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Living a Stress Free Life

Living a stress free life is the ability of a person to live a life devoid of anxieties or worries, marked by a positive mental balance and tranquility. A stress free life has become a mirage in today's modern world, where we are constantly bogged down by pressures at school, work and in personal relationships. We have goals to accomplish, deadlines to meet and the responsibility to maintain a healthy work-personal life balance, all at the same time. In such an entangled world, a stress free life appears to be merely a utopia. In our bid to conform to set standards, win the rat-race and excel in life, we unwittingly put our best asset at risk - our peace of mind. Stress as an emotional pressure can either inhibit or facilitate our performance, in response to perceived challenges. However, its negative or inhibiting characteristic is more conspicuous in present scenarios. Hence, people are taking refuge in counselors, psychologists, fitness and spiritual gurus to ameliorate their emotional struggles and proceed towards the oasis of a fulfilling, worry-free life.

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Factors Responsible for Stress in Life

Identifying the factors responsible for stress in one's life plays a crucial role in taking positive measures towards reducing it. All of us are facing unique life challenges. Therefore, the causes of stress vary from person-to-person, based on their life situation. For some, the primary source of stress is work-related. Right from hassles of traffic while commuting to work, to meeting that important deadline, people are constantly struggling to keep their anxieties at bay. Besides, there are bad appraisals, bullying superintendents to report to, lay-offs during economic recessions and huge work pressures due to cost-reduction efforts of companies. The daily pressures to excel for job security and fear of career stagnation amplify the stress factor. For yet others, the primary source of stress is personal, such as, the demise of a loved one, conflicts between family members, chronic illnesses of self or a family member or shattering divorces. These personal factors may result in chronic stress. Yet another factor for stress in some people could be transformative events in life. Instances of such life changing events may include a job change, loss of a dear one, marriage or divorce. The fear that one may fail to cope up with such drastic changes compound stress. Further, severe emotional traumas such as physical abuse, rape, violence against a family member or natural catastrophes could cause chronic stress, often requiring professional counseling. Financial factors such as debt, bankruptcy and unemployment and the uncertainty associated with them also lead to stress. Bad lifestyle choices such as poor diet, lack of sleep, drug addiction are other stress building factors. It can be deduced that stress is a negative psychological response to detected threats, accompanied by the fear that available resources may fail to remove the threats, affecting one's emotional health and quality of life.

Impact of Stress on the Quality of Life

Chronic or long-term stress could have a devastating impact on one's quality of life. Chronic stress has adverse effects on one's physical health. It may lead to cardiovascular diseases and hypertension, with high probability for heart strokes. Stress may also suppress the autoimmune system and be detrimental to reproductive health. In pregnant women, stress hormones are harmful for the fetal development. Acute or temporary stress is associated with insomnia, while chronic stress may lead to sleep disorders. Stress is linked with extreme fatigue and memory loss. Stress also accelerates the process of aging. Stress impairs psychological health, triggering mental disorders like depression and anxiety Further,. Stress engenders negative emotions like anger, fear and guilt, inimical to one's overall growth and productivity. Excessive stress, culminating in rage, manifests in self-destructive behaviors like suicide. Stress also hampers inter-personal relationships and creates rifts between individuals. It has been linked to relationship catastrophes such as divorces. Stress results in eating disorders and obesity, inducing poor self image, with damaging impact on personality development. Excessive stress results in lack of motivation and the zeal to improve one's quality of life. To vent out negative feelings, some people also resort to alcoholism and drug abuse. Stress can cause poor concentration levels which impedes academic and professional growth. It fosters a negative approach towards life and breeds pessimism. This negative approach kills any sense of judgment, so critical for important life decisions. Stress factors make a person more withdrawn, depriving him of the social connection and feel-good factor, imperative for good health and all-round growth. Chronic stress factors engineer a person to become moody, short-tempered, and worrisome, repelling friends and relatives, depriving him of their protective shield of friendship and love, taking him a step farther from true happiness.

Stress Management Techniques

Stress is an all-pervasive factor in our lives, affecting our physical and emotional health. Hence, it is essential to figure out mechanisms to deal with stress. Coping with stressful situations can become a lot easier with positive attitude. It is easier to be more confident in stressful situations with an estimate of its potential effects and realistic expectations. This enables us to be “in control” and feel empowered to combat stress. However, sudden events such as the death of a loved one requires acceptance. Acceptance of external and internal stress producing factors give us the positive energy to take it in our stride. Simplifying our lives to include what is vital while eliminating the redundant has a “de-cluttering” effect, reducing the stress factors. Time management and following the schedule closely, helps in minimizing stress by lowering the incidents of conflicting demands. Financial management minimizes debt and keeps us worry-free. Further, staying connected with a close-knit group of friends is believed to be conducive in alleviating stress. The feel-good factor obtained from positive connections release the relaxing hormone oxytocin which is an instant mood-booster. The role of yoga and meditation as powerful stress busters cannot be underestimated. While yoga increases the mind-body co-ordination and helps us to be in rhythm with our inner thoughts, the breathing techniques found in meditation relax us. Some people resort to laughter therapy, aromatherapy and the acupuncture for their soothing effects. Other relevant factors for attaining a stress free life include lifestyle changes such as regular exercise and a balanced diet comprising of fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates. Maintaining a healthy body pays dividends because sickness in itself invites stress. Last, but not the least, we need to get our daily dose of sleep so that our body and mind is better-equipped to handle stressful situations.

Living Stress Free

Managing our stress levels with attitudinal changes and lifestyle alterations can steer us closer to a stress free life. A stress free life is marked by more positive energy to enjoy the offerings of life. We tend to be happy and cheerful. We attract friends and connections. This leads to emotional well-being. The positive energy fueled by positive emotions results in a state of tranquility. A worry free mind enables us to work more efficiently, boosting our performance at work and in academics. A stress free life adds the much-needed satisfaction quotient to our job as a result of increased productivity and a positive outlook. It increases our productivity, making us more confident, motivating us to do better in life. Be it pursuing a hobby or the SAT exam, we excel in every arena of our life. We are able to keep negative energies at bay and focus on building upon the positives of our life. A positive mindset enhances our problem-solving skills, enabling us to take good decisions. A stress free person is also more competent in adjusting to life-changing situations and is emotionally resilient to cope up with adversities. Lower emotional stress levels give us the energy to work on improving our health and lifestyle. Physical well-being helps us to focus on improving our quality of life. A healthy person is likely to be more energetic in undertaking and succeeding in endeavors. This, in turn, leads to financial stability. Financial stability further enhances emotional well-being and checks the building blocks for stress. A stress free life also means better inter-personal relationships and better family ties, lending us the support-system to combat unforeseen calamities, more effectively.

Conclusion

Living a stress free life is an important goal of every man in today's world. Stress is an inevitable by-product of modern life, where we are incessantly expected to multi-task, to meet the ever-increasing demands imposed on us. This drains our physical and emotion resources, so much so, we feel severely strained and “out of control”. This negative feeling is an obstacle to a healthy and happy life. Hence, it is essential to contain stress before it assumes a monstrous proportion, jeopardizing the normal functioning of life. At this juncture, stress management by prioritizing, bonding and altering our lifestyle helps infuse lifeblood to our chaotic, stressful life. Positive attitude acts as a catalyst, facilitating the process of stress reduction. Containing stress through these well-crafted stress management techniques steer us towards the dream destination of a stress free life .Living a stress free life is, therefore, an ideal in today's modern world, for, it is the key to success, happiness, emotional and physical well-being and an all-round development of every individual.

Referencse

1. Factors responsible for stress in life http://www.helpguide.org/mental/stress_signs.htm

2. Impact of stress on quality of life http://psychcentral.com/lib/the-impact-of-stress/000104

3. Stress management techniques http://www.scu.edu/wellness/topics/stress/toptenstress.cfm

4. Living stress free http://www.wholeliving.com/136182/10-secrets-stress free-life/@center/136756/stress-relief-your-guided-tour

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