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Stress - How To Avoid It?

Written and reviewed by
Psychiatrist, Mumbai
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I am Dr. Devendra Save, Psychiatrist, practicing in Mumbai for the last 20 years. Today I will talk about a very common thing which we use almost every day called stress. When I used to sit in a group and asked about who all are under stress, maybe around 10% hand will go up. But now when I ask the same question, almost everybody's hand will go up. Even small children and 4 years of kids have learned this phase. A few days back a friend of mine told that his 4 years kid was stressed out because the net was slow and he could not play games properly. Now what exactly the definition of stress? Good things happen in life like promotion, do you think is it stress? Getting married, somebody got a girlfriend or boyfriend, buying a new house, are these all a stress. Yes, it is. Getting anything new which changes your life at a physical or a mental level is stress. Negative things like losing a job, death of someone close to you, monitory stress.

For a human something which really happens is stress and what he imagines is also equal to stress. You lose your job, it is a stress. Suppose you are not doing well in your office or your office is not doing well in the market, your boss gets upset on you are stress. It stays for a long because the imagination and fear stay for long. Thinking itself is a big stress for most of us. Leaving this aside, what exactly stress do to your body? Earlier the stress only used to be on the body like some physical harm coming to you, somebody coming to fight with you, hunting of animals or vice versa. Now, these things are body learned to react. Now nothing is going to happen physically like a tiger is not going to come to hunt you but the mind is creating these tigers and enemies. Or something which is stressful in the mind, the body reacts in the same way. What does it do? It releases a hormone called adrenaline. The heart starts beating faster because it needs more blood. Your pupil dilates and the body starts sweating a little bit because you are going to fight somebody and you require to be cool down.

Muscles become tensed up, breathing becomes longer because you require more oxygen. Muscles become tense so that you can hit and run. This is what we call as flight or fight response. Now actually speaking there is nobody in front of you to fight with but this is happening so that you feel is that something happening in the body and something is going to go bad and you get a panic attack. It is called an anxiety attack and you rush to a doctor. Suppose stress goes on then what does the body say? I have to run for a longer time. So, just think logically what is required. Do you require a higher level of sugar so the body regulates your sugar to come up and what does it cause, diabetes? The body says if I have to run for a longer time, my heart requires to beat for a longer time. My pressure of blood also require to be high. And what does it cause, blood pressure?

If someone is ill, the doctor used to prescribe steroids which make a person alright very fast. This also reduces your immunity level of the body and you start getting the infection again and again. People under stress are prone to get TB. It is also very well known that stress can also lead to cancer. Stress causes depression, anxiety, psychosis, panic attack, and other mental disorder. People are very prone to mental disorders as in reaction to stress. What you can see that stress is not only going to cause depression but it can cause all sort of physical, mental disorders and also can make you prone to infections, injuries. Your concentration goes away, accidents happen frequently. It is going to completely affect your body and mind. Now in short, how to deal with stress? You will be least under stress when you were a child. What is childhood? If you are able to understand, it will be very easy for you to deal with stress. A child is somebody who spends time playing, sports, staying active, jumping, running around. So, are we doing that and keeping our body healthy? A simple thing that we need to keep ourselves happy, active, play some sports and jump around, run around.

The child is somebody who thinks on that day. Does not think too much about the future, he forgives people. Do you do that today? If somebody says anything to you, leave the fight but you remember some taunts, and fight for days and keep the grudges. You need to keep the power of forgiveness again. The child always stays in the present. He lives for the day, happiness for the small things. Now happiness is only going to come when I am going to get the promotion or I am going to get the best cell phone, best car, the biggest house. Small things like coffee, tea, the weather have stopped mattering to us. So, keep yourself happy so that it will minimize the stress level. So, do small things like a child but in a mature way who knows how to work well, maintain the relationships well. If you have further queries, you can get back to me through Lybrate.

Thank You!

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