WHAT IS STRESS?
Stress is any kind of response of our body to any kind of feeling. Stress hormones get released which leads to hyperactivity in hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) system which further leads to the disruption of the normal levels of serotonin. Serotonin is a brain chemical which is important for the feeling of wellbeing. Stress may affect the quality of life to a greater extent. Stress may further lead to serious health complications such as heart ailments, high blood pressure resulting in stroke, cancer, poor immunity due to increased susceptibility to infection, weight gain or obesity, digestive complications, reproductive dysfunctioning and many other related complications.
Causes of Stress
A lot of things can lead to stress. When you go on a job interview, give a test or run a race, one can feel stress. This kind of stress is normal and is there in everybody’s life. This type of stress occurs only for short period of time. Long-term (chronic) stress is caused by stressful situations or events which lasts for a long period of time due to professional or personal reasons. Slowly and steadily, chronic stress can cause severe health problems.
Personal Problems that can Cause Stress include:
- A person’s health- especially if you are suffering from any chronic illness such as heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis.
- Emotional problems- such as anger which you can’t express, grief, guilt, depression or low self-esteem.
- Relationships-such as having problems with your partner/relative or feeling lonely and completely helpless.
- Major life changes- such as dealing with the death of a parent/spouse or your closed one, losing your job, getting married or moving to a new city /new environment.
- Conflicts with your beliefs and values-For example you may value and love your family but, are unable to spend quality time with your family.
- Social and job issues can lead to stress.
- Surroundings- Living in an area where crime, pollution, overcrowding, and noise is a major problem can lead to chronic stress.
- Social situation-Not having enough money to cover up expenses, feeling lonely and discriminated because of race, age, gender or sexual orientation can build up stress in one’s life.
- Job- Being unhappy with your work or at your workplace or finding your job very exhausting can lead to chronic stress.
- Post-traumatic stress-If you have faced a life-threatening or traumatic event such as rape, a natural disaster and war then, you may need help in dealing with stress. These events can lead to acute stress disorder also known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
How to Manage Stress
1. A Silent Lunch
Once you reach the workplace, work will be same, but when it is time for your lunch break or meals, do eat your meals in silence forgetting all stress of work. Eat your lunch [if possible] looking at nature in a quiet zone but not in front of the computer, reading or any related work. Do not distract yourself and do not allow anybody else to distract you while having your food.
2. Relaxation Quickie
Try relaxation techniques like going for a walk, doing meditation and practice yoga.
3. Let There Be Peace
Before you engage in any stressful activity always aim to be calm and grounded. Bring back your calmness and serenity, once your activity is over.
4. Removal of ‘Ama’
It is recommended that you may visit an Ayurvedic practitioner to eliminate ama. Cleansing rituals like Panchakarma [if practiced under supervision or guidance] will help you with the same.
5. Food Therapy
Always pay attention to your diet. Eat whole foods, organic as well as fresh foods. Avoid processed foods and foods items that are rich in pesticides and foods which are packed with preservatives. Make sure that you eat portion sizes that are well spiced as well as properly cooked, so as to avoid any kind of disturbance in digestion. Also, if you are able to digest your food without any gas, bloating, belching, burning and heaviness then it is assured that you are not generating new toxicity from your digestive system.
6. Pure Water
It is extremely important that the water that you consume should be clean and pure. This will help you to remove ‘ama’ from the tissues. One should make sure that he/she drinks plenty of water during day so as to make the liver strong. Another option is to spice up the flavor of water by drinking herbal tea that will help in cleansing of liver like red raspberry, dandelion, red clover, milk thistle, burdock or acacia tea. These are all herbs that show positive and beneficial effect on the liver.
The daily dosage of exercise or any type of yoga or workout helps to stabilize Dhatu Agni
8. Sleep Early
Getting enough sleep is important for your body because it gives liver sufficient time to clear the blood. According to Ayurveda, one must go to bed by 10 PM. According to Ayurveda, the liver time is said to be between 10 pm and 2 am.
9. Avoid Drugs, Alcohol & Sugar
Sugar, alcohol, and drugs must be processed out of the blood by the liver. If one makes sure that anything you put in or eat is free of pesticides as well as preservatives, one gets one step closer to make liver function easily.