Have you ever experienced sweaty palms and increased heartbeat during an interview? Or the sensation of the heart beating out of your chest or a dazed and dizzy feeling or adrenaline high when going bungee jumping or some other extreme sport? If yes, then you know how it feels to be stressed. Now, some may argue that bungee jumping or river rafting are sports! So how can they be compared with something unpleasant like stress. But, that is not true. Stress can be positive too known as eustress, that acts as a motivator. Stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of strain or pressuring situation and preparing you for it by going through a number of physical and emotional changes.
However, feeling stressed for a long period of time, also known as chronic stress, affects your health negatively. This negative stress is called distress. The question that arises is how does this stress come into our lives?
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LIFESTYLE CHOICES AND STRESS
The lifestyle we lead directly affects us not just physically but also emotionally. The hustle bustle of today’s life leaves us with no time for ourselves. From waking up in the morning to going to sleep, every second of the day we keep running. Running to reach office at time, running to complete assignments, running to fulfill goals, running to achieve a better life, all the while ruining the life we already have, never once looking back. All this running is bound to take a toll on us sooner rather than later. And that is where stress comes in with its multitude of problems as mentioned below –
WHAT CAN WE DO TO CUT STRESS OUT OUR LIVES ALTOGETHER?
Now, reducing distress is possible whereas never feeling stress is not. Stress is also an important part of our life so we cannot wish for it to disappear. But we surely can work on reducing the negative aspects of it.
CHANGING LIFESTYLE CHOICES AND REDUCING STRESS
Changing some habits can go a long way in not just reducing stress but also promoting wholesome mental health.
Someone once wisely said- “Health is Wealth”. And how true it is, health is indeed our greatest wealth. Therefore, maintaining our health, both physical and emotional must be our biggest priority. Then why do we always forget this? The momentary pleasure for tongue becomes a long punishment for the body. Junk foods like potato fries, pizza, burger, and also the fried snacks are the enemy of a healthy body.
But remember, being healthy does not in any sense mean going on a crash diet with only salads and green tea to keep you company. All that diet does is it leaves you hungry and unfulfilled, making you unhappy. And food is fuel for the body; if you deny it that fuel it will stop working.
Indulging in comfort foods once a while is not going to kill you. Balance your diet; make sure to eat home-cooked food as much as possible. You can even try experimenting with junk food, making it more nutritious. Don’t restrict yourself; eat what makes you happy, because in the end happiness should be your only goal.
Get enough sleep
Working yourself to the ground, walking with permanent dark circles is a sure way of inviting stress into your life. Try to set up a routine to manage work and sleep. Do not try to reduce sleep time to increase work time. Doing this, you may get ahead in work but the body will punish you and drag you behind.
Minimum 6 hours of sleep is essential for the body and mind to work to their optimum level. Overworking them without giving them a break will result in a burnout/breakdown.
Working, thinking, solving problems, finding solutions, every day we exercise our minds but what about the body? Exercise at least 2–3 days a week. It does not have to be high intensity cardio or running. It could be brisk morning walks, light stretching or yoga. Yoga is good for the mind and helps in reducing stress and anxiety.
Be an optimist and not a pessimist
Stop running around and chasing abstract goals. Just for a moment close your eyes, take a deep breath, a break and look around yourself, look at the surroundings and your life. Appreciate all that you have in the present, and then move on to the things you want to have in the future. Start looking at the glass as half full and not as half empty. In this hurried life, it’s very important to have patience. After giving your best, learn to wait for the results. If you truly worked hard then you will achieve your goal. Do not stress yourself unnecessarily. Healthy mind is directly proportional to healthy body. So, if the health of body deteriorates the mind will too.
In the race of achieving our goals, trying to be the best, we often forget about ourselves. Start making minor changes in your habits and you will notice a difference. While, changing habits and adopting healthy lifestyle can sometimes be challenging, the physical and mental health is worth all the pains. Body and mind are like the bosses, so take care of them, pamper them, listen to them, keep them happy, and they in turn will make sure you remain happy and stress free.