The Mess Of Stress

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Stress is a common occurrence in these times. Our fast paced and sometimes erratic life style is a conducive environment for stress build up.  In most cases the body is able to handle low levels of stress, but when the tension and stress keeps accumulating, the increased cortisol levels impacts our organs leading to chronic ailments.  There is an automatic response built into the system which is called “flight or fight” response. When we sense danger this response mechanism kicks in to help us avert the situation. When the situation is mitigated, everything in the system returns to normal.  However these situations are few and far between and therefore do not contribute to stress build up.

When does stress start building up?  All of us are born with a certain level of capability.  The current life style requires us to deal with several situations on a day to day basis that are beyond our current level of capabilities. This is true for the entire spectrum of the population from school going children, to adults and seniors. For example, if someone has to solve a complex issue or manage a larger volume of tasks at work than their capability and time allows, then stress build up starts. Unless that person has the skillsets and/or is able to multitask/delegate, it is natural to feel overwhelmed or threatened by it.  The triggers that causes stress differ from person to person. Some people are able to handle certain situations with ease that others struggle to face.

When your mind senses stress, the heart rate increases, breathing quickens, muscles tighten, blood pressure rises, and the body prepares to handle an emergency situation.  A daily pattern of chronic stress levels in the system lead to undesirable consequences.  High levels of stress impact all aspects of our life and reflect in the following areas.

Emotionally –

1) Quick to agitation and irritation.

2) Feeling overwhelmed easily when faced with a situation.

3) Increased tendency to run away from the situation (flight or fight response)                         and procrastination.

4) Loss of confidence in one’s abilities.

5) Lack of motivation.

Mentally –

1) Lack of attention and concentration.

2) Forgetfulness.

3) Inability to focus.

 Physically –

1) Shallow breathing.

2) Muscles start to tighten up impacting blood flow.

3) Compromised immune system – leading to more bronchial infections,                                inflammations, migraine, ulcers, hypertension, cardiac problem etc.

4) Frequent aches and pains in the body.

5) Frequent fidgeting.

How to handle stress –

1) Speak to a trusted friend about the situation.

2) If the situation has reached a chronic stage, consult the doctor.

3) Become physically fit by getting into a good exercise regimen.

4) Eat healthy and nourishing food that has plenty of vitamins, mineral,                                 antioxidants etc. Be sure to take supplements.

5) Build awareness through Mindfulness exercises about your stress triggers and                     learn to manage these triggers with more awareness.

6)  Learn yoga and meditation. Both these are holistic practices that have the                         potential to transform the way we think, feel and respond to external                                 situation. Regular practice improves our  mental, emotional and physical                           wellbeing. Do the needed research when selecting a yoga school. Yoga is a                        powerful practice and needs to be imparted with care and attention. When                          practices are done incorrectly, it can negatively impact the system.  So choose                    carefully.

Stress need not take control of us. Appropriate self care and investment into wellbeing automatically empowers us physically, emotionally and mentally to handle any situation.

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