STRESS – is there any escaping from this five letter word that is slowly and surely changing the scene of lifestyle-related disorders? Well, it certainly seems that the answer to that question is a resounding ‘NO,’ as the fast paced urban lifestyle, dreaded crowds, and traffic are bound to give everyone their share of “stress.” As time becomes more valuable and scarce, there is always a sense of urgency which may indirectly be taking a toll on you. And make no mistake, fore empirical studies have actually linked stress to serious health issues like the risk of developing high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart and kidney diseases, to name a few.
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This apart, stress can also raise the risk of conditions like obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, depression, gastrointestinal problems, and asthma. Again, apart from higher blood pressure, there are chances of lower immunity, decreased muscle tissue and bone density, and decreased cognitive performance that will wear you down both physically and mentally. Currently, with half the world living in urban areas, it is projected that the number will increase to two-thirds of the world’s population by 2050. This makes it all the more important to understand the impact that a city environment and pace will have on our physical and mental health.
However, if you are getting stressed reading this, it’s time to take a chill pill. There are some simple tips that will help you alleviate stress and bring a sense of balance and purpose in your life. Studies suggest that stress management techniques will not only make you feel better, but they might have concrete health benefits as well. And it is really no rocket science. Here are some tips for stress management that you can follow easily, to decrease the impact of stress in modern life.
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1. Breathe deeply
The first way to reduce stress is to breathe deeply. A few minutes of deep breathing can calm you down and relax frayed nerves. While it is a great idea to allocate a specific time to relax every day, deep breathing can actually be done anywhere, even at your desk or in the car, while you are waiting for traffic to clear!
2. Live in the moment
Another thing that helps is to live in the moment. One of the causes of stress is that you are probably worrying about something that has happened in the past or that you anticipate will happen in the future. The easiest way to reduce stress is to think of the present and enjoy the time that is in your control. You will need to consciously tell yourself that you need to live in the moment, and enjoy the present and what you are doing now.
3. Be calm
Likewise, assess a situation in a calm manner. If you are stuck in a traffic jam, instead of honking and kicking up a row, utilize the time to meditate or make a quick call to that friend you have been putting off calling.
4. Think rationally
If you have a problem, try to put it in perspective. You will need to remind yourself that you are probably better off than most others with more severe issues.
And once you understand these things and practice these stress management techniques, you will understand that regular exercise is key to long-term stress management. And that includes practicing yoga and meditation will help you not just overcome stress, but also lead a healthy life, and that is a deal you cannot refuse for yourself.
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Guest Author bio: Dr. Arvind Bhateja is the Medical Director at Sita Bhateja Speciality Hospital. No stranger to academic excellence, Dr. Bhateja gained accolades throughout his student days with gold medals from M S Ramaiah Medical College, the Indian Society of Otolaryngologists (in ENT) and Bangalore University. He then went on to do his M Ch in Neurosurgery at NIMHANS. Dr. Bhateja is an avid cyclist and an active member of Bangalore’s cycling community. Dr. Arvind Bhateja also spearheaded the free spine surgeries programme at Sita Bhateja Speciality Hospital. This program renders medical treatments to patients suffering from various spine related disorders and conducts one spine surgery every week absolutely free.