We are noticing a general pattern of increased levels of unhappiness and stress-induced anxiety all around us. In fact, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), stress has been classified as the health epidemic of the 21st century.
Stress is the body’s way of reacting to any circumstance(s) that requires an adjustment or response. The body reacts to these circumstances with physical, mental, and emotional responses. During stressful events, the body releases a burst of chemicals that cause muscle tension, headaches, fatigue and lack of sleep.
Prolonged exposure to stress is touted as a major factor for impairment of the cognitive regulation of emotion, as per research published by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Further, stress has been associated with ailments such as cancer, lung disease, diabetes, thyroid, and cirrhosis of the liver, as per a study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University.
There are various triggers in one’s life that could cause stress, ranging from pressure at work to toxic relationships. Hence, it is critical to identify those sources and cut them off from our lives.
1. Toxic relationships
As per research published by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, there is a direct correlation between social relationship patterns with health and longevity across the human life span. Friends, romantic partner(s), or family members, could increase your stress levels by indulging in behaviour which pulls your morale down, and adversely impacts your self esteem. These relationships are toxic and disrespectful, and you should take active steps to limit your conversation with them, and eventually plan to end your relationship with them.
2. Work environment
Depending on one’s work profile, people can find themselves dealing with high-risk events, endless paperwork, travelling, strict delivery deadlines, financial pressure, and dissatisfied customers or disgruntled peers. A study by the Harvard Gazette, highlighted that approximately 44 percent of adults experience stress and health issues due to their workplace. This can trigger stress, especially considering that it is difficult to maintain a balance between our work and personal life. Therefore, to manage stress levels, saying a ‘no’ from time to time, with respect to work related obligations, and taking breaks, is critical to maintain professional boundaries, and lead a healthier life.
3. Unending cycle of harmful lifestyle
Unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as smoking, not getting enough sleep, drinking, eating junk food, and not exercising, are not just manifestations of stress. They could also perpetuate an unending cycle of indulgence, which increases your stress levels over a period of time, as it impacts mental and bodily health. So, a timely intervention in the form of exercising, avoiding smoking and drinking, and maintaining a healthy diet, along with the practice of meditation, will help reduce stress levels, and improve overall health.
So ladies, identify these sources of stress, and take steps to get rid of these triggers, for a healthier life!
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