Stress: the modern epidemic!

Published : 02.01.2019 17:33:37
Categories : Healthy habits

We all know people who have mentioned the following sentence at one point: “I’m stressed”. This sentence is a lot more harmful to society than it seems...

The WHO has classified stress as a public health concern of the 21st century.

There are 3 types of stress

Stress can be briefly classified into 3 categories:

  1. Emotional stress: mental pressure which is the most familiar to us all.
  2. Physical stress: physiological alteration to the human body which has resulted in healing (e.g. cuts and injuries)
  3. Biological stress: internal and cellular alterations which have changed the normal functioning of our cells and organs.

These are not mutually exclusive. It is very common that physical or biological stress can be due to the presence of emotional stress, which will be the main type I will focus on in this article!

80-90% of illnesses are due to our stress and lifestyle

Stress is a natural element of life, however, it is only supposed to be a rare and temporary condition, notchronicnor long lasting! If mental stress is not well managed, it could lead to:

  • Burnouts - first on the list because I know too many people around me who are victim of this modern pandemic.
  • Migraines
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle pains
  • Digestive disorders
  • Weight gain
  • Depression
  • Arrythmias
  • Weakened immune systeme
  • Cancer
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Reduced healing
  • Increased fatigue
  • Blocked back
  • Anxiety
  • Rise in cholesterol
  • Death
  • And much more...!

In the modern and/or western world, people are taking medications to supress the symptoms of stress, rather than focusing on the source of the problem! This solution is not only harmful to the body and weakening it over time, but it does not address the core of the problem and will continue to be part of your life.

Continuous mental strain and stress for the working professional inevitably leads to a burnout, which psychologists have classified its symptoms as similar to that of depression, the difference is that the outcome has occurred due to the workplace.

Stress is 90% fictional and unjustified

I recently read a logical psychology paper that identifies stress as a form of fear (e.g. fear of disappointing others, fear of consequences, fear of getting hurt, etc.). My life coach has taught me that 90% of fear, such as fear that your boss will be angry at you for handing in work late, is fictional!

Conclusion: 90% of stress is also fictional, unnecessary and self-inflicted for no productive reason whatsoever.

My tips to reduce and treat stress

Recognise that you have a problem

First step to your “rehab” is to accept the fact that your stress is negatively affecting your life.

Find the sources of your stress

Identify what, who, where, how and when your feel the most and/or repeatedly stressed. This could include:

  • Work
  • Family
  • Partner
  • Children
  • Parents
  • Worry
  • Excess energy
  • Fear
  • Frustration
  • Whenever you are given any deadline
  • When things to not go as planned
  • Sounds
  • Smells
  • When driving
  • Around people
  • In traffic
  • When waiting
  • Etc. 

Recognise that most modern stress is utterly useless

Stress is a survival mechanism that our body elicits in times of need. Therefore, unless you need adrenaline to walk to the nearest hospital after getting stabbed, or hanging off the edge of a cliff, or trying to survive extreme weather conditions, it is utterly useless!

  • A perfect example of unnecessary stress is when people get stressed and angry in traffic... this pressure serves absolutely no benefit and does not make the traffic move any faster!
  • Another more serious example is when parents stress about their children’s decisions in life and wish to control it. Children are free to choose their course and should also learn to live with the consequences of their actions...your stress will only make things worse for them and for yourself.

Find a solution and follow through with it

You will be surprised to know that most people know exactly what needs to be done in order to alleviate the above sources of stress. However, once again, fear or lack of self confidence is preventing them from putting the plan into action.

Such actions can include: changing jobs, get rid of poisonous people, get a divorce, talk to your boss, join a sports group or simply voicing your concerns with someone...

Remember: your solutions are usually short term discomfort for medium/long term bliss!

Be patient with solutions

Rome was not built in a day and triathlons require a lot of training... same goes for the mind. The above solutions are usually not immediate and require perseverance/time in order to reap the benefits and achieve happiness.

Realise how lucky and privileged you are

If you are reading this post, you are most likely a member of the Western world who have the privilege to live in a society free from war, has a structured government, access to excessive food, has social security, free education, and so on... compared to the majority of the world, we have no right to complain about our lives being difficult!

In addition, there are also meditation techniques which I encourage you to learn which also guides you towards focusing on the positive aspects of your life and moving forward with things that trouble you. I recommend you seek guidance for this from life coaches (contact me if you need recommendations!).

Learn to let things go and accept that not everything can be controlled

Traffic, a child’s life choices, cancelled flights, the weather, hair loss, other people’s behaviour... these are but a few things that you have absolutely no control yet loads of people focus on them causing unecessary stress. Learn to accept that what’s done is done and learn to let things go... then you can calm down, think of a solution and move on with life with a peaceful mind.

Simple change in daily habits to reduce stress

Breathe!

Often done during times of anxiety, we all need to learn to take moments in the day to perform active deep breathing. By doing so, we increase our oxygen in the system, excrete our carbon dioxide, “refreshes” our body and get our Chi/Qi flowing... giving us the sensation of slowing down time and calm us down.

Hydrate yourself

As I have mentioned in a previous post, make sure you drink at least 1,5-2L of water in order to make sure that at least your body is physiologically working optimally.

Reduce your caffeine

Simple yet effective, reducing your caffeine intake could help you with your anxiety, especially for people sensitive to caffeine and who are more nervous.

Adopt good posture

Six months ago, I learned once again how to sit, stand and walk properly when I injured my lower back. I realised that by simply correcting my posture, I have not only alleviated the tension in my lower back, but also in other parts of the body which also lead to reducing mental stress.

Laughter

Whatever it takes to make you laugh... do it! It is no surprise that laughter and feeling good is an amazing medicine.

Do something you love everyday

Along with large events, something as simple as going for a run, cooking, playing with your dog, etc. are the little things in life that make life worth living. A lot of people forget to do these simple things everyday as a daily booster to get through each day with a hint of a smile!

Doing this will raise your happiness, decrease your worries, gain new perspectives, gives you a break from torment, increase your distraction, raise endorphins... therefore reducing stress.

Stay active and eat healthy

This will allow you to optimally fuel your body as well as relieve physical tension, sleep better, meet new people and raise your self esteem.

Remember: find a sport you actually like and contact me if you need help with your nutrition/diet!

All the above are solutions which have greatly helped me with managing stress throughout my adult life. I would love to hear about your own personal experiences and what you think works best for you!


I would really appreciate if you could take a minute to review Naturalis Balance!

Review Naturalis Balance on Trustpilot
Review Naturalis Balance on Google

Thank you very much for all your support!

Share this content