Humanosity says…Stress is a real killer. Although most people in the West don’t have to worry about where their next meal is coming from it seems we have traded the stress of survival for the stress of trying to thrive. This article from the Guardian sets out some simple ways we can de-stress…
At the most, basic level stress is how our bodies respond to pressure resulting from events in our lives. The causes of stress vary from individual to individual and on factors like financial circumstances, social situation even your genetic make up.
Stress can be a motivator helping us to deal with pressure moments but it seems that human beings aren’t really designed to deal with prolonged stress. In this case the harmful effects on our bodies and minds can be very severe. For example, look at the accelerated ageing that happens to US presidents. The changes that occur over a short period of 5-10 years shows how stress wears the body down.
There can be no doubt that we live in stressful times. A recent survey by the mental health charity MIND has found that 75% of Britons experienced such profound stress in the previous year that they felt unable to cope. Other troubling findings from the report are that: 32% overall said stress had triggered suicidal feelings, 83% of 18 to 24-year-olds said they had been left overwhelmed or unable to cope.
Six Ways to Stay Healthy
- Eat Well – We often reach for unhealthy foods when stressed. This gives you a serotonin spike in the short term but will only make things worse long term.
- Exercise Helps – a workout at the gym or any structured exercise will offer immediate relief.
- Seek Professional Help – don’t be afraid to seek help. First port of call should be your local GP or doctor. It may be that an anxiety disorder could be a factor.
- Get Enough Sleep – Lack of sleep will increase your stress levels. Sleeping pills can help in the short term but are counterproductive in the longer term.
- Develop Coping Mechanisms. – Look at your support structures n your network of friends and family. They can help you in developing coping mechanisms because stress is unavoidable
- You’re Not Defined by Work. – We live in cultures that fetishise work and long hours. Sometimes making time to do nothing is extremely beneficial.
Sources: www.theguardian.com, mentalhealth.org.uk, forthwithlife.co.uk
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