Being stressed is bad, and acknowledging that that’s the case is a pretty innocuous, non-partisan move, right? Apparently not. Though this resolution has forty co-sponsors, they’re all Democrats. Do Republicans not get stressed?
Perhaps Republicans are just more realistic about the speed at which Congress moves. Sponsoring Rep. Tony Cardenas introduced this bill on April 23, 2015. Y’know, a week before April 2015 was over.
Remember: this is a resolution, not a bill. The president won’t ever see it on his desk; it’s mostly just the House speaking its collective mind on an issue.
Since 1992, Stress Awareness Month has been held every April. While complaints of stress might suggest Cathy comics and college kids lying around the library talking about all the work that they have to do instead of working — as the resolution points out, stress really does have negative consequences for your physical well-being.
As the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) explains, when you experience stress, your body is releasing the same chemicals that initiate “fight or flight” responses that give animals a boost when facing predators. But when you’re stressed for long periods of time, because of work, debt, being a Knicks fan, these same chemicals can lower your immune response to disease and seriously mess with your digestive and reproductive systems.
On its site for April 2015, the DHHS outlined a number of anti-stress strategies. They include making time to relax through stuff like sports and yoga. The page even includes a sidebar on meditation.
As pressing as it may be, stress does not have a monopoly on awareness for April. It’s also Alcohol Awareness Month, Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Autism Awareness Month, Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month and a whole bunch of others.
Department of Health and Human Services
National Institute of Mental Health
The Health Resource Network
(Photo Credit: Flickr user Skley