“Indian women most stressed in the world”. According to a survey by Economic Times, an overwhelming 87% of Indian women said they felt stressed most of the time, and 82% had no time to relax.
Societal expectations have normalized women’s stress so much that it is not seen as a problem! The ideal woman is portrayed as one who prepares dinner the moment she enters home, keeps the home spotless, manages kids, keeps a smile on her face and be good in bed even after a hard day in office. Phew, tired already?
Squeeze Your Stress Away..!
And women, burdened with expectations, are on move all day long without knowing that stress has invaded their life and is ruining their health! Women often deny being stressed. They completely ignore their body and mind shrieking ‘HELP!!!’ through mild yet visible symptoms like changes in menstrual patterns, sudden hair loss, dark circles around eyes, mood swings and weight gain. Women’s inability to say no also curtails to deadlines crawling into their mealtimes, relaxation times etc.
Don’t confuse challenge with stress. Overcoming challenges can be motivating, but extreme stress can cause health issues & effect productivity. Work related stress in women can also lead to serious joint & spine problems, skin reactions, depression etc. If not attended to on time, the problem may worsen, leading to health problems like sleeplessness, difficulty to concentrate, high BP, stroke, heart attack, poor immune response, and even cancer!
Let’s think of some ways to bust stress while work. Deep Breathing! Yes, you’ve heard this a lot, but it has several advantages. It oxygenizes blood, which ‘awake’ your brain, relaxes muscles and calms the mind. Do them anywhere, and they de-stress you in a jiffy. Meditation & visualization techniques (like recalling a pleasant memory or imagining about something that makes you happy) take deep breathing a few steps ahead. Also, take short breaks (walks, snacks) in between your work. This is not only relaxing, but also rejuvenates your mind to handle work more efficiently.
Stress will find it difficult to take you over if you’re physically active. Exercise can reduce stress hormones (cortisol) and increase the feel-good hormones (endorphin) that will boost your morale. It also diverts you from taxing situations, while being a channel to vent. And its all possible in your office! Begin by tensing your face muscles in a stiff grimace for 10 seconds. Then relax fully. Repeat the same with neck, and then shoulders, etc. Practice this daily and you will find it easy to relax, reducing strain as fast as it comes! No training or equipment required.
Don’t let stress play havoc with your life. Act now!