In a world of increasing stress, there is hardly anyone who is not affected by stress. Stress is experienced by people in all walks of life, such as students, teachers, professionals, army officers, and others. There are ways of dealing with stress, but the most important thing is to remember that it is our physical and emotional well-being that determines how successful we are in coping with stress. Only the determination and discipline to follow a life-long wellness plan can help us avoid the problems caused by stress.
Stress & Physical Health
Science has clearly shown the strong relationship between physical health and stress. Since more health leads to less stress and vice versa, it means managing health will help us manage stress. Excessive stress can negatively impact our health, causing heart disease and high blood pressure, as well as anxiety and arthritis, or leading to harmful habits with long-term negative effects. However, since we have control over many aspects of health, we can impact stress positively by taking charge of our health and fitness.
Among the things in our control are our eating habits, prioritizing exercise and getting enough sleep. We need to have a balanced diet comprising five servings of fruit and vegetables each day. Our exercise regimen should include aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercises done regularly throughout the day or week. This will reduce disease and fatigue while improving discipline and motivation. Lastly, we need to get 8-9 hours of sleep daily to avoid stress. Some useful tips are reducing caffeine, taking short naps and creating a sleep environment including a ritual such as reading a book before sleeping.
Mental & Emotional Health
Our mental and emotional health is as important as physical health in dealing with stress. Our well-being depends on having a healthy mind and the ability to cope with challenges effectively. Positivity, hope, and resilience are good qualities to develop for cultivating mental health. Emotional health is a challenge because humans, being a cognitively complex species, have the ability to anticipate the future. Therefore, besides actual stressors, even the anticipation of a stressor causes a stress response, which may lead to stress-related disease. We need to take practical steps to calm this stress response and cope with any emotional disorders arising from it.
Dealing With An Emotional Disorder
The first step to deal with an emotional disorder is to be aware of the symptoms of depression and anxiety. These are illnesses and not just mental states, so the right thing to do is to share our feelings or reach for professional help. Both depression and anxiety have their causes and can be treated. The next thing is to watch out for eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia and binge eating, which can cause infertility, obesity and even death. One way to cope with emotional stress is to increase stability and focus on mindfulness meditation, which is a form of contemplation that creates focus and reduces stress and anxiety.
Although stress is unavoidable, there are ways to deal with it. Since stress is related to health, it is necessary to lead a healthy lifestyle in which both, physical and emotional wellness are given equal importance. Proper eating habits, exercise, and enough sleep will keep us physically fit, while positivity and meditation can help us overcome emotional challenges.