Dr. James Colvard, of Oak Mountain Family Medicine, speaks during an April 24 Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce lunch at the Pelham Civic Complex and Ice Arena. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)
Dr. James Colvard, of Oak Mountain Family Medicine, speaks during an April 24 Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce lunch at the Pelham Civic Complex and Ice Arena. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

Archived Story

Stressed? Doctor offers tips to help

Published 3:14pm Wednesday, April 24, 2013

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Implementing a time-management system and making behavior and lifestyle changes can make life easier for those battling high stress levels, a local doctor told members of the Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce during an April 24 lunch.

“Time management is real important,” Dr. James Colvard, of Oak Mountain Family Medicine, told Chamber members at the Pelham Civic Complex and Ice Arena. “If you are prone to be stressed, make a time management system. Make a list of things that must be done, things that should be done and things you’d like to do.”

Colvard said stress can be categorized into two categories: Internal stress and external stress.

External stress is driven by factors out of an individual’s control, such as work deadlines, traffic congestion or work environments. Internal stress is under an individual’s control, such as staying up too late at night, abusing drugs or alcohol or taking on too much work.

Some stress can be beneficial, but an excessive amount can affect everything from work productivity to health.

“Not all stress is abnormal,” Colvard said. “We’ve got to have some stress to accomplish what we need to in our everyday lives.”

But an excessive amount of stress can lead to a range of problems from headaches and fatigue to an increased risk for substance abuse.

Colvard recommended combating negative thoughts and making a list of priorities to help combat potentially stressful situations.

“If you are too passive, you can take steps to be more assertive and take a stand on the things that are important to you,” Colvard said, noting working to be more organized, taking breaks and laughing can also help combat stress. “Set out what is important in your life. Have your top priorities be just that, and take care of things in that order.”

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