Stress does not merely afflict your mind; it can also affect you on a cellular level.

In fact, long-term stress can lead to a wide range of illnesses — from headaches, to stomach disorders, to depression — and can increase the risk of serious conditions like stroke and heart disease.

Understanding the mind/stress/health connection can help a person better manage stress and improve their health and well-being.

As part of the Primary Care Medical Home model of care, Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic offers access to Behavioral Health Consultants, licensed mental health professionals to provide a brief intervention or consultation as part of the primary care visit.

The idea behind integrated behavioral health within the primary care setting is to take care of the whole person at the place most frequently used for all health concerns… a primary care clinic.

“Access to emotional health and stress management care is vital if we want to make a difference in our patients’ overall health,” Behavioral Health Consultant Juliette Cutts, Psy.D, said. 

During times of stress, people often feel like they don’t have enough time to relax. Behavioral health consultants show patients how they can use their smartphones and electronics to relax.

“There are great apps out there that can help people engage in relaxation or meditation,” Cutts said.

Consultants recommend three apps for relaxation:

• Headspace – a guide in meditation and mindfulness.

• MindShift – helps a person learn how to relax, develop helpful ways of thinking and identify active steps that will help one take charge of anxiety.

• Calm – provides guided meditations to help manage anxiety, lower stress and sleep better.

In addition to that, many cellphones have applications built in to help with breathing, meditation and relaxation.

“We think we don’t have time to relax. As stress builds in the body, our ability to focus goes down. Even 30 seconds of pausing and reflecting can increase our effectiveness significantly,” Cutts added.

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