Updated: Mar 6, 2021
By Reetu Ravani
Physical or mental strain caused by a stimulus is called stress. It is stressful to know the statistics of stress itself. Worldwide 77% of people complain about their physical health being affected due to stress. Furthermore, 73% of people have witnessed stress impacting their mental health. (Patterson Eric, 2020). People who are most disposed to worry are women, people responsible for their family’s health, minorities and single parents. Not to forget, these categories are just more affected by stress. Everyone is touched by distress, while intensity might vary.
A research study has concluded that around 40% of 15-19 years old teenagers are very much worried about whether they would be able to cope up with stress or not. The list of common signs of stress found in youth is as follows: sleepless nights, irritability, staying in their room always. Work/assignments/exams have become more important than the process of learning.
Depending upon the intensity, there are consequences of stress. The harmful effects range from physical to mental to emotional to cognitive. Every area of well being is affected and impacted by stress. The physical aspect includes headache, insomnia, shivering/shaking due to nervousness, low energy, disturbing rate of digestion. While emotional effects can be becoming frustrated, irritated, angry, depressed, low self-esteem, desire to stay alone. Cognitive changes involve the inability to focus attention, often forgetting, poor judgement. All of these can be handled and managed.
Some ways to handle stress :
Exercise: There are several benefits of exercise. It helps in releasing endorphins as well as reduces stress hormones. These endorphins act as natural painkillers. They make our mood better and fresh. Sleep is badly affected during the time of stress. Exercise improves the quality of sleep. Various studies have shown that exercise reduces 30% chances of depression, a frequent result of stress and anxiety. On an overall basis, it is highly recommended by many to do regular exercise.
Check caffeine intake: There are different thresholds for the amount of caffeine a person can handle. This caffeine is widely found in coffee, tea and energy drinks. A healthy and balanced amount is good for health as per studies. But those who are more sensitive to caffeine should cut down as it causes stress and anxiety. Studies show that caffeine stays for around 8 hours or longer in the body. Thus it is advisable to avoid the intake of caffeine after 2 pm.
Music and scented candles: Soothing music and softly scented candles come to rescue people who go through stress daily. This process of using scented candles is known as aromatherapy. Slow-paced music reduces blood pressure, heart rate and activates relaxation response to stress. Moreover, research says that listening to music releases dopamine which is responsible for enhancing mood.
Take a walk: Walking allows wandering and, in turn, helps to reduce stress. It makes you appreciate nature and can calm you down. Walking for 30 - 45 minutes a day affects the immune system, which gets vulnerable due to stress. 43% fewer chances are observed of people getting sick because they walk habitually.
People often consider stress as a bad feeling. But it is not so. A certain amount of pressure provides a push to work at an optimum level. What is problematic is that people feel pride in having such tensions. The equation which is framed by society is work = stress. Hustle and grind culture? This is the step where we should stop and introspect. Does work only mean achieving the given target? If work is one’s passion or interest, should it cause physical and mental strain to today’s youth? There has to be a change in the equation as soon as possible. The reason is that people might be okay with having less sleep, more work, irritation, no peace as of now or for a short time. But in the long run, it will be the cause of various major physical and mental problems. Let us live life with cheerfulness and not stress.
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