and staying away from stressful environments. 

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National Stress Awareness Day Activities: 

Understanding that one day isn’t quite enough, ISMA has begun recently to hold events all week long. In fact, 2020 marked the first-ever Global Stress & Well Being Summit held by the organization. The event was held completely online, acting as a dynamic place for participants to learn and share about their experiences with mental health, the stress in the workplace, and the well-being of employees. So try to attend such events regarding stress management on this day to learn more about it. 

The point of the day is to learn more about the triggers that can cause stress, learning how to let go of things that you can’t change, or learning how to use exercise to deal with stress and let go of pent up anxiety. It’s also a day in which people can take the time to learn how diet not only keeps our bodies running but also may have an impact on the person’s stress levels.

Some people also use this opportunity to learn deep-breathing meditative stress management techniques, other people take the day as a mental health day and go for a hike or spend time with their pets. And some people post their stress stories or techniques of dealing with stress online using the hashtag #NationalStressAwarenessDay or the hashtag #StressAwarenessDay.

Most Searched FAQs on National Stress Awareness Day: 

1. When is National Stress Awareness Day celebrated? 

National Stress Awareness Day is annually celebrated on every first Wednesday of November in US. 

2. How do we manage stress? 

There are hundreds of activities, foods, and mindful approaches to reduce the impact of stress. The most effective ones are regularly exercising and laughing.

3. Does crying relieve stress? 

Many people associate crying with feeling sad and making them feel worse, but in reality, crying can help improve your mood – emotional tears release stress hormones. Your stress level lowers when you cry, which can help you sleep better and strengthen your immune system.

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