Skip to Content

Mental Health Monday: Coping with stress

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - Many of us can relate to stress. April is recognized as Stress Awareness Month, which brings attention to its negative impacts.

From worries about paying bills to the state of the nation, two-thirds of the American population regularly experience stress, according to the American Psychological Association.

We want to feel capable, so we need a good education,” said Stefanie Westover, a licensed clinical social worker. “We want to feel courageous so we can go out and do the things we need to do. We want to feel connected to other people. We want to feel like we count. And how we go about getting those needs met causes stress. Some of it's good, not all of it,” Westover said.

Negative stress can have lasting physical effects, such as high blood pressure, a slow digestive system, and more. It is your body's reaction to a difficult situation.

Many turn to alcohol or drugs to cope. "The people who say that fentanyl is good, they're not wrong. It helps that way. It's just a very short-term fix that causes long-term damage and addiction," Westover said.

But there are better, beneficial ways to help yourself remain calm.

"Make sure that you're getting enough rest and then thinking through planning ahead with meals. Breathing matters. That's always cliche, but it's true. And making sure that you're taking good deep breaths," Westover said.

When you give it a try.

"You want your hands to move slowly up and down as you breathe the air. You breathe naturally high. You can tell. Don't even think about breathing, you breathe naturally high," Westover said. "Don't even think about breathing. Just think about your hands slowly moving up and down."

 It’s easier said than done. "There is a little bit of an art to it," Westover said.

As you go about your day, give yourself more grace. “It's okay to accept less than perfection," Westover said.

Click here to see past Mental Health Monday topics.

Article Topic Follows: Mental Health Monday

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Kailey Galaviz

Kailey is a morning anchor and reporter for Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3


KIFI Local News 8 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content