How to get rid of mental tension

In multiple ways, modern amenities have made life very comfortable for people. But together with physical comforts, it has also brought the problem of mental tension.  Mental tension has emerged as one of the major killer diseases of the modern world.  It disturbs mental peace, tranquility and also gives rise to several   diseases like hypertension, heart attacks, gastric and duodenal ulcers. Diseases like bronchial asthma, psoriasis and diabetes are augmented because of mental tension.

The mind governs, regulates and executes functioning of all body parts.  When one is excited or agitated, there is release of adrenalin which causes increase in respiratory rate, pulse, blood pressure and can precipitate heart attacks.  A person suffering from mental tension loses sleep, interest in family and the world around. Pleasures bring pain.  

Mental tension depends on the mindset and conditioning of an individual. Some people tend to get upset over trivial things. If something has happened, however small, which is not to their liking, they get disturbed.  Another person may remain cool in the face of bigger problems. Whatever the reason for mental tension, it is best avoided.

 Simple principles of life need to be followed to keep one peaceful all the time. Many times people tend to worry over old unpleasant things said by someone. That is harmful. Fill the mind with fresh, pleasant thoughts each day. In case of some problem it is better to remain cool and think of a solution.  On confronting a problem, some people become so tense that instead of solving, they mess it up more. If there is a problem beyond control, then it is best to leave it to time to solve it.  There is no use of bothering about something which cannot be solved at present.

In critical situations, a person needs to make decisions, which may be right or wrong. Some individuals become tense due to a wrong decision made. This is wrong.  One’s past cannot be undone, it is useless to get sick 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 means mental break down for some people. Keeping cool can be analysed; where did one go wrong? Correct mistakes and start over. If one’s endeavor fails, it should not be the end of the world.

Some people are very egoist and consider themselves to be very superior in their calibre. Such persons always remain tense due to their ego. This is a wrong attitude. The world is a big place with many capable people. The attitude of “me” is the root cause of mental tension in many.

Some people resort to alcohol or smoking to get rid of mental tension. This adds damage to the body. Sleeping pills provide solace temporarily.  If taken frequently one tends to get addicted to them.  Taken in large amounts can be fatal.

Some weak-minded persons consult psychiatrists to find relief from mental stress. It does not make sense. If you do not let your mind relax, how can you expect some other person to do that for you?  In some cases, the affected person becomes too sick and is taken by family members to the psychiatrist. The pills which are given for lessening mental tension have many side effects. They can cause stiffness of limbs, excess somnolence, decreased appetite and many of them are addictive.  They can cause more harm than good.

Physical exercise and sports are useful to keep the mind toned up along with the body. Mental tension is seldom seen in those who are active physically. Good creative past-times help in taking one’s mind off unpleasant things.

 One who keeps the mind full of positive thoughts, keeps an open mind and heart and will never suffer from mental tension. For others, there are a few suggestions, which if followed could provide relief.

How important is your problem? Nothing is more important than life and death. So if the problem does not concern life and death, it is not worth worrying about. Alcohol, smoking, pills or counsellors, won’t help till you decide to help yourself. Keep busy always so that the mind stays away from things that produce tension. A balanced diet, proper rest and healthy lifestyle keep a person healthy physically and mentally. Good adjustment at home and the workplace helps keep a person healthy mentally.

There are certain exercises which help to keep the mind relaxed. If done regularly, people benefit from them immensely.

It is not difficult to avoid mental tension. It only requires effort and will.

Dr Rachna Pande, Specialist, internal medicine