What is Stress?
Stress is your bodies' natural reaction to a demand or "stressor." Stressors may range from pressures due to daily life events (exercise, giving a presentation) to stress trigged by a negative change (loss of a job, death of a loved one) or to the occurance of major traumatic events (a life threatening accident or involvment in an armed conflict). Stress is normal and affects everyone, though it can impact your health both positively and negatively.
Much short-term stress can be positive. Positive stress can motivate you to accomplish a goal or succeed with a challenge. Stress helps us react quickly in life threatening situations. Stress responses are designed to aid in our survival.
Chronic Stress and Your Health
Long term stress, or chronic stress, can be harmful to your health when it continues past the time when the stressor occurs. Chronic stress can result from routine stresses as well as traumatic events.
Signs of chronic stress may include:
a lack of interest or involvement
decline in self-care or those within their care (children, animals, home, farm)
weight loss or weight gain
a lowered ability to fight infections
Over time, chronic stress can seriously impact your health, leading to problems such as depression and anxiety, high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.
Ways to Positively Manage Stress
Take care of yourself:
- Exercise regularly
- Plan time for relaxation (Try mindfulness and relaxation techniques)
- Eat healthy meals
- Get plenty of sleep
- Avoid drugs and alcohol
Talk to others:
- Health professional
- Family and friends
If you are feeling hopeless seek professional help immediately or call the Montana Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) 24-hours a day, seven days a week or text "MT" to 741 741.
Visit the "Responding to people Under pressure under the big sky" page for help determining the level of assistance to provide for a person you know suffering from stress.
- MSU Extension Ag Econ Tools
- Financial and Risk Management Analysis Tools
- MT Agricultural Land Lease Information
- Positive Family Communication
- Bullying Behavior Across Childhood
- Caregiving: When Our Parents Need Our Help
- Co-Parenting After Divorce
- Discipline: A Parent's Guide for Infants and Toddlers
- Discipline: A Parent's Guide for Preschoolers
- Discipline: A Parent's Guide for School-Age Children
- Helping Children Cope With Natural Disasters
- Fifty Stress-Busting Ideas for Your Well-Being
- Family Stress and Coping
- Accepting Your Feelings
- Managing Anger for Better Health and Relationships
- Understanding and Managing Stress
- Understanding Grief and Loss Following Death
- Understanding and Finding Mental Health Providers in Montana
- Opioid Use Disorder in Rural Montana
- Find a local opioid treatment program
- Youth Aware Mental Health Program
- Mental Health First Aid Program
Farm and Ranch Stress Resources
A rural lifestyle may bring with it additional stressors of isolation, financial worries, and factors that are out of the control of the farmer/rancher such as weather, market prices etc. Combined, these stressors place farmers and ranchers at a greater risk for chronic stress. Recognition of the need to specifically help this group has brought together organizations such as MSU Extension, the National Farmer's Union, The Farm Bureau, and other Extension organizations around the country to provide farm stress specific resources. More resources will be available in early 2020.
Montana Specific program for farmer/rancher assistance and more information:
Ask In Earnest - find resources and information on preventing farmer suicide from this Montana based assistance program
National programs for farmer/rancher assistance and more information:
Farm Crisis Assistance - find local and national resources for financial and disaster aid assistance
Farm Aid Farmers Resource Network - financial, marketing, crisis, and other farmer resources as well as a direct farmer hotline for assistance
Farm Town Strong- the American Farm Bureau Federation and the national Farmer's Union have teamed up to provide information and resources