Mental wellness, Stress & Depression

Stress and Stress Busters

Stress is probably the most common word that we come across in today’s world. All of us are stressed, most of the time for no reason. But before moving towards stress busters, it’s important to know what stress is. Stress is, in fact, a natural fight-or-flight response of our nervous system to the various stress causing factors. It is a natural defense mechanism of the body.

When our body perceives any stress it sends a message to the brain. The brain activates the hypothalamus gland that controls the secretion of all other hormones. While adrenaline is released into the blood stream, a chain initiated by hypothalamus ends with the production of cortisol- the stress hormone. Cortisol binds to the protein in our cells called glucocorticoid receptors. Then starts the response from our body- heart beat increases, breathing becomes faster, blood pressure increases. In order to sustain these, the blood flow from digestive system and muscles gets reduced.

Imagine if you are under chronic stress! Your body is in a high-alert state all the time; the process of digestion is effected, you don’t get proper sleep, you can’t concentrate or pay attention. Gradually self-awareness and consciousness decrease and you start feeling sad and worried perpetually. It is a vicious cycle indeed.

 A person under chronic stress

Chronic Stress

The impact of chronic stress on our mental and physical well being is innumerable-everything from a dull appearance to the chronically sick body. Eating disorders, fast breathing, sleep disorders, feeling of insecurity, back pain, weakened immune system, social seclusion are few scary impacts of chronic stress.

Managing stress thus should top your To-Do list if you look forward to a happy and productive life. There are several proven ways to manage stress. Medication is surely one way but our own body is a vast pharmacy of relaxation hormones that we have suppressed under stress. The main task is to reset our body and brain to a normal state so that it produces the hormones for relaxation and leads to a stable state of mind and eventually body.

1. Breathing techniques and exercises:

Deep breathing exercises are time renowned for their calming psychological effect. When you are stressed the brain constantly keeps your body aware and alert and it cannot relax. Slow and deep breathing exercise lets your brain realize that it’s relaxed when the body actually is. This in turn, sends the hypothalamus a signal to release stress relieving hormones into the body. Thus it helps in lowering stress.

2. Walking

It always sounds weird to people with chronic stress as to how can walking help you in dealing with the problems of your life. But it’s about the attitude towards the problem rather than the problem itself. Anything that can help your body by releasing feel-good hormones and make you feel better is of significant contribution. Light exercising also helps in de-stressing your muscles and makes your body and mind more relaxed.

3.  Making a routine

The single most effective technique for worrying less is having a disciplined life and a set routine. This must include getting up early and starting the day with some breathing exercise, followed by a healthy breakfast. Getting up early also makes you feel more fresh and energetic eventually making you more positive and productive.

4. Acceptance

One huge step towards coping up with everyday stress is to inculcate acceptance in our nature. Our problems and worries fall generally into two categories- solvable and non-solvable. Though it’s important to be worried a bit about the problems and tasks at hand, being preoccupied with it only deters situation and concentration. So whenever worried, you should ask yourself if there is something that can really be done about this problem. If yes, then solving the problem rather than only worrying about it becomes inevitable. If the problem is unsolvable then we have to train our mind to understand that unsolvable problems are something that everyone comes across and cannot be dealt with by worrying day and night. Accepting things as they are is the wisest and truly the right way to deal diverting your focus to things that can be improved.

5. Meditation

Who doesn’t know that meditation is a powerful tool for mental well being? But what really is meditation? Meditation isn’t sitting with your eyes closed and thinking about a single thing or concentrating. It is a state of awareness and thoughtlessness. It can be practiced anywhere and in any condition but to start with, sitting in a relaxed position and focusing is surely the way. It’s a great way to achieve mental peace.

Correct meditating position


Stress is something that can be dealt with, provided we have the intention to. Nothing can be done right or achieved without mental peace and tranquility. The tips mentioned above are quite simple and easy to include in everyday life.

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