Stress is the epitome of our machinery based lifestyle. It significantly impacts our life on various levels of consciousness. It has a capacity to influence directly to our fate in work, relationships, academics, self-esteem, intellect and ultimately everything. People who struggle with stress, if not recovered, may develop long-term depression, denial or anger. Torn between the extremes, they may hit rock bottom and drown in an endlessly deep ocean of despair. According to Hans Selye:

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.”

The irony of life is that each day you are reborn and you possess the willpower to encounter your issues and contribute positively as you are the architect of your fate. Unfortunately, stress can make things worse. The more you resist it, the tighter it seizes. Mental health resonates with your physical and emotional health and thus, needs to be nurtured by providing awareness to individuals who are a victim of mental disorders. It demands limelight in order to educate people. The following strategies may contribute to curbing the effect of stress:   

Food

The 21st century is dominated by huge advancement in the fat and sugar saturated Ready-to-Eat foods, fast foods, and junk foods. The constant marketing and advertisements of foods and beverages rich in artificial sweeteners, emulsifiers, caffeine, and high-fat content make a sound impact on the preferences of the public. Unfortunately, these calorie-dense foods are detrimental to our health as they are nutrient-deficient and massively affect our BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate), BMI (Body Mass Index), blood sugar and related parameters. Instead, fiber-rich empty calorie foods and balanced diets help improve our gut microbiota and strengthen our immune system and stress response system. Nutritional Psychiatry Research extensively emphasizes that the dietary patterns along with the quality and quantity of food have a significant impact on one’s physical, mental and emotional health.

Sleep

According to the research, sleep-deprived people are more vulnerable to stress and other mental health associated disorders. A good night’s sleep can effectively manage to cope with stress. Sleep helps the body to repair, the muscles to relax and our immune system to boost. It empowers the part of the brain used in emotional control and regulation and hence, its importance as a powerful diagnostic and therapeutic agent cannot be ignored in mental health science.

Exercise

The Physical Activity Level (PAL) of an individual highlights his overall health. Though it may sound tough, exercise is worth the effort. It energizes the body and aids it to release the happy hormones called endorphins, which makes us feel good and alleviates the stress. It also increases the amount of neurotransmitter, norepinephrine, which is effective against anxiety and paranoia. It helps us to remain physically fit, helps the brain with neurogenesis, and strengthens the hippocampus of the brain, hence playing important role in memory and learning. Furthermore, it results in better metabolism, sound sleep, sharp memory, and higher self-esteem. Exercise caters to perfection and is definitely a win-win deal for everyone.

Emotional support

As mental health drives our behavior, stress can worsen our relationships. Therefore, our friends and family support group is the greatest blessing to socially uplift us. Sharing with the loved ones and gaining their love and trust makes us feel lighter and confident. People are wired to feel inclined toward their loved ones. So the emotional support they offer motivates us to drive our life. It fuels us with contentment and energy and pumps us to move forward, remarkably relieving and diminishing the stress.  

“Stress can ruin every day of your life. Dying can only ruin one.” – Sherlock Holmes

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