21st Century is marked by many watchwords. Some of them include the Internet, E-Commerce, Tech, Privatization, Globalization, Glocalization are some to be named. These words mark a shift in the lifestyle from what it used to be in the 90s. Life was way more laid back and our lifestyle, the way we move, work, the way we are reliant on technology- everything has changed drastically.
Another watchword that comes to mind when we talk about the 21st Century is stress. In simple words, stress can be defined as any type of change that causes physical, emotional or psychological strain. It is seen as our body's response to anything that requires attention or action. While our lives have become extremely fast-paced and we strive with our daily journey to keep abreast with everything happening around us, stress management has gained tremendous importance around the world.
Some staggering statistics help us understand the graveness of the matter. About 13% of children developed an anxiety disorder due to stress. About 51% of the adults suffering from chronic stress experience symptoms of fatigue, lethargy, unproductive behaviour, anxiety. Stress also increases the chances of heart diseases by 20%. A staggering 49% of young individuals between the ages of 18 and 24 experience high levels of stress because of comparing themselves with others. Women lead the race when it comes to stress with 28% of the world population as compared to 20% in their male counterparts. A whopping 60% of adults resort to alcoholic beverages as a way to escape their stressful life events. In Europe, 13.5 million workdays are lost every year due to stress complaints, which include fear of being fired from the job, the pressure to fulfil above average expectations, a total lack of control over how the job is done. This has resulted in health care and social security costs to rise above €20 billion. Get rid of your stress by getting into the best Spa in Anna Nagar.
Causes of Stress:
The most important factor to consider when we talk about stress is the fact that the term can be extremely ambiguous. There are many levels of stress, and many factors contributing to stress. A variety of things can trigger stress hormones, ranging from things we tackle in our everyday lives, ranging from work, parenting, relationships. Research has also found out that people often go through various forms of stress throughout the stages of life. Adolescence, pregnancy, ageing, menopause are some examples to have in mind.
Research on Stress statistics in the Journal of Accountancy claims that 28% of the American citizens claim that debt and other financial issues stress them out. Unpaid bill, loans, mortgages, the social pressure to come off as financially sound often result in individuals losing their sleep.
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An agency named Viber conducted another survey in the US and UK on the topic of text messaging and various habits. The results show that texting is a daily source of stress for over 31% of the people. The initial reason for the worldwide popularity of text messages was the fact that it helped people to stay in touch with just a short message. From there, the meme culture, gif culture and countless images have paved the way for what has become of texting today.
Social comparison is one of the leading reasons for stress all over the world. Today's young generations are extremely prone to this form of stress since the expectations have also increased. A whopping 49% of individuals experienced such stress. Research attributes these forms of stress to a false portrayal of people on social media, Pop culture and popularity of extensive brand names.
A survey by the Mental Health Foundation found out that over 32% of young individuals aged 18-24 are stressed due to housing worries. Today, the cost of rent or mortgage is skyrocketing every day.
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Another study by the Mental Health Foundation found out that 60% of young individuals in the age bracket of 18-24 experience stress due to the pressure of succeeding in life. High expectations from parents, peers, friends, and society, in general, has wreaked havoc in the lives of many.
Stress at the workplace:
Stress at the workplace has grown over the ages, and as of 2020, it is a matter of concern for all mental health experts around the world. Research by Everest College showed that 83% of the US workers are under significant stress all the time. Some of the factors attributed include long work hours, deadline pressure, layoffs and budget costs, low pay, lack of job security, below par working conditions, a poor work-life balance. Around 14% of the people have resorted to physical violence and another 40% has considered talking to their employers about it. The studies found out that these worrying signs often end up in a hostile attitude towards coworkers, a significant reduction in the quality of work, signs of exhaustion and burnout. Get into the best Massage Spa in Velachery and book your appointment right now!.
Stress in India:
India is home to over 138 crores of people and is on it's way to being the most populous country to live in. The social structure of India is one of the leading reasons for stress among individuals. While India has done a tremendous job at lifting millions of people from below poverty line, poverty remains a huge factor in the country. India is characterised by huge income inequality, education inequity. The clear social stratification structure shows that although the population living below the poverty line has reduced to 2.7% of the population, resulting in the country no longer holding the largest population level, about 350-million constitute the Indian middle class- the category that is most prone to stress.
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According to a 2015 report, over 50% of Corporate India is under chronic stress, and around 30% has problems like addiction, marital discord, and 20% suffering from severe depression. A survey by Cigna TK Health Insurance found out that about 89% of the population in India believe that they are under some form of stress, compared to the global average of 86%. What is most shocking is the fact that around 75% of the people do not feel comfortable talking about it. To this day, mental health and talking about stress, depression is a taboo in India. While the number of clinical psychologists is abysmally low, this lack of sensitization worsens the situation.
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A report by Gallup's 2019 Global Emotions states that we are more stressed today than we have ever been. While the world is trying to battle this pandemic, mental health has taken a huge toll. One of the leading causes of stress is attributed to junk food. All the processed food that we consume regularly contain refined carbs that spike the blood sugar level, and the crash it, increasing anxiety and stress. Today, there add many famous diets like the Keto Diet, the Stress-Busting Diet that has reportedly been beneficial in tackling stress. Hence, the first rule of stress management is to check what's on your plate. Whole-grain carbohydrates like quinoa, brown rice, oats, whole-grain bread are some common examples. Bananas are also attributed to a spike in dopamine levels. The diets also emphasize on the proper consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish like halibut, salmon, tuna or in peanuts, avocados. Nuts, leafy greens and a significant amount of water intake has also resulted in lower levels of stress.
The second point is to identify sources of stress in one's life. While it might sound extremely easy, the task might not be a cakewalk. Changing jobs, relationships, life, emotions are some examples. A lot of individuals overlook their emotions, thoughts and feelings. It is crucial to identify if the stress is temporary if it is an integral part of one's life if it is caused by external factors. Then there is a famous "4 As of Stress Management" - Avoid, Alter, Adapt and accept. One should avoid people who stress you out, alter the situation by expressing yourself more, compromise, a balance the schedule. Adapt to the stressors if you cannot alter yourself, reframe problems, look at the bigger picture, adjust standards, practise gratitude. Lastly, accept your emotions, things you cannot change.
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The third important point is to get moving. Put on music, dance around, go for a jog, use the stairs, meet a friend. A variety of exercise choices like gymming, yoga, pilates, CrossFit, Zumba are some options to look forward to.
Connecting to others can be extremely helpful. We all need good listeners who will spend quality time with you and talk about your feelings. People tend to avoid looking weak in front of others. Accept the fact that it is okay to feel vulnerable.
Symptoms of Stress:
While there is no definitive sequence of symptoms of stress, some common symptoms include changes in mood, clammy or sweaty palms, decreased sex drive, diarrhoea, digestive issues, insomnia, decreased sleep, dizziness, anxiety, frequent sickness, grinding teeth, low energy, headaches, muscle tension, especially in the neck and shoulders, physical aches and pains, racing heartbeat, trembling.
Types of stress:
Generally, there are 4 types of stress-
Acute stress: Short term and can either be positive or distressing.
Chronic stress: the long term type which seems never-ending and inescapable.
Episodic acute stress: Seems to be a part of life and occurs in episodes
Eustress: Fun and exciting. It is a positive type of stress which keeps one energized. It normally surges adrenaline.
Massage and Stress:
Stress can both be physical and mental, from muscle pain, cramps, injuries, soreness constituting the physical aspect and a surge in cortisol, anxiety and depression constituting the mental aspect. A professional body Massage helps in improving blood flow, which is often required to tackle headaches, fatigue, sleep problems, anxiety, irritability, inability to focus, depression. The wellness of natural oils and the various strokes help the body experience a therapeutic process and help in stress reduction. Numerous researches have proven that body massage is one of the proven ways to seek relief from stress.
Research has shown that a well-done body massage has the capability of reducing stress hormone levels by 30% and increases serotonin and dopamine levels by 28% and 21% respectively. Book Massage Centre in Pallikaranai here
Common massage techniques to reduce stress:
Globally, the most common forms of body massage that are used to tackle stress include deep tissue massage, Swedish Massage and Therapeutic Massage.
A deep tissue massage reaches the deepest layers of soft tissues, relieves muscle tension and stress, and unclog the knots in the body. This helps in improving your range of motion, flexibility and mobility. It also affects your mood and provides mental healing. More often than not, a leading cause of stress can be physical problems and the healing properties of a deep tissue massage significantly affect mental peace. Book Massage in Chennai here.
The Swedish classic massage is known to be extremely beneficial in tackling mental stress. The massage therapy is gentle and focuses more on mental healing. It is mostly focused on the superficial layers of the skin but focuses more on the mental aspect.
A therapeutic massage uses techniques like deep strokes, trigger pointing and lymphatic drainage to detoxify the body and reduce stress hormone levels. The spike in localised blood flow triggers the serotonin and dopamine levels and decreases cortisol levels.