Don’t let stress bring you down: Visit the 9Health Fair April 28


By Constance d’Angelis

Special to The PREVIEW

Stress is a disease monger. Pay attention. You can master it. Check the markers on April 28 from 7 to 11 a.m. at the 9Health Fair at Pagosa Springs High School.

The power of unmanaged, long-term stress is greater than previously known or anticipated. Did you know that untreated chronic stress can result in serious health conditions including anxiety, insomnia, muscle pain, high blood pressure, heart disease and a weakened immune system?

A healthy immune system is critical. It reduces our ability to ward off viral and bacterial infections like the flu, the common cold or pneumonia. A weakened immune system depresses the effect of vaccines. The American Psychological Association and American Institute of Stress are excellent sources for more information.

Chronic stress consequences are serious. Research shows that 77 percent of Americans have physical problems caused by stress and 73 percent experience psychological symptoms. Anxiety and depression are dramatic and life-threatening. People who suffer from these are at twice the risk for heart disease than others.

I don’t want to be a victim, and I doubt that you do either.

So, where do we start? Get a battery of tests and screenings to identify your current state of health. Come to the high school on April 28 from 7 to 11 a.m.

Your health is important and there is so much you can learn. You can take advantage of the minimal cost blood test panel for $35, add on more extensive tests, have vision or breast screenings, attend the educational programs or just meet health professionals who offer their services.

The key to managing stress is recognizing its effects and making lifestyle changes, which can be challenging. Start with an intention to take charge of the concerns that stress you out, including the mental chatter. You are in charge and can take one small step to reduce stress and improve your emotional health.

Some suggestions include: mindful focus on positive feelings or events, present moment awareness, a healthy diet and increase in activity such as a daily walk. Physical activity increases your body’s production of feel-good endorphins, neurotransmitters in the brain that reduce depression and anxiety.

We know how important it is to get blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, triglycerides and other evaluations so that we can stay apprised of markers that help inform us of our health status. Education, instruction and learning are also important.

We also need local business support, and contributions great and small are of utmost importance and appreciated.

Want to volunteer?

If you have a working brain and a good attitude, you’ll be perfect. Special skills? You could contribute in a particular capacity. Contact Constance: text/call (813) 373-8004 or email