In a life of constant pressure and cut-throat competition the youth and working class of metropolitan cities face a constant threat of health issues related to stress. In a world-wide poll of over 105 countries by Gallup, only 20% of people reported that they were not stressed. According to estimates by PPC Worldwide, a global provider of employee assistance programmes (EAP), more than 62% of health concerns in India Inc in the year to October 2012 were due to work stress.
So what then are we going to do to solve this problem that only seems to be getting more serious by the day? What do we understand about stress and its effects?
When talking about stress people generally refer to two phenomena, an event or a reaction. When we associate stress with an event, that event is called a stressor. Stress is our reaction to an event or stressor. The classic stress response is the “fight or flight” reaction in which your body activates a number of physical and behavioral defense mechanisms to deal with an impending threat. It is often this physical and psychological sensations associated with these mechanisms that we are detecting when we say that we ‘feel stressed’. The ill effects or negative effects of stress are felt when the body goes through an adrenalin rush after detecting threat or stressor and there is no physical activity or “release” for the bodily changes. People report having body aches, catches, headaches, palpitation etc. which is generally the result of this.
How do we deal with stress?
Stress occurs and will only occur if we perceive a situation or stimulus as stressful or threatening. Thus it is very important to have clarity of perspective and clear evaluation of situations to be able to distinguish real threat from general inconvenient situations. Today if we take a look at our lifestyles our demands from things around have increased and our tolerance for frustration and inconvenience has reduced tremendously. Hence coping skills have reduced. A day without a washing machine or microwave can cause stress to the modern metropolitan individual. We of course also have the real threats of increasing finances, job competition, traveling, work life balance, time management etc. for these real stressors it is important to find healthy ways of re perceiving the intensity of the threat.
Spending time in recreation outdoor activities:
There are numerous ways of dealing with stress. Yoga, meditation, exercises and of course thought reforming or changing faulty perceptions. Recently corporates have been taking special initiatives to provide recreation and exercise solutions within the office premises. Games like football, pool, table tennis, gyms etc. have been introduced in many offices. Outbound trips and recreation events have become a major part of corporate initiatives. These events serve many purposes, not only are they great stress busters but a solid ground for training and team bonding. Spending time in sports and outdoor activities gives people a change from routine and also physical exercise helps majorly as a way to deal with pent up stress.