There are just too many bad things that are happening in the world right now. Violence, crimes, corruption, abuse of power, natural disasters, we just can’t seem to have enough of all of it. It definitely is no surprise that people get stressed and anxious about the future and what’s to come. But are we aware of what stress and anxiety can do to our overall well-being? Here, we will get some information about stress, how it affects us, and gather some tips and advice from the doctor in the house who gets the call anytime we have a panic attack.
Doctor in the house: What he knows about stress
Our home doctors understand that stress is everywhere, and our reaction to it may be triggered by almost anything. There is a new research study done by a professor at Oregon State University which studied older patients 65 to 95 years of age. It was found out that the way we react to stress, including stressful activities on a daily basis (such as traffic jams while driving or completing chores), can affect the health and well-being of our brains.
Doctor in the house: What stress can do to the body
Since stress and the feeling of agitation keeps us feeling frustrated, annoyed, and irritated, our cognitive functions get affected. We easily give up on solving a simple problem, or simply say ‘I don’t know’ to someone who asked us a question, just so that won’t have to spend more time thinking about it. This habit, in turn, can affect our interpersonal relationships and our emotional health. We may have petty arguments with loved ones, misunderstanding with a co-worker, and other fights not only with other people but with ourselves as well. With this, our physical health becomes affected. We lose our appetite, get tired easily, and would rather stay at home and mope around instead of leading an active lifestyle.
Doctor in the house: His take on battling stress
It is a given that stress cannot be prevented and avoided. There is no escaping the minor or significant stressors we encounter daily. The only thing we can do is manage how we react to these said stressors. As the researcher said, ‘it is not the stressors that contribute to our mental decline, it is the way we respond to them that affects the brain.’ Here are some of the useful tips and advice a doctor in the house would frequently tell his patients when they call him in the middle of the night because of a splitting headache or stomach pain due to stress.
Exercise daily. Yes, you read it right. While exercising puts stress in the body, the physical tension it creates help relieve mental stress. Exercise has shown good effects in lowering down cortisol, the stress hormone and increasing endorphins that ups our mood and are natural pain relievers. Exercise also contributes to having a good night’s sleep, so the body can rest and the mind can get rid of the stress and anxiety.
Lessen caffeine. Coffees, teas, chocolates, energy drinks, and even sodas have high amounts of caffeine. Caffeine is a natural stimulant that if consumed in high quantities can cause anxiety. Have you experienced palpitations after drinking your favourite espresso? That is when you feel your own heart beating fast, making you feel nervous or jittery all of a sudden for no reason at all.
Spend quality time with family and friends. Your close social system can give you support and increase your feeling of self-worth and confidence in just knowing that there are still some people who understand and accept you for who you are. There is a study that showed men and women who have less to no social support system or connections lead a stressful way of living and are more likely to develop depression and anxiety.