~Today's calendar: National stress --- awareness Day.
One in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. Around 450 million people currently suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability world-wide (WHO 2001).
So what is stress?
This is a question that can be answered in many twisted ways. I would define it as a way we react to our physical and mental environment. It could be good because it helps us accomplish a task more proficiently, could be an alert system as the brain releases chemicals like epinephrine, norepinephrine and cortisol to alert the body.
Truth be told, stress is key to survival, but too much of it is harmful. Sometimes we feel discomfort, terrified, angry, frustrated or even pain in our body; but because we want to get the work done, we ignore these signs until we get to our breaking point (bad aspect of stress).
Apart from the familiar causes of stress; losing ones job, death of a loved one, chronic illness, dealing with heart break, trying to finish a project on time, emotional problems such as low self-esteem and so on, what we eat also determines how strongly we are affected by said stress.
In the aspect of nutrition, certain substances like -sugar, processed carbohydrate, caffeine and alcohol tend to increase stress while fruits and vegetables, a nice cup of tea, nuts, milk, chocolate and honey help reduce the stress level.
It is no news to everyone that stress triggers premature aging, weakens the body systems, and in extreme cases, can lead to hair loss-- and we all know baldness isn't always attractive.
This is why it is important to avoid and deal with stress in the best possible ways. Some of which include:
-eliminating the causes if possible.
-avoiding or reducing the intake of alcohol, caffeine and processed sugar.
-obtaining enough rest when your body needs it and taking some time off work to recuperate after an illness.
-seek counseling when you experience unusual discomfort.
-spending time with friends and family, generally having a good time.
-exercising is a natural way of using the good stress to rid yourself of the bad one.
Fun facts: Men are more likely than women to develop certain stress-related disorders, including hypertension, aggressive behaviour, and abuse of alcohol and drugs.
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