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Reduce Stress – It’s time to unwind

8 February 2011 No Comment

Tired of playing the super wife, super employee, super mom and super daughter-in-law? Here are ways to effectively deal with the stress of multitasking…

The dictionary defines stress as a specific response by the body to a stimulus, as fear or pain that disturbs or interferes with the normal physiological equilibrium of an organism. If stress is not managed well, it can affect not just the physical aspects but also the emotional attitude of a person.

What can stress do to your body?

Working women especially are prone to stress these days. Experts say that stress affects centres in the brain which control ovarian hormone release and ovulation (egg growth and rupture) in the female body. Thus, stress can cause irregular menses, loss of ovulatory function and decreased fertility. Increasing stress is one of the factors responsible for the spate of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and miscarriages in the urban population. Premenstrual syndrome is strongly linked to stress as well. Stress also decreases immunity and increases vulnerability to cancer and infections. Phew! That is a lot isn’t it? You probably weren’t aware that stress could do all that.

How to cope with it?

Gynaecologist and obstetrician Dr Suman Bijlani says, “Stress is the consequence of inappropriate response to a physically or emotionally demanding situation. In simple words, if we can change our response, we can reduce or eliminate stress.”

Psychologists say that there is a mind body connection and whatever your mind experiences your body will manifest. Clinical psychologist Dr Seema Hingorrany says, “Stress reduces the feel-good hormone. Working women have chronic fatigue syndrome and they are coming with complaints of burnouts. Some suffer from psychological back pain and headaches or have insomnia and are unhappy. Their defenses are unusually high and they react easily.” She says that most of the time these women are unable to juggle between kids, family and work. There is no ‘me’ time.”

Bijlani says, “Working women (forgive the term, home makers work very hard too) have double pressures – pressure to perform at work, as well as the responsibility of home, family and children. This translates into tremendous demands on her to multi-task, fulfil expectations of her boss, co-workers, husband, in-laws, children, not to mention, her own.”

Juggling all the roles a woman plays can be tremendously stressful. And of course, bosses, in-laws, husbands and kids can be very demanding. Needless to say, this balancing act needs time management, healthy and supportive relationships and great physical and mental health!

Symptoms
Here are the following symptoms of acute stress:
– Irritability, loss of concentration, forgetfulness, fatigue and tantrums.
– Physical symptoms like aches, shortness of breath, palpitations, acidity, weight gain, high blood pressure, heart disease, bowel motility disorders, acidity, diabetes, skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
– There is lethargy, sleep disturbances, loss of interest in sex, lack of enthusiasm for things enjoyed earlier, eating and sleep disturbances (too much or too little), or even depression.

Quick tips
Here are some quick and easy ways to de-stress yourself:
– Share a joke
– Take a deep breath
– Get a massage
– Listen to music
– Close your eyes and think of something pleasant
– Go shopping
– Meet up with friends

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