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METLIFE offers tips for reducing personal stress during economic turbulence


NEW YORK. – Current economic conditions are escalating financial pressures and personal stress for many employees. With 44% of employees living paycheck-to-paycheck and 60% of employees very concerned about having enough money to make ends meet, according to the sixth annual MetLife Study of Employee Benefits Trends, it is easy to see how financial uncertainty could add to someone’s daily stress; however, it is important to prevent economic challenges from also taking a toll on your health.

“As people witness an increasingly volatile market, worries about their own financial security seem inevitable for many Americans. However, left unchecked, stress could have a potentially negative effect on one’s health. If a person’s stress leads to more serious illnesses, the person could experience an increased likelihood for out-of-pocket costs for doctor’s visits, prescription drugs, and absences from work,” said Ronald Leopold, M.D., vice president, MetLife Institutional Business.

While a good deal of everyday stresses may seem out of people’s personal control, there are effective ways for people to manage stress to increase their quality of life when the going gets tough. Leopold offers these insights to help individuals maintain peace of mind during trying times:

* Listen to your body’s warning signs for stress. Teeth grinding, headaches, hyperventilation, heart palpitations, irritability and depression (among others) are all signs of stress. It is important to recognize these symptoms in order to address them before the situation escalates and more serious health conditions ensue.
* Take stress relief seriously. Many employees may try to act as the super hero, juggling the pressures of their jobs, financial and familial obligations and other personal commitments. However, these individuals may become stressed to the point of incapacity. Nobody is immune from the potential negative effects of stress. Take action – meditation, walking and other exercise are all good outlets for stress. For more tips on living a healthy lifestyle, visit
* Make the most of what you’re offered at work. Take advantage of benefits available to you through your employer. Financial protection products, including insurance products, can help you prepare for unplanned risks. Your employer may also provide access to financial planners. Wellness programs, Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), gym discounts, child care services, commuter programs and adoption assistance programs are often available to ease personal and financial strains.

“Maintaining a sense of calm and security during tough economic times and a period of escalated demands at the workplace may be challenging, but keeping peace of mind is critical to maintaining one’s health,” adds Dr. Leopold.


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