Nov 02 , 2022
We are all constantly in a race with time, aiming for the stars and trying to achieve several dreams simultaneously. Amidst this fast-paced world and materialistic world, most of us are in pursuit of success, struggling for optimization of money to attain financial stability in life, assuming, that it will result in inner peace, and bring love and acceptance, which usually doesn’t happen.
Living a fast-paced life and not being able to achieve life goals is the main reason behind all things related to stress and tension, and the negative emotions are now at a new high. Even after the post-pandemic situation, things have gone from bad to worse and then terrible. Economic shocks, with fears of recession, education disruptions, natural disasters, climate change, serious health concerns, and death, have taken a severe toll on the mental and physical health of people all around the world.
National Stress Awareness Day
National Stress Awareness Day is held on every first Wednesday in November – November 2 this year – and it is celebrated for reinforcing the fact that you are not doing yourself a favor by worrying about things you cannot control. Studies show dealing with chronic stress constantly can lead to impaired mental and physical abilities and it can also lead to life-threatening problems. From hypertension, heart diseases, decreased immunity, loss of sociability, and decreased mental strength.
According to the World Health Organization, “Stress can be defined as any type of change that causes physical, emotional or psychological strain. Stress is the body's response to anything that requires attention or action. Everyone experiences stress to some degree”.
According to Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D. a renowned and seasoned clinician of psychology, “stress has been linked as a co-factor in 95% or all disease processes. A keystone of holistic, alternative health and healing is learning how to effectively manage stress. This learning process begins with recognizing or identifying four specific types of stress affecting anyone and how these stressors are showing up or manifesting as symptoms in one’s life.
According to him, stress factors broadly fall into four types or categories: physical stress, psychological stress, psychosocial stress, and psych-spiritual stress.
Physical Stress: Trauma (injury, infection, surgery), intense physical labor/over-exertion, environmental pollution, fatigue, inadequate sleep, etc.
Psychological stress: emotional stress such as fears, frustration, sadness, anger, grief/bereavement, cognitive stress, guilt, shame, jealousy, resistance, anxiety, panic attacks, not feeling like yourself, not feeling like things are real, and a sense of being out of control, etc.
Psychosocial stress: relationship, marriage difficulties (partner, siblings, children, family, employer, co-workers, employer), lack of social support, lack of resources for adequate survival, loss of employment/investments, loss of loved ones, bankruptcy, home foreclosure, and isolation, etc.
Psycho-spiritual stress: A crisis of values, meaning, and purpose; joyless striving and misalignment within one’s core spiritual beliefs.”
The reaction of a person under stress depends upon his/ her psychological strength. How much he is capable of coping with stress depends upon the resolution of the factors causing the same. If the factors remain unresolved, the fear remains blocked in his system. Hence, resulting in chronic illness.
Stress can be positive or negative Good stress is called eustress, which is defined as the feeling of excitement and slight anxiety that brings about positive change in someone’s life, but negative stress is always backed up by one thing, which is fear. Fear brings about feelings of negative stress, which is called distress, and has a negative impact on life.
Side Effects of Stress:
Stress should not be taken lightly. It causes severe adverse effects on a person’s health. It is also termed as the “Silent Killer”.
Individuals under constant stress have a 50% higher mortality rate.
(Journal of Aging Research)
People often say that stress kills, and statistics, unfortunately, support this claim.
51% of adults suffering from chronic stress experience symptoms of fatigue.
Fatigue—the feeling of constant tiredness and weakness—is said to be one of the most prevalent stress symptoms. In fact, according to data gathered by the American Institute of Stress, 51% of adults experience fatigue, 44% experience headaches, and 30% have tension in their muscles due to stress. For students in college, stress statistics show that they’re also victims of fatigue due to chronic stress.
Those aged between 18 and 33 years old are the most stressed-out age group. This is a large age group that includes members of both Generation Z and the Millennials. This goes to show how many people are living with stress.
According to a study carried out by the Johns Hopkins University, school of medicine” Individuals who are under constant stress are 20% more likely to have heart disease”.
Stress leads to many health issues, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and digestive issues.
How to deal with Stress?
Realize and accept, that you are passing through the stage of stress and anxiety because avoidance of the reality will aggravate the condition.
Secondly, immediately seek professional help from a trained person in the field of psychology/psychiatry, who after a professional and thorough analysis will identify the causes and will start the treatment by way of either medicines or counseling.
Mayo Clinic recommends the following to deal with stress and anxiety.
-Act to manage stress.
-Getting regular physical activity.
-Practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, tai chi, or massage.
-Keeping a sense of humor.
-Spending time with family and friends.
-Setting aside time for hobbies, such as reading a book or listening to music.
Stress is around everyone and everywhere globally irrespective of age, gender, or race. Statistics Stress proves, that it can affect anyone. It is important to identify the causes of stress and to work to minimize them by finding appropriate solutions and strategies.
Pampering oneself with relaxing activities, practicing gratitude, mindfulness, and manifesting positive energies are some of the most effective coping mechanisms for dealing with stress.
You live only once, so take the meaning of this term in its literal sense and live life in a fulfilling way.