National Stress Awareness Day

National Stress Awareness Day

To quote John Borysenko, “Every day brings a choice: To practice stress or practice peace.”

On most of our days, we feel weighed down by our daily work routine and fail to prioritize our leisure time. Repressing one’s thoughts, emotions, and overloading yourself with work only leads to deterioration of mental health. And hence as the quote says, it is crucial to realize the need for a break, the need to be at peace.

Shedding more light on the concept of stress, a stress response occurs when we sense a threat in the environment. It is commonly also called the ‘fight’ or ‘flight’ response. It prepares us to either flee from the situation or face the threat. Stress can be experienced irrespective of the gravity of the situation. From being stressed about losing a job to stressing over an upcoming deadline, it can have a significant impact on our well-being. It is a universal factor. People are well aware of the stress that is experienced by children and adults but have not educated themselves about the stress that senior citizens go through. They assume that since they are old they may not be working, might have retired, raised their children, and paid off all their bills so there’s no reason to stress.

Particular amounts of stress are a part of everyone’s life.While the younger generation and adults have a better coping mechanism, it becomes difficult for people who are older and are already battling a chronic disease. Ageing undermines the ability to maintain homeostasis, and stress aggravates the burden on their bodies, weakening the body’s ability to fight back.

Every time a person says that they feel stressed, our natural response tends to be, “It’s normal” or “It’ll go away”. This attitude towards stress makes the person believe that stress is common and that there’s no need to reflect upon the seriousness of it, shutting their eyes to the fact that it can be quite life-threatening. During a panic situation, our body releases adrenaline and cortisol that makes breathing difficult and shoots the blood pressure. If not handled at the right time, it can cause a person to lose their life. Senior citizens are prone to be much more negatively influenced by stress, so it’s of utmost importance for us to help them in such situations.

What are the main symptoms that will help us recognize stress?

· Constant worry

· Forgetfulness

· Inability to concentrate

· Anger

· Nervousness

· Headache

· Exhaustion

How can we help our grandparents cope with stress?

· Keep checking on their mental health.

· Listen to what they wish to say.

· Help them in identifying what triggers their stress.

· Take them for walks, read to them, practice activities they find joy in.

· Most importantly, support them in seeking professional help if required.

We cannot always take control a stressful situation. At times when things go wrong, the following can help us calm our minds.

· Take control of your breathing by taking slow breaths and count them.

· Practice mindful meditation.

· Record your emotions by writing and maintaining a journal.

· Listen to music that helps your mind be at peace.

· Go out for a walk and breathe in the fresh air.

· Do what appeals to you at that moment.

This National Stress Awareness Day, let us all pledge to prioritize our mental health and that of others, look after the health of our grandparents, go out of our way to help senior citizens around us, and spread awareness on the importance and extremity of stress. It can especially be overwhelming for the elderly.

Hence, let’s do our bit and lend our shoulder to our loved ones so that they experience a stress-free life, paving the way to lead a more peaceful life within the comforts of their home.

Afterall, Aapki Khushi, Humari Khushi.

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