Stress - Lifestyle Disease

Stress can be defined as pressure, strain, tension or a sense of inner conflict which influences our perceptions and reactions to events or conditions.

 

How does stress affect our bodies?

  • Causes chronic fatigue, digestive upsets, headaches, and back pain.
  • Reduces immunity.
  • Increase blood pressure and the risk for stroke and heart attacks.
  • Worsens an asthma attack.
  • Trigger behaviors that contributes to death and disability, such as smoking, alcoholism, drug abuse, and over eating.
  • Leads to impotence.
  • Makes it harder to take steps to improve health, such as giving up smoking or making changes in diet.

 

Stress can cause both mental and physical symptoms. The effects of stress are different for different people.

 

Mental Symptoms of Stress

  • Tension
  • Irritability
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Feeling excessively tired
  • Trouble sleeping

 

Physical Symptoms of Stress

 

  • Dry mouth
  • A pounding heart
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Stomach upset
  • Frequent urination
  • Sweating palms
  • Tight muscles that may cause pain and trembling.

 

Coping with Stress

  • Relaxation – Deep Relaxation Technique, Quick Relaxation Technique and Instant Relaxation Technique as well as Yoga Nidra.
  • Regular exercise – Yoga and Aerobics.

 

Tips to reduce stress at workplace

 

  • Arrive early in office to plan your work
  • Organize the work to avoid rushing
  • Learn to say no and don’t take on too much
  • Delegate work
  • Eat a light lunch
  • Avoid working late
  • Aim for 6-8 hrs of sleep
  • Eat balanced diet and at time
    • Make sure you have three good meals a day, with plenty of fruit, vegetables, and filling food like bread, rice, or noodles.
    • Recommended dietary modifications: Your diet influences most of the lifestyle disorders. The important thing about your diet is:
      • Time (meals and snacks should be taken about the same time every day)
      • Quantity (eat an equal amount everyday)
      • Quality (eat varied types of food and not too much of the same type).
  • Avoid perk me ups: Perk me ups are substances with chemicals which can lift your moods temporarily. Things like glucose, cigarettes, caffeine, alcohol and drugs like marijuana and cocaine may bring temporarily relief but can wreck your lives in the long run.
  • Quit smoking
  • Control intake of alcohol: Alcohol may seem to calm you, but it only masks the symptoms of stress for a while. Excessive alcohol (and drugs) will only make you feel more stressed than ever when the effects wear off.
  • Exercise regularly.
    • Taking a walk at lunch
    • Using the stairs instead of the lift.
    • Walking instead of driving to the local store.
  • Sleep Enough: As our days get cramped with work we compromise on our sleeping hours. But do not forget that like any machine the body also needs a cooling off period. A good sleep ensures that all our vital organs are rested adequately so that they can service you better the next day. Continuous late working and altered sleep timings, though by itself do not pose any major health threat, increase our vulnerability to diseases.
    • Avoid large meals and stimulants such as coffee, alcohol and tobacco at bedtime.
    • Avoid going to bed on an empty stomach. Milk, cereals, biscuits and bananas are believed to help get a good sleep.
    • Avoid strenuous exercise before sleep.
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