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How to manage Stress during Distressing Times

Mufaddal lokhandwala
Mufaddal lokhandwala
How to manage Stress in Distressing Times

What is Stress?
Stress is “What you feel when life’s demand exceeds your ability to meet those demands”
The human body is designed to experience stress and react to it. At the most basic level, stress is our body’s response to pressures from a situation or life event. What contributes to stress can vary hugely from person to person and differs according to our social and economic circumstances, the environment we live in and our genetic makeup. Some common features of things that can make us feel stress include experiencing something new or unexpected, something that threatens your feeling of self, or feeling you have little control over a situation. Stress can be positive, keeping us alert, motivated, and ready to avoid danger. Stress becomes negative when a person faces continuous challenges without relief or relaxation between stressors. As a result, the person becomes overworked, and stress-related tension builds. 

Science Behind Stress
Stress Causes the hypothalamus in the brain to secrete CRH (corticotropin-releasing hormone), which travels to the pituitary gland and causes the secretion of ACTH(adrenocorticotropin hormone /corticotropin) into the blood. This ACTH reaches the adrenal glands above the kidneys and causes the release of Cortisol (The Stress Hormone)



How People Perceive Stress? 
How heavy is the Weight of Glass?
 
From my perspective, the absolute weight of this glass does not matter.  It all depends on how long I hold it.  If I hold it for a minute or two, it is light.  If I hold it for an hour straight, its weight might make my arm ache a little.  If I hold it for a day straight, my arm will likely cramp up and feel completely numb and paralyzed, forcing me to drop the glass to the floor.  In each case, the weight of the glass does not change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it feels to me.”
Your stresses and worries in life are very much like this glass of water.  Think about them for a while and nothing happens.  Think about them a bit longer and you begin to ache a little.  Think about them all day long, and you will feel completely numb and paralyzed – incapable of doing anything else until you drop them.


Physical Signs of Stress
1.	Feelings of numbness, disbelief, anxiety, or fear
2.	 Changes in appetite, energy, and activity levels
3.	 Difficulty concentrating
4.	 Difficulty sleeping or nightmares and upsetting thoughts and images
5.	 Physical reactions, such as headaches, body pains, stomach problems, and skin rashes
6.	 Worsening of chronic health problems
7.	 Anger or short temper
8.	 Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
If you experience these feelings or behaviours for several days in a row and are unable to carry out normal responsibilities because of them, seek professional help



Emotional Signs of Stress
•	Being anxious or fearful
•	Depressed
•	Guilty
•	Angry
•	Not caring about anything
•	Overwhelmed by sadness

How to overcome Stress?
1. Relax your body by doing activities that work for you
2. Pace yourself between stressful activities
3. Get enough sleep and rest
4. Be physically active
5. Eat healthy 
6. Develop a hobby
7. Practice Meditation
8. Enjoy creative pursuits like music, dance, art, etc.
9.Learn something new
10. Stay connected—Spend time with family, friends and talk often to them
11. Maintain a journal and make a list of all the worries and their solution
12. Positive thinking – Become aware of your thoughts and challenge the negative ones and replace them with positive thoughts.
13. Practice Self-love





References
1.	The Cortisol Connection: Why Stress Makes You Fat and Ruins Your Health – And What You Can Do About It -- By Shawn M. Talbott