STRESS: THE SILENT KILLER
LEKHA NAGAR JARAL*
“No one dies from working hard. But when people don’t get any recognition in their work, the stress of that lack of control can kill them” We all have heard about the term stress but what is the real meaning of stress. Stress is a strain, force, tension, difficulty and breakdown, anxiety or depression. During the course of our life, we encounter stress, some in high levels, and some in low. But what exactly is stress? It is the result of placing undue expectations or desire on ourselves, creating images of our self and trying to live up to the image that has been created by others. When we compare the image of ourselves to the reality of ourselves, opposing forces are created, and our mind tries to match the created image with the current situation. Stress can be made worse by other people’s expectations, and as being human we always care what others think of us - even though we tell ourselves that we do not. We try to change ourselves so that we can be accepted by other people, regardless of whether or not they care. Negative thoughts about our self image also add to the stress. We remember everything that we have done in life, but more so the negative ones. We re-live those negative moments over and over again in our minds, lowering our self esteem. The first thing we have to learn is that what has happened in the past cannot be changed, or erased. All we can do is take the lesson we learnt, and learn not to do it again. What happens in the past is exactly that, passed, and we must learn to live for now. People feel stress as they can no longer have complete control over what happens in life. There is no escape from stress in modern life. Day to day life is full of stress both on professional and personal front’s pressure of time often result in people reporting to their organizations with headaches, tensions, frustration etc. Stress therefore is a costly business expense that may badly affects both employee’s health and company’s profits. Stress makes cancer cells stronger and less likely to die. Research indicates that a protein called BAD that killed cancer cells does not work in the presence of epinephrine which is produced by adrenal glands during stressful situations and depression. According to P.K.JULKA oncologist AIIMS: Emotional stress may reduce the effectiveness of cancer treatment. At times, stress could be beneficial as it can give you that push that you really need thereby encouraging you to put your best and to stay alert and focused. The events and demands that upset balance in our personal life are known as stressors. We normally think of stressors as negative but stressors can be positive too. It is because of these stressors that we excel in our life and work. We become more professional and achieve a position of which we really dreamt off. Am I in control of stress or is stress controlling me?
When I feel agitated, do I know how to quickly calm and soothe myself? •
Can I easily let go of my anger?
Can I turn to others at work to help me calm down and feel better? •
When I come home at night, do I walk in the door feeling alert and relaxed? •
Am I seldom distracted or moody?
Am I able to recognize upsets that others seem to be experiencing? •
Do I easily turn to friends or family members for a calming influence? •
When my energy is low, do I know how to boost it?
Source: The Language of Emotional Intelligence by Jeanne Segal, Ph.D.
What's Stressful For You? What's stressful for you may be quite different from what's stressful to your best friend, your spouse, or the person next door....
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