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Updated: May 11, 2013 17:34 IST

Pass the stress test

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Handling stress is key to a healthy lifestyle. Photo: K.R. Deepak
The Hindu Handling stress is key to a healthy lifestyle. Photo: K.R. Deepak

With stress-related problems on the rise, here are tips on how to cope.

Do you experience frequent headaches? Get tired very easily? Do you find yourself becoming irritable and moody? If you’ve answered yes to these questions, chances are, you’re stressed out. Stress is not always bad; it is our body’s way of preparing us for the challenge ahead. Some amount of stress is, in fact, healthy; some stressors get you going and help accomplish your goals. However, situations that overwhelm us cause distress. Our life requires us to deal with many challenges simultaneously.

When ‘things become too much’, stress can have an adverse impact on the mind, body, emotions and behaviour eventually resulting in health problems. People often cope with stress by resorting to unhealthy behaviours such as drinking, smoking, comfort-eating and self- medicating. At work, stress manifests itself in increased absenteeism; stressed people tend to fall ill more often. Silly mistakes, difficulties making decisions, poor work performance, being hostile towards co-workers and clients, and the inability to follow through on deadlines are some signs of work-related stress. When left unaddressed, chronic stress can lead to burnout, a debilitating condition of emotional exhaustion, apathy and cynicism.

Effective management of stress can lead to harmony in personal and professional relationships resulting in a calmer and healthier self. Our tolerance of stress largely depends on the support system we have including our friends and family. Having the right attitude and outlook can help one embrace challenges and take charge.

Life is unpredictable and lands us in difficult situations. The key is to maintain your cool, identify the warning signs and refresh your energy reserves.

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