Life is a continuous process of facing and solving problems and challenges, as we are living in the VUCA world, and sometimes it is overwhelming. Our bodies and minds get stressed. Not all stress is bad – eustress is positive stress, and distress is harmful stress – but prolonged, uncontrollable distress can negatively affect our immunological, neurological, physiological, and psychological responses.
The stress response was designed to help us survive. Under threat, we have to respond quickly, so our body needs more energy: the heart beats faster, our muscles tighten, blood pressure rises, breathing quickens, senses sharpen, focus heightens and pupils widen. This was life-saving when we had to run from lions or tigers, or fight battles, but today we live in chronic low-grade stress situations in urban environments, high-pressured jobs, pollution, etc., leading to wear and tear on the body. Heart disease, digestive problems, sleep, mental worry, negative thinking, loss of confidence and depression are all attributed to stress.
Researchers have concluded that the real issue is how our minds perceive and handle situations. Our inability to deal with situations well and solve problems leads to accumulated effects of stress.
Here are a few tried and tested techniques to deal with stress in various settings. If you have any underlying medical or psychological problem, please seek medical help and use these techniques as complementary methods in discussion with your treating physician.