NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Stress and anxiety are emotions most people can relate to and can impact day-to-day life. Doctors at Baptist Health in North Little Rock say there are ways to manage it and encourage people to take care of their mental health.

Just about everyone deals with stress, whether it’s from work, school or your personal life. Dr. Jane Kang is the Medical Director at Baptist Health Behavioral Health Clinic in North Little Rock and says it’s a normal part of life.

“The problem is when stress becomes anxiety,” Dr. Kang said.

She said it can be tough to know the difference.

“Sometimes anxiety can just be out of the blue that you’re like ‘my life is pretty good, nothing bad has happened but I feel anxious all the time,'” Dr. Kang said.

She said it also comes with symptoms like lack of sleep or trouble eating.

“If it’s affecting all aspects of your life,” Dr. Kang said.

When those symptoms are prolonged, it can become an even bigger issue.

“‘I’m still not sleeping good even after this exam is over’ or ‘I have a stressful job and I finally took vacation and went to Disney World, but I didn’t have fun because I was thinking about my job,'” Dr. Kang stated.

She said there are steps you can take to help ease stress and anxiety starting with setting a bedtime.

“If you sleep enough and you’re rested that goes a long way with coping with stress and life,” Dr. Kang said.

Another tip, the doctor said, is to make sure to take time out of your day to take deep breaths and even get some exercise.

“If you have a one-minute break, get up and stretch at your desk or take a five-minute walk at lunch,” Dr. Kang said. “That will really go a long way to just helping relieve stress.”

Lastly, she said it’s important to set boundaries.

“With your job, with your family, with your personal life know when to say ‘no,'” Dr. Kang explained.

If these options don’t help, then Dr. Kang suggests it might be time to seek out a professional.

“If you had cancer, you’d see a cancer doctor. If you had heart problems, you’d see a heart doctor. If you have emotional problems, we are the doctors for that,” Dr. Kang said.

The Baptist Health Behavioral Clinic in North Little Rock has both therapists and psychiatrists to address an array of mental health needs.