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Health Corners

It is perfectly normal to experience stress. Everyone goes through it from time to time. But going through stress for prolonged periods of time takes its toll on your health, both mental and physical, and it is important that you are able to recognise that you are stressed. There are several self-help methods of relieving stress that work very effectively – you can actually learn how to alleviate your own stress. It is unlikely that you can get rid of all the situations that cause you strain, but you can certainly change the way you react to them. As a woman you probably go through a lot of stress in your daily life, particularly if you are working as well as caring for children – so try out some ways to beat this gremlin! Everybody’s got to watch out for stress – it’s one of the biggest killers in modern society.


A Stress Quiz

1.Do you suffer from ulcers or hypertension?
Yes It's under control now No

2. Do you experience a sense of “burnout” at home or at your workplace?
Frequently Sometimes Rarely

3. Do you spend more than 8 or 9 hours a day at work?
Always Sometimes Rarely

4. Are you unable to sleep at night?
Frequently Sometimes Rarely

5. Is there enough time in your daily routine for regular exercise?
Not at all Once a week Four times a week

6. Are you given to fits of vague and distressful anxiety?
Frequently Sometimes Rarely

7. If you are not loved and appreciated by everyone you come into contact with, are you
Very upset and worried Mildly upset Philosophical

8. If you do not succeed at something even after trying very hard, do you feel that you are
A failure as a person Unlucky Going to succeed at something else in the future

9. Do you look for someone to lean on and depend on
Always, because you feel you can’t cope by yourself Only in some situations Never

10. Do you feel that your present life is influenced so strongly by your past that you can’t do anything to change things for the better?
Yes Sometimes No

11. Are you judgmental and intolerant both of your own faults and those of others?
Always Only on some issues Not really

12. Do you expect the world to always function fairly and justly?
Yes, and you take it as a personal affront if things go wrong. Only on some issues Not really, you know you can’t change some things about the world.

13. Do you expect to get your own way quickly and on every issue?
Yes Not on every issue No, only on rare occasions

14. Turning away from problems is a good way to solve them
Yes Sometimes No

15. Your reaction to moderate to severe physical pain is to
Give in to it and break down Give in for a while but then try to take your mind off it and relax Be as stoical as possible

Your Score:

Give yourself

1 point for every "c", ½ point for every "b" and no points for every "a".

If you have scored 1 to 5, you are likely stressed beyond what is good for you and should spend some time examining the stress-causing situations, behaviours and attitudes in your life.

If you have scored 5 to 10, you are able to adapt to stress to some degree but stress management is still a key issue in your life.

If you have scores 10 to 15, you are likely to be able to deal with stress in your daily life.


Ways of Beating Stress

Beating stress is a skill that you have to learn. It’s not always easy but the effects on your health are so positive that it is certainly worth the effort! You could relieve stress through

Deep breathing: When you are in a stressful situation, are feeling anxious or stressed, or are likely to lose your temper, try even deep breathing. The old bit of advice about "counting to ten" is based on this premise. Breathing deeply shuts off other physical reactions to stressful situations and helps you to calm down and get in control of yourself. Deep breathing is good even when you are not in a stressful situation, ten minutes of it a day will help you to relax and face the world with fresh energy.

Regular physical exercise: Swimming, walking or any other regular aerobic exercise does wonders for your state of mind as well as your health. It relaxes you, tires you physically, helps you to sleep and eat better, and improves your mood. It also helps to make you feel in control of your life. Physical exercise is a must and an excellent way of beating stress.

Muscular relaxation: Tense and relax the muscle groups alternately. Your neck, shoulders and forehead are the best muscle groups to try these exercises with first. You will feel a perceptible relaxation after doing a few sets of these.

Visualisation: Imagining a pleasure-giving situation or recalling a place or situation that made you very happy is a great way to relive stress and also to cope with physical pain. Reliving all the sensations and feelings of these moments can effectively distract you from the present and help you to relax both physically and mentally.

Yoga: If you live in India you probably have access to a good yoga teacher – and yoga lessons are not expensive. Yoga is a wonderful and scientific way of exercising your body and it had holistic beneficial properties on both mental and physical health.

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