Guest Posts, Uncategorized

Effects of Stress and Possible Relaxation Strategies

Hey Everyone,

Today’s post is written by an amazing mental health advocate, Nadine. She strives to educate and and share her knowledge about mental health. She is also a mental health blogger, just like me and has been writing about the same since a long time. You won’t believe it, she is just 18 years old and is an economics student, still she recognizes and appreciates the importance of mental health. She believes in “Finding company and acceptance” where no one is alone.

Today mental health has for sure gained a lot of light in our society and people recognize that this issue does need continuous support, still some people refuse to agree that they might be suffering from the same. Nadine, strives to break this stigma.

She has an amazing website where she shares her knowledge and would love if you can have a look at the amazing work she does, here. You can also connect with her on Twitter and Instagram.

So, without any further ado, let’s see what she has to say about stress and how it affects us in our daily lives.

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Today’s post will be about something I have written about several times before and most of us have to deal with everyday. STRESS, Not only has a huge effect on our mental health, it can also worsen our physical wellbeing to a great extent. Growing up in a world where nobody seems to take the time to enjoy the small and calm moments that offer themselves, it is of often even bigger relevance. In this post, I will first list a few effects that stress can have, before presenting a few possible solutions.

Effects on your MIND

When unchecked and ignored, stress takes the first hold of our mind. There, it can cause restlessness and a lack of motivation and focus. Do you know the feeling that raises shortly before a deadline when you still haven’t finished whatever you were supposed to do? The panic that slowly spreads through your mind until the point where you are unable to do anything? Yup, that is caused by the stress. Having an increased and ongoing amount of stress can also lead to feelings of anger and irritability or sadness. I am sure that you have heard of the term, burnout. This just means, a person has had so much stress that they end up in depression and lose every will to keep going.

Effects of your BODY

A lot of physical pain that is treated nowadays is caused by psychological problems. It is very similar with stress, as it can cause headaches and fatigue. We then tend to treat these symptoms instead of underlying the cause. Sometimes, we do this unknowingly, at other times, we just want to “push through” and get to the next holiday, so we don’t take the time to actually think about the problem or try to solve it in the long run. Apart from headaches, stress can often also lead to problems with sleeping/insomnia, muscle tension (especially in the neck) and it weakens our immune system, meaning that we will get ill more often and will be more severe. I think we can all agree that these are issues we should take seriously, So, here are a few considerations you could engage in to feel better in times of stress.

Reducing the Stress

Who has not thought at least once in a while: How great would it be, if I could just take a break? What if I just stopped working right here, right now? These thoughts indicate that you haven’t had enough breaks during the week and only think of the bigger holidays are important, they are often the only time where you can get out of your job and travel, but the small breaks you take everyday or week are much more important when it comes to longer periods of stress. Small breaks everyday where you can just do what you enjoy can help taking away the tension.

Another idea would be taking a hot bath or a shower. This is something you could do during your small breaks. It gives you the possibility to enjoy the moment and forget about the stress for a moment. It will also get you in touch with your body again, so you will realize whether your neck is tensed up or whether you have a headache you should take care of.

Engaging in hobbies such as sports can also be very helpful in order to get away from your job and create some distance. Physical activity is one of the best things you can do for your body in general, so why not use it to help with the stress as well? Especially when you are doing it outside, it can have a great effect on your mental and physical wellbeing.

Furthermore, I can recommend a method that maybe not everyone has heard of yet. It is called, progressive muscle relaxation. It works like the following:

  • You tense the different muscle groups in your body as strongly as you can and then relax them again. For example, you could start with your neck or face. You tense up every muscle you have in this area and after a few seconds, you let go. If you do that with every muscle in the body, you will feel a lot more relaxed afterwards.

Something very similar to the progressive muscle relaxation would be yoga. When doing yoga, you also use your body to regain focus. It can also help you let go of the stress and you even get some kind of exercise.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation is actually a relaxation method to reduce stress, it works wonders!

You might have realized that all these methods take up a little bit of time, but I think everyone can take an hour a day to take care of themselves and their own well-being. And for those who say they could get work done in this hour: If you have a lot of stress, it is very likely that you would not be able to focus properly anyways, so it would be better to do something relaxing for a short while and then pick up the work again, because then you will actually be more efficient in getting your things done.

These are only a few ways of reducing stress and not all of them will work the same for everyone, so in case these do not work for you, you can always find a lot more on the internet. As I am not a medical professional, you should not rely on this when you suffer from severe stress. It would be best to talk to an expert then and listen to what they recommend to you.

However, I hope this was of any help for you. Gayatri and I would be happy about feedback of what works for you and which other methods have helped you cope with stress in the past.

Take care of yourself and goodbye,

Nadine

Uncategorized

How Does it feel to be “Alone”?

In today’s world, everyone is busy rushing and earning the bread and butter for themselves and their loved ones that they forget there are somethings that money can’t buy. Which is, the love, support, care and the sense of belongingness which comes from people who assure you, that “No matter what happens in your life, you can fall on them. You can always depend on them”

I agree that showing love does not mean displaying it everyday or proving it to the loved one with big gestures that you love them. In this busy life, all you need is to take out sometime for that special person. That’s because if they know you, they understand your workload and your lifestyle, but even if you just take out a little time out for them, it’ll mean the world to them. This is not just for them, but it is also for you, it also affects your mental being as well. You must be wondering, how? Let’s get you the answers..

How does any of this affect “ME”?

You’re busy working every single day, you have tons of work to do, from waking up in the morning, doing household chores, helping your parents, getting to work on time, listening to your boss’s demands, getting gifts for your sister and the list goes on..

You may feel worked up, and there will be a point where you will feel mentally exhausted. Let’s be real, “You can’t keep going on and on right?” And after all that, we tell ourselves, “I’m so done with life! I can’t handle it!” You’re right, you can’t, that’s where self-care comes in handy, you need to take a break, because then when you feel refreshed, you get working feeling more refreshed and you can work more efficiently.

That’s about how you feel, and what about the person you love, you just left behind? No one thought about that, right?

Someone will always hear you out, just make an effort to let them know that they mean a lot to you!!

How does it feel to be, LONELY?

After working so hard all day every day, don’t you feel at times there is no one to hear you out? Or no one around you for helping you solve your problems? Don’t you wish, that someone could just be with you, the physical presence of someone just matters so much that even if they don’t do anything, it still does the job.

That’s because you don’t feel neglected, ignored or isolated. This is because we are human’s we need social interactions in our lives. We NEED to be around people who understand us, or just feel our pain, be it mental or physical. Everyone need’s ‘their person’. If we don’t get these things, we may feel neglected, ignored or isolated.

You might have noticed that I referred to Grey’s Anatomy where Christina and Meredith consider each other as ‘their person’, the analogy is correct, this ‘person’ can be anyone, doesn’t have to be a family member, it can be your friend or your partner, whoever it is, you want this person to be at your side whenever you need them.

I can keep going on about how does it actually feel to be lonely, but I may not be able to describe the feeling, if you really want to understand, please go and ask an older person in your family, for instance your grandparents. They are usually the ones who really know what it REALLY feels like, they will be able to tell you accurately.

Okay.. So What Should I Do?

Now that we have finally realized our mistakes and want to improve ourselves, here are some steps that you can take that can improve your mental health being and also the people around you, now you won’t have any guilt and can also focus on your work:

  • Organize your time on a weekly basis, get some time off work so that you also take the rest you need
  • If you can’t meet your loved ones, at least give them a call, so you both know you have each other. I am sure they’ll understand
  • Prioritize spending time with others on special occassions, remember work keeps going on, but family and loved ones should deserve some attention on some days at least!!
  • Its good to reciprocate your love sometimes, being expressive about your emotions won’t make you weak, it’ll let them know that they are important you and even if you are not able to spend that much time with them.

Always remember, feeling the need of having someone in your life is not a sign of weekness. That’s because if you don’t require anyone for sometime, you will be fine, but slowly, all the negativity and the feeling of being neglected will make you feel isolated and will affect your mental and physical health in the long run. So, if you want to stay happy and maintain a good relationship with others around you, a little effort from your side won’t hurt right?