Thursday, April 28, 2011

Stress - Its time to clear it off!

Stress - Its time to clear it off!

by Samamtha Mathew

Stress is as much a part of our everyday life as is the food. As life becomes more and more hectic, people work longer hours under greater time constraints, over global time zones with less recreation time more and more people struggle to cope with their stress levels. Everybody has some problems, a challenge, a competition to win, an exam to pass, a business deal to strike, a deadline to meet, or a relationship to maintain; the only difference is how different people handle stress. We experience stress when we are challenged either by society, or law, or our moral values. In a way, stress can bring positive effect as well, since it pushes you to do your best, or to give more, or to move out of your comfort zone. Stress levels can be lowered, perceptions altered and responses improved with proper self awareness and management techniques.

If you are not mentally tough and prepared to handle the pressure, stress becomes a threat to you, both physically and emotionally. Stress can give keep you on your toes for delivering a lecture in office workshop, or to study till late hours for an exam rather than being part of a friend's wedding. It is said that - 'When the going gets tough, it is the tough who gets going'.

Stress is a psychological and physiological response to incidents and events that tend to make you upset in some way. These events are negative since these derive you to negative thoughts, withdrawal from an engagement, appointment, social gathering or a relationship. On the other hand these events require you to make certain adjustments in yourself, these can be positive as well. For example you may be stressed a couple of days before your marriage, or before a presentation to your board of directors to seek a promotion.

The main problem in this modern world is the disproportion between work and private life. To support the family financially, parents should work. If the father works enormous hours then the mother should stay at home to care the children, or the mother returns to work to supplement the household income. Either way there is stress. Peoples are not getting time to do exercise, play sports and socialize with friends. So they became inactive. If they got time they are often so stressed and exhausted from work that they simply do not have the energy to pursue hobbies and recreation.

The result is mental breakdown or other mental illnesses, family breakdown, job loss, bankruptcy and in the most serious cases, suicide. Prolonged high stress levels are linked to the development of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart attacks and anxiety disorders, alcoholism and associated liver disease and chronic conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, digestive disorders, headaches and poor immune system function (repeatedly getting colds and flues). Irrespective of the reason or situation that makes you stressed, the fact is that stress is bad for your health. Moreover, every person has different reason and different mindset to the way one responds to stress. One situation that is very stressful for you may be very ordinary for your friend or colleague. It depends on certain factors - your personality, your attitude, the way you have been brought up, your philosophy of living life, and even your education.

Reasons of Stress There are different reasons that cause stress. Frustrations - Some people are stressed because they are frustrated for one or more reasons. The reason can be their workplace, a relationship, social issues or one's moral and philosophical response to society.

Pressure - Some people are stressed out from pressures from colleagues, family members or from society.

Conflicts - Some people do not have the decision making ability and are always caught in two situations. They have to make a choice from two equally appealing options and they feel stressed. For example, a working mother may be stressed out because she is not able to give proper time to her baby and at the same time, she feels that her job is also important. Simple way to respond to stressors effectively: Try to understand the Stresses. Clarify and pinpoint just what is causing the stress, accept that some (causes of stress) can't be changed. Try to change your view. Alter your thoughts, values, expectations. Raise your confidence. Improve your Physical Response. Improve your Emotional Response Work at not dwelling on negative feelings and to develop new friendships. Improve your behavioral Reaction. Learn new skills, develop personal and interpersonal skills. Work at lowering your physical response by improving exercise, rest, sleep, meditation, eating habits, etc. Improve your education (take up a course). Work on better time management.

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