Stress, as we all know, is unavoidable in modern life, but it can be managed. It is the body’s natural way of responding to any kind of demand or threat. It was woven into our systems to trigger the fight or flight response during a crisis — physical or psychological — These demands can be related to work, relationships, finances, and other situations. Stress isn’t always bad, but when it’s too much, it can take a serious toll on your health.
Severe, frequent, or prolonged stress can be mentally and physically harmful. Chronic stress is linked to serious conditions like heart disease, obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, asthma, gastrointestinal problems, etc. Too much stress can cause or aggravate suicidal feelings. There have been many instances where many people reportedly took their own lives because of stress. Also Read This: 5 Gentle Desktop Yoga Exercises To Reduce Work Stress And Stay Fit
On Tuesday (12 June 2018), spiritual leader Bhaiyyuji Maharaj allegedly committed suicide by shooting himself at his residence in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. His suicide note found from his house stated that the spiritual leader was under severe mental stress.
Latest data released by the government showed that the suicide crisis among Indian students is worsening every year. According to the data, 9,474 students committed suicide in 2016 – at a rate of more than one every hour or 26 suicides every 24 hours. There are a number of factors that may put a person at greater risk of attempting suicide – mental health issues like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, mood disorders, physical illness, substance abuse, financial or relationship problems, loss of a loved one, isolation or lack of support, etc. Also Read This: Dark Chocolate Reduces Stress, Improves Immunity: 5 Benefits Of This Delicious Treat You Didn’t Know
According to psychologists, academic stress and loneliness abet students to suicide. So, what can you do about stress?
The first step to controlling step is recognising the symptoms of stress. Some common signs and symptoms of stress include –
- Frequent headaches or sickness
- Decreased energy levels
- Digestive issues like constipation, diarrhoea, etc
- Changes in appetite
- Rapid heartbeat
- Frequent blushing, sweating
- Forgetfulness, disorganization, confusion
- Weight gain or loss without diet
Stress management tips
Stress is a part of life. Learning to take control and minimise stressful events in life is the key here, else your mental and physical health will suffer. Here are five simple strategies to help manage and reduce your stress levels:
Regular physical activity: Include regular exercise in your daily routine to help relax your mind and the body. When you work out regularly, your body releases chemicals called endorphins, mood-elevating hormones. Regular exercise will also improve your sleep quality, which is essential for managing stress. Also Read This: 10 Yoga Poses To Beat Stress And Anxiety
Relaxation techniques: There are many tried and tested ways to reduce stress and anxiety levels such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises, etc. Deep breathing is one of the best ways to tackle stress. Just sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Imagining yourself in a relaxing place, slowly take deep breaths in and out. Try doing this for 5-10 minutes. You’ll feel so relaxed and good.
Identify and eliminate your triggers: Try to find out the cause of your stress – is it your work, family, relationship or something else? Identifying triggers will help you look for a pattern while easing your fears or anxieties, even if it requires you to switch jobs, move, or find new friends.
Face it: Face your fears! Avoiding them will only worsen the situations. Once you have the habit of facing it (whatever your fear may be), it should start to fade, drastically reducing your stress. Also Read This: Don’t Let Stress Get To You, It Can Damage Your Sperm Quality And Fertility
Talk to family and friends: If you’re stressed or depressed, make sure that you talk about your problems. Talking about them can help lower your stress levels while making you realise that you’re not alone. Knowing that there are people you can rely on can be immensely helpful. You can talk to your family members, trusted friends, etc.
You may also consider talking to a doctor or a therapist if you feel you aren’t making progress despite your best efforts.