Saturday, 17 January 2015
ARE YOU STRESSED?
For most city dwellers, stress is so commonplace that it has become a way of life. Stress isn’t always bad. In small doses, it can help you perform under pressure and be at your best. But when it goes beyond a certain point, it starts causing major damage to your health, mood, productivity, relationships, and quality of life. At that point, believe me, you are stressed.
Modern life is full of hassles, deadlines, frustrations and demands. For many people, stress in the city is so commonplace that it has become a way of life. Stress is a normal physical response to events that make you feel threatened or upset your balance in some way. When you perceive a threat or sense danger [whether real or imagined], your nervous system responds by releasing a flood of stress hormones including adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones rouse the body for emergency action.
Your heart pounds faster, muscles tighten, blood pressure rises, breath quickens and your senses become sharper. These physical changes increase your strength and stamina, speed your reaction time and enhances your focus – preparing you to either fight or flee from the danger at hand. The stress response is the body’s way of protecting you.
Stress isn’t always bad. In small doses, it can help you perform under pressure and motivate you to do your best. When working properly, it helps you stay focused, energetic, and alert. In emergency situations, it can save your life by giving you extra strength to defend yourself. However, when it goes beyond a certain point, it stops being helpful and starts causing major damages to your health, mood, productivity, relationships and quality of life. When you are constantly running in emergency mode, your mind and body pay the price.
Long-term exposure to stress can lead to serious health problems like high blood pressure, risk of heart attack and stroke, lowered immune system, infertility, and speeds up the aging process. Long term stress can even rewire the brain, leaving you more vulnerable to anxiety and depression.
HERE ARE WAYS YOU CAN SUCESSFULLY MANAGE STRESS
· Spend more time with loved ones; A strong support network of trusted friends and family members is your greatest protection against stress because then, life’s pressures don’t seem as overwhelming. So spend time with the people you love and don’t let your responsibilities keep you from having a social life. Avoid stressful people. For example, if you don’t get along with your father-in-law but you don’t want to make an issue out of it, invite other in-laws at the same time you invite him. Having other people around will absorb some of the pressure you will normally feel.
· Just relax; You may not be able to completely eliminate stress from your life, but you can control how much it affects you with some relaxation techniques. These exercises can help you stay calm and collected under pressure and boost your feelings of joy, self-confidence and serenity.
· Invest in your emotional health ; people with good emotional health have an ability to bounce back from stress and adversity. It is called resilience. They are focused, flexible and positive in bad times as well as good.
· Eliminate as many’ stressors’ as you can. For example, if crowds bother you, go to the supermarket when you know the lines won’t be too long. Also if a certain sport or game makes you tense, decline the invitation to play or watch.
· Be realistic with what you can do. If you can’t find the time for all the activities that are important to you, may be you are trying to do too much. You may need to make a list of what you do during the day and how much each activity takes. Try doing only one thing at a time.
· If you can’t remove the stress, remove yourself. Slip away once in a while for some private time. These quiet moments may give you fresh perspective on your problems.
· Competing with others is an avoidable source of stress. Whether in accomplishments, appearance, or possessions. stress from this kind of completion is self-inflicted.
· Be an optimist ; embrace challenges, have a strong sense of humour, accept that change is a part of life and believe in a higher power or purpose.
· If you feel you are seriously stressed, seek medical help.