It is estimated that 43% of adults suffer adverse effects of stress and as much as 75% of all hospital visits are due to stress-related conditions.Therapeutic stress management entail that we function at optimum stress levels that is well balanced enough to prevent us from feeling bored and lethargic.

Unmitigated stress on the other hand damages our performance in the short term and can lead to burn-out,unhappiness,exhaustion and serious illness in the long term.

Different people consider different situations as stressful.Emotional stress usually occurs when people perceive situations difficult or unbearable and which if uncurtailed in the long term hampers the attainment of stress relief. Physical stress refers to the body`s reaction to various stressors or triggers.

Post-surgical pain is an example of physical stress while sleeplessness,abdominal cramps,headaches may be physical manifestations of emotional stress.Stress management involves ameliorating and reducing the tensions arising from stressful situations by making emotional and physical changes.How much modification or adaptation occurs will depend on the level of stress and determination to make the requisite changes.

List of Potent Stress Relievers

  • Laughter
  • Breathing exercises
  • Minimal or no alcohol
  • Group therapy
  • Yoga
  • Exercise
  • Music therapy
  • Socialization
  • Guided imagery
  • Meditation
  • Appropriate time management
  • Talking and journaling
  • Eating right
  • Vacation
  • Massage
  • Dancing
  • Bioenergetics
  • Learning communication skills
  • reduce caffeine
  • Enroll in support groups
  • Regular walks
  • Play games
  • Sporting activities

For most people,increased need for body nutrients is due in most part to psychological and physical stress which has propelled the quest for a magic supplement and herbal combination expected  to increase energy and vitality.This is responsible for the large consumption of Vitamins C and B-complex, magnesium, Coenzyme Q, gingko, pycnogenol, Echinacea and thousands of other supplements.


Strategies for Stress Relief

1. Exercise: When engaged in regularly,exercise boosts our physical,mental and immune status.It releases tensions and pent-up frustrations,relaxes the muscles and elaborates the feel-good hormones “endorphins”,decreases stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline while enhancing better sleep and relaxation.Physical exercises like Yoga,Tai chi and repetitive activities like swimming,brisk walking,jogging and dancing all help to activitate relaxation responses.

2. Meditation:Though it forms an integral part of the Hindu and Buddhist tradition, it has been accepted as a form of secular stress relief exercise because of its effectiveness in inducing deep relaxation in the long term.For effective stress relief,meditation achieves better results with the help of learning aids like books,Cds,DVDs and of course a teacher.

3. Physiotherapy:Overactive,overused and overtensed muscles descend to a state of hypertonia arising from the preceding stressful activity which if not curtailed can lead to burnout.This state can make the muscles very tight with painful cramps.A Physiotherapist can help the muscles return back from this state of overdrive,to their previous relaxed state.



4. Humor: A good laugh enhances stress relief by decreasing the levels of stressors like adrenaline and cortisol causing endorphine levels to rise while strengthening the immune system.Humor also facilitates stress relief by increasing tissue perfusion thereby enabling the heart and lungs to function at optimum physiological states as a result of the increased blood flow.

The psychological benefits of humor in stress relief include improved inter-personal relationships,creating a sense of satisfaction and ease,cushioning tense situations and producing a healthy feeling of job satisfaction,thereby providing long term stress relief.

5. Massage :This is an effective stress relief technique proven to provide a special and unique moment when you  pay extra attention to just “you” even in the absence of physical pain.It helps to relax the body,mind and spirit,leaving us with a sense of peace,calm and wellbeing.

By normalizing the nervous system,it can ease the effects of stress-related conditions like palpitations, anxiety, nervousness, restlessness, raised blood pressure, sleeplessness and other negative emotional conditions.

As part of our common humanity, we all belong to one community or locality and its attendant relationship vicissitudes,environmental strifes,clash of ideas and psychosocial differences unique to which are work and family stress. We must develop effective stress coping techniques aimed at long term stress relief.

This piece of information is essentially an addition to the learning curve and hence,i urge you to see your Doctor for a proper diagnosis of health-related malady.To widen the horizon further please join me here. Stress Relief is an on-going contribution from Dr Andrew`s health stable.