Understanding the Impact of Stress on Mental Health and Overall Well-being

Understanding the Impact of Stress on Mental Health and Overall Well-being

Understanding the Impact of Stress on Mental Health and Overall Well-being, Stress is an experience we all share. Sometimes it’s what we need to help us get a job done. Yet, its impact on mental health is more profound and complex than many of us realize. When stress becomes a constant feature in our lives, it does more than just wear us down physically –  it can seriously affect our mental well-being too. Chronic stress has been linked to and exacerbates a number of psychological issues, including anxiety, depression, and even memory problems. This blog post takes a clear-eyed look at how stress influences our mental state and what that means for our overall health.

While society is becoming more comfortable talking about mental health, it can be hard to know where to start. Luckily, you don’t have to figure it out alone. With an affordable health insurance plan, you can access tools to help you control stress and thrive in our modern world. By understanding stress better, we can learn how to manage it effectively and protect our mental health, making sure we’re as mentally fit as we can be in our increasingly hectic world.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Since its creation in 1949, It has allowed affordable health insurance companies to advocate for policies and practices that support well-being. This year’s theme is “Where to Start: Mental Health in a Changing World.” The world is constantly changing, and it can sometimes feel overwhelming to cope with everything around you. During May, we recognize the challenges of mental health conditions while creating an opportunity to reduce stigma, build understanding, and foster community.

Mental illness is more common than you might imagine. Studies show that:

  • 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experience mental illness each year.
  • Only 47.2% of U.S. adults with mental illness received services.
  • While 1 in 6 U.S. youth have a mental health condition, only half receive treatment.
  • 50% of all lifetime mental illnesses begin by age 14, and 75% by age 24.
Stressed warehouse employee taking a quick mental health break with eyes closed and pinching the bridge of his nose.

 

How does stress impact overall health?

Our minds and bodies are more connected than we think. Chronic stress can cause a host of physical symptoms. Here are a few examples:

  • Musculoskeletal system. Are your muscles feeling tense? That’s thanks to stress! Your body is hardwired to respond to stress by tensing up, which can lead to headaches and pain in your muscles and bones.
  • Respiratory system. Quick, take a breath. Did you struggle a bit? Stress can cause respiratory symptoms like shortness of breath and rapid breathing, making it worse for folks with respiratory conditions like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD.) Deep breaths, everyone!
  • Cardiovascular system. Our hearts are racing. Stress is like a workout for your cardiovascular system, raising your heart rate and blood pressure. Stress can even put you at higher risk for heart disease.
  • Gastrointestinal system. But wait, there’s more! Stress can also affect your digestion, causing gut issues and severe discomfort. It can even mess with the little bacteria that call your stomach home, potentially causing problems in your brain health. Yikes!
  • Nervous system. Last but not least, stress can impact your nervous system, revving up your fight-or-flight response that’s meant for life-threatening situations. Not so helpful during a daily Zoom call, is it? If that goes on for too long, it can really take a toll on your body.

For those suffering from mental illness, stress can exacerbate symptoms, such as hallucinations for those living with schizophrenia, or manic and depressive episodes for those living with bipolar disorder.

It’s clear that mental and overall health are intertwined. Want to learn more about managing stress and taking care of your mental health? We’ve got you covered. Let’s work together to keep your mind and body feeling their best!

 

woman psychologist consults smiling european guy in modern clinic

 

What is the role of preventive care in mental health care?

While often overlooked, mental health is just as important as physical health. Regular physical exams and cancer screenings are standard preventive care practices covered by affordable health insurance companies. But are you having regular mental health screenings?  Mental health screenings have many benefits:

  • Early detection. Screening for mental health can detect problems such as depression and anxiety at an early stage, preventing them from worsening. Early detection enables prompt treatment, leading to better outcomes.
  • Lower long-term behavioral costs. Treating severe mental issues that have already progressed can lead to higher costs for hospitalization and intensive treatment. Early screening and detection reduce the need for expensive treatments later.
  • Improved performance. Poor mental health can make it harder to succeed at work. Early identification through screening can help reduce absenteeism, presenteeism, and employee turnover.
  • Better quality of life. Good mental health means handling emotions, dealing with stress, and getting help when things are tough. Embracing well-being helps you stay healthy and live a happy life.

These screenings can be done through a primary care provider, or a mental health professional, such as a therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist.

How can you manage stress?

Managing stress is crucial for maintaining overall well-being. One effective way to manage stress is through relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga. These practices can help calm the mind and body, reducing anxiety and tension. Regular physical activity is also beneficial, as it helps relieve stress and improve mood and overall health.

Another important aspect of stress management is maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which includes eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and avoiding excessive alcohol and caffeine consumption. These lifestyle choices can significantly impact stress levels and overall health.

Identifying and addressing the sources of stress in your life can be helpful. This practice might involve setting boundaries, learning to say no, or seeking support from friends, family, or a therapist. Developing healthy coping mechanisms, such as journaling, talking to a friend, or engaging in a hobby can effectively manage stress.

Regular primary care visits can be crucial in managing stress and supporting mental health. Primary care is often the first opportunity for mental health screenings and supportive services. Affordable health insurance companies will aid this process by providing inexpensive access to providers and prescriptions.  If stress becomes more chronic and unmanageable, you can reach out to a counselor or psychologist to talk to or psychiatrist if medications are involved).

Affordable health insurance companies now provide simple, accessible, preventive mental health care.

Curative understands the importance of supporting mental health. We offer a wide range of services tailored to your needs, including prioritized preventive measures, quick access to therapy, and easy access to affordable prescriptions. Curative strives to destigmatize mental health concerns and promote a culture of understanding, ensuring that our members feel empowered to seek the care they deserve.

Mental health screenings are made simple.

During your Curative Baseline Visit, you will meet with a healthcare provider to complete preventive health screenings (including mental health screenings) and create a snapshot of your health. You will then meet with your Curative Care Navigator, who will help create a health roadmap and discuss your Curative benefits.  Care Navigators will assist you in finding providers and accessing care. Your Curative team will work with you on your schedule to develop a comprehensive plan to maximize your well-being.

Easy access to therapy

Finding a new therapist can feel daunting. With Curative, we work with you to find in-network therapy at no cost. Our wellness program provides easy access to therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists that meet your needs. As a Curative member, you will even have access to free virtual therapy, allowing you to schedule appointments from anywhere according to your schedule. Within a week, you can be connected to a therapist and be on your way to support and improve your quality of life. To discover in-network therapists conveniently located near you, simply visit curative.com/providers.

Affordable, no-hassle medications

Curative makes it easier than ever to access your medications. As a member of one of the top affordable health insurance companies, you can access a $0 copay on preferred medicines for nearly all conditions. Our member portal makes it easy to know what’s covered. With a quick look at our preferred drug list, you and your doctor can select the best medication that will work for you. The Curative Pharmacy can save you time and hassle with same-day and next-day pharmacy delivery to your home or work. If you have any questions about your medication, simply call or text our Curative Pharmacy team. Our experts will provide comprehensive guidance on how to take your prescription medications safely.

In case of an emergency, please dial 988 for immediate support. Texas members can also utilize NormanMD for virtual crisis care, while members outside Texas can use Teladoc. For more information, please contact Member Services at 855-428-7284.

About Curative

When it comes to affordable health insurance companies, Curative stands above the rest. Curative is a new kind of employer-sponsored health insurance that provides comprehensive healthcare while prioritizing affordability, engagement, and simplicity.  No copays. No deductibles. No…really. Curative is changing the way we view health insurance. Curative provides top-notch primary care both in-person and virtually. Learn more about how Curative can support your mental health needs by visiting our website.

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