Stress by definition is emotional, physical or any other type of strain put on any individual. It has emerged as one of the major causes of many diseases and at times, even death in the modern world. It gives rise to many other diseases like hypertension, heart attacks and peptic ulcers. Diseases like bronchial asthma, eczema psoriasis and hormonal disorders are augmented because of stress.
Life in big cities has become stressful for the inhabitants. Some take up sleep as a form of relaxation, while some tend to take alcohol and other toxic substances for relaxation which is bad for one’s health.
Mental and physical stress are linked to one another and cannot be dissociated. The mind is the governor of the body and regulates its working. When one is excited or agitated, there is a release of adrenalin and other neuro chemicals in the body, which cause increase in respiration, pulse rate, and blood pressure. Anxiety can alter intestinal motility causing constipation or diarrhoea.
Tension affects the body in multiple ways. Stress depends on the physical health, mind set and condition of an individual. A physically strong person with strong will can endure stressful situations, whereas a weak person becomes jittery.
Some simple principles of life need to be followed to be totally relaxed. A healthy diet, regular physical exercise, and avoiding harmful substances like alcohol help keep the body healthy and capable of hard work. Along with the body, people need to learn to keep the mind relaxed as well.
Fill the mind each day with fresh positive thoughts. On encountering a problem, it is better to keep a cool mind and think of a solution. When confronting a problem, people get so tensed up that instead of solving the problem, they mess it up more. In case of a problem beyond control, it is best to leave it to time to solve it. After all, what is the use of worrying about something that you cannot fix at that time?
People need to take decisions several times in their life. These may be right or wrong. Some people tend to cry over wrong decisions in the past and remain tense. The past cannot be undone; it is useless to ruin the present crying over the past.
Being ambitious and setting high goals in life is good. But after putting in hard work, if one does not get the desired results, it should not become cause for mental tension. A person should be realistic and calmly analyse the cause of failure and try to correct it.
Some people are very narcissist and consider themselves to be very superior in their calibre. Such persons always remain tense mentally because of their ego.
Some weak minded persons break down so much because of mental tension that they have to consult psychiatrists to find relief. It does not make much sense. If one is not ready to let the mind relax, how can they expect some other person to do that? Anti- depressants and tranquilisers used for decreasing mental tension have many side effects. Thus, if one takes these medications for mental tension, they can cause more harm than good.
Physical exercise and sports is useful to keep the body and mind rejuvenated and relaxed. Good creative pass-times help in taking one’s mind off unpleasant things.
Those who suffer from mental tension should try following some simple steps to keep themselves relaxed.
Consider this; how important is your problem? Nothing is more important than life, so if the problem is not life-threatening, it is not worth worrying about. Keep yourself busy always. Good adjustment and understanding at home and at the workplace help to keep a person mentally healthy and one should always strive to maintain it.
Yoga helps to keep the mind and body relaxed, if done regularly.
It is not difficult to relax totally. It needs a little effort and will.
Dr Rachna Pande,
Specialist, internal medicine