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Stress Awareness Month, held each April since 1992, provides health care professionals and health promotion experts, across the U.S. an additional—and national—platform for enhancing their ongoing efforts to educate and increase public understanding about the nature and dangers of stress as well as effective strategies to help minimize and manage it.

University of Maryland University College (UMUC) psychology faculty expert David Banks, Ph.D. is no exception.  Join him at 1 p.m. on April 16 for his Facebook Live discussion about the psychology of stress and tips for stress management.

Arguably, stress is epidemic. It can be relentless. And with a multitude of triggers, descriptors and types—depending on who is researching and reporting on it—stress is certainly ubiquitous.

It can be acute, episodic, chronic, situational, anticipatory, physical, emotional, traumatic, or categorized as post-traumatic or secondhand.  There is deadline stress, workplace stress, caregiver stress … holiday stress.

But no matter how you understand or experience stress, if left unchecked, it can harm your physical health as well as your mental health. It’s widely agreed that long-term stress can result in wide-ranging ailments from headaches to stomach disorders to depression. Stress can even increase your risk of heart disease, stroke and other serious medical conditions.

As a preview of his interview, Banks offers these three simple tips to help you begin the de-stressing process.

        1.Good sleep — ensuring 7 to 9 hours per night, every night, is a critical ingredient in any stress prevention plan.

        2.Healthy eating — consuming well-balanced meals is important to help prevent stress.

        3.Fun exercise — doing something on a regular basis that involves moving can work well to reduce stress in your life.

To view Banks’ Facebook Live interview at 1 p.m. on April 16 for a deeper dive into the psychology of stress and more stress-busting tips, visit UMUC’s Facebook page.

About David Banks

David Banks, Ph.D., MPH, MSSW, RN, has taught Psychology of Stress, Social Psychology, Human Sexuality and other psychology courses at UMUC since 1993.  A research scientist, he has published collaborative scientific articles on blood donation, domestic violence, elder care, HIV/AIDS, and substance abuse in scientific journals including the American Journal of Public Health, Journal of Black Psychology, and Transfusion.

Dr. Banks has served as an associate vice president of research and certified association executive in senior management positions among the national offices of the American National Red Cross, Volunteers of America, American Legacy Foundation, and the Association of Clinical Research Professionals.  Currently, his community service activities include serving as a sexual assault and domestic violence hotline counselor, and as a member of the board at A Way Forward, Vegetarian Society of DC, and Seneca Forest Homeowner’s Association.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in nursing, master’s degrees in both social work and public health, and a doctorate in human development.