Mental stress is the predominant issue today when we talk about mental health. Although it might not sound much but mental stress is the leading cause which eventually instigates the development of various other serious mental disorders. The cause and effects of mental stress is far wider than imagined.
State of stress in the US
Americans report some of the highest numbers of mental stress cases as compared to other countries. According to the Stress in America study done by the Association of the Global Organization for Stress, around 75% adults reported experiencing mild to strong bouts of mental stress in the past month and many also reported a significant rise in level of stress since last year. Adults alone are not affected by stress. According to the American Psychological Association, stress remains the top concern amongst teens (from 14-18 years) in America and concerns have been voiced by psychologists for the effective treatment of teen stress to avoid harmful consequences in the future.
Mental stress is a rapidly growing mental condition and needs to be understood first before determining the ideal treatment for it. Mental stress is said to be caused by various factors, such as:
- Mental pressure
- Significant changes in life
- Constant worrying/anxiety
- Fear of losing control over outcome of a situation
- Having overwhelming responsibilities
- Lack of work/activities to be mentally occupied
There is no one specific reason that can be pinpointed as the cause of stress in any case. It is usually the culmination of several such factors that tend to develop stress on the mind. This also makes it difficult to easily identify if a person is suffering from mental stress. Professional help and consulting helps to determine the presence and level of stress.
How to combat stress?
Mental stress, being a predominant concern amongst the healthcare community, is intensely researched on an innovative breakthroughs are being made frequently. There are several renowned organizations, such as e-counseling that help thousands of people deal with mental stress effectively. Specialists use various techniques and methods to treat severe cases of mental stress.
Like they say, “Prevention is better than cure,” so we too focus on preventing, or at least decreasing the level of existing mental stress. There are a few easy steps that can effectively help fight mental stress, such as:
- 1 Revaluate yourself
How you perceive yourself is one of the most important aspects of living a stress-free life. Kindness and respect for one self is of utmost importance to begin the fight against mental stress. Avoid over self-criticism to allow your self-confidence to grow.
Occupying your mind with positive thoughts and your body with productive activities improves quality of life effectively. Start a new hobby just for the excitement. Slowly indulge yourself in it and see your mental sharpness return with a positive attitude as well.
- 2 Build a better body
Your body is the vessel which holds base of your mental health as well as your physical health. Doctors will tell you how remarkably mental wellbeing and physical health are related to each other.
Start a healthy diet plan and stick to it. It does not need to be restrictive as long as it is nutritious.
Quit bad habits. Get plenty of water in your system. Although you might have head conflicting opinions on how much daily water intake is healthy for you the best way to decide is to drink water whenever you feel thirsty. Feeling thirsty is the body’s simple way of telling you to top-up your water levels.
- 3 Gain good company
Surrounding yourself with positive-minded and strong individuals is highly-motivational. Identify the close-knit group of family and friends that make for your support network. Start socialising more for releasing pent-up stress.
- 4 indulge in you
Give yourself the satisfaction of knowing that you have helped others. Make a personal commitment of helping out at least one person in a day. It could be as small as helping someone carries their heavy bags or files to even listening to someone when they want to talk to someone about something important.
- 5 Fight stress
No matter how much you try stressful situations will always be a part of life. Meditation, hobbies and other such activities are very helpful in coping with these kinds of situations effectively.
Try and see the bright side of things and find humour in everyday life. Doctors advise on the effective aspects of laughter for a person to be mentally strong.
- 6 Mental relaxations
Praying and meditation are advised for helping to clear your mind of negativity and stress. Relaxing concentration techniques are proven stress busters.
- 7 Be realistic
Determining your personal, professional and academic goals in a realistic manner is very important. Unrealistic expectations always lead to disappointments and raise stress levels.
Be practical and make feasible plans to achieve your goals. Set high aims so that natural motivation is always present to push you to excel.
- 8 Monotony builds mental stress
Monotony in everyday life is the leading cause for creating a dull life and building mental stress. Making significant and small changes in your everyday routine, this helps to enhance your security and safety.
- 9 Avoid stimulants
Alcohol and drugs should be used to the bare minimum, and that too only when expressly required.
Although alcohol and drugs are perceived to be release from stress, they are actually the leading cause of rising stress levels due to addiction to these substances for a non-realistic psychological state.
- 10 Seek help
Seeking help is not a sign of weakness as is misconstrued by a majority of people. It is actually a sign of strength to indicate that you do give priority to your mental health.
Treatment of mental stress is effective when administered by professional, such as those at mcgill.ca
Mental stress is not something to be constantly worried about. There are effective and easy ways to prevent raising the stress levels. In case the stress becomes excessive seek professional help immediately.
Having a control of mental stress is most important to live a worriless and enjoyable life.