16th May, 2012
Sometimes we have demands made on our body that we could hardly cope with. Other times we try to cope with such demands and are barely able to perform as expected. That could be stress!
There are so many reasons why people get stressed and there are several stress-inducing incidents like death of a loved one, divorce, marital separation, personal injury or illness, marriage, being fired from work, retirement, sexual difficulties, major business readjustments, trouble with the boss, change in residence or school, children leaving home, trouble with difficult teenagers, change in work hours or conditions, getting stuck in a traffic jam, family pressure, school runs, we can go on and on.
How you react to the aforementioned situations will determine your overall stress level. Rigidity, aggression, withdrawal and disorganisation are likely responses to stress.
Because the average person’s life is full of responsibilities and complications, it is not reasonable to think that you can completely eliminate stress. There are, however, tools and techniques that can help to better cope with day-to-day stress.
Can Stress Be Managed?
There are many ways of managing stress, but I like to dwell on Nutrition And Exercise as strategies or ways aimed at reducing the deleterious effects of stress on the body.
Nutrition: Common emotional eating triggers include depression, anxiety, boredom, loneliness, frustration and feeling of in adequacy. You must identify core issues and look for long-term solutions that will reduce or eliminate the emotions and induce nonproductive behaviours.
To drive home this point, I think we should answer some questions with YES or NO:
•Does eating make you feel better when frustrated or overwhelmed?
•Does eating help you calm down when you are nervous and stressed.?
•Do you often find yourself wanting to eat if someone criticises or disapproves of you?
•Does eating soothes you when you feel sad?
Analyse your results. How did you do? If you have many “Yes” answers, you should spend time tuning in to what is going on around you. Sometimes emotional eating is as simple as the fact that you have developed some bad habits. Other times it’s an issue of unhealthy self-talk messages overriding all your best attempts.
From what we gathered so far, there is a relationship between work stress and obesity. Most times, stressed workers resolve to overeating as an escape route to stress and the consequence is obvious: Obesity. Also over the years, discoveries have been made on the fact that most people do not eat balanced diet because of the following short-coming confronting them:
•Nature of work and time
•Lack of time and proper eating habits.
•Tight work schedule makes some people prone to poor eating habit as a lifestyle, especially fast food vendors and a poor nutritional programme.
The best solution is to avoid overeating when stressed.
Exercise: Physical activity has a positive effect on health and longevity. It is important to ensure that you maintain an active lifestyle. Choose to move more everyday as this will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you eat and burn all day long with more frequent yet smaller meals and snacks, your body will respond with higher energy.
In order to commit yourself to a regular fitness programme, you must set goals that you know you can meet. If you do not currently exercise, start by planning to simply move your body thirty to forty minutes each day. Do something you enjoy: walk, dance, ride a bike, attend an aerobic class or jump rope.
Aerobic exercise has a small to moderate effect on aspect of mood. There is a positive effect between moderate physical activity and psychological well being. Having exercise goals that relate to personal performance and improvement is associated with moderate to high positive emotion
Exercise is linked to decrease depression and physically active people are less likely to develop depression.
Exercise can improve a person’s self-worth and other important self-perception such as body image.
Positive physical self-worth contributes to mental well-being in its own right and should be considered a valuable exercise programme goal.