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What is it that wakes you up in the morning? You will probably say, ‘alarm clock’, won’t you? You kick start your day with enthusiasm. The alarm clock is set to let you know that it’s high time you wake up and get going. Same is the case with Stress. Stress is an alarm clock set for the well-being of the mind and eventually of the body. It indicates that you’re not taking proper care of your mind. The more you ignore the stress level of your mind, the higher the chances of further complications. As they say, precaution is better than cure, identify the causes and symptoms of stress in advance so that you can avoid health problems.

Causes of Stress
Some people are prone to stress, while some can handle tension pretty well. Mental approach plays a vital role in the degree of stress level of a person’s mind. There are various reasons why a person suffers from stress.

  • Personal life and major changes in it
  • Death of someone very close to heart
  • Work pressure and office politics
  • Serious illness
  • Strenuous relationships
  • Negative approach, inferiority complex
  • Uncertainties
  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Financial condition

Symptoms of Stress
It is not difficult to identify stress symptoms, provided you are willing to accept the limitations and capacity of your mind, and the level of tension it can cope up with.

Cognitive symptoms

  • Inability to concentrate
  • Poor judgement
  • Seeing only the negative
  • Anxious or racing thoughts
  • Memory problems
  • Constant worrying

Physical Symptoms

  • Aches and pains
  • Diarrhoea or constipation
  • Nausea, dizziness
  • Chest pain, rapid heartbeat
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Frequent colds

Emotional Symptoms

  • Irritability or short temper
  • Agitation, inability to relax
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Sense of loneliness and isolation
  • Depression or general unhappiness

Behavioural Symptoms

  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Isolating yourself from others
  • Eating more or less
  • Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities
  • Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
  • Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)

Now you’ll think about measures to prevent stress. There are steps you can take to avoid tension:

Exercise regime and relaxation:
Exercising helps you relieve or avoid tension because for that much of time your mind gets diverted from the problems. Also, the supply of oxygen increases in the body, leaving you feeling fresh, tension free, relaxed and energised.

Eat healthy:
You need to take the daily dose of vitamins, proteins, and other nutritious elements to strengthen your brain and its ability to deal with tension. These elements are certainly not present in the junk food. Make sure that you eat healthy. Include fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet so that you can deal with your emotions and stress effectively.

Positive attitude:
Maintain a positive outlook towards life and half the battle is won. Try to see the brighter side of every situation and then deal with the darker side, you’ll be able to cope with the situation and tension more efficiently.

Learn the art of saying ‘No':
Saying ‘yes’ to every thing doesn’t mean you are fearless. In fact, such tendency will put you in tension. Know your limits. You don’t have to go an extra mile for everyone. Don’t bury yourself under a pile of responsibilities that you cannot handle.

Be flexible:
Don’t live with an attitude of my-way-or-no-way. Learn to be flexible so that you can avoid tension. It will help you deal with difficult situations and people efficiently. Follow this and save yourself from unnecessary tension.

Time management:
Some people perform well under stress but too much of tension is certainly not good. Don’t wait for the eleventh hour. Plan your schedule well in advance. It will help you save a lot of time and avoid tension. Also, learn the art of time management and by doing so, you will keep yourself calm and you won’t end up burning out your energies.

We often form a misconception that the body rules the mind, but it is the other way round. Getting tensed in a situation is our way of reacting to the matter. While we cannot change the situation, we can certainly change the way we react. Help your mind relax, rejuvenate, and regenerate energy, and see the difference for yourself.

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