Mental stress and health

How we think


Why we worry


How to stop worrying




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When there is a disparity between the actual experience and a person's expectations, a person experiences stress. If the person does not have very high expectations, he or she may not experience stress. This is the reason why poor people seem happier than rich people with a lot of  material possessions, but  have higher expectations from life.  Stress is a major cause of  various illnesses like migraines, stroke and may weaken the immune system.


People in urban areas usually face higher levels of stress compared to villagers due to environmental factors. Some of  the major factors causing stress in people's life are:

1.Noise pollution - from loudspeakers, crackers, vehicles, loud music

2. Unhappy events  like death, accidents, chronic illness

3. Responsibilities like unpaid bills, incomplete work assignments, project deadlines, exams

4. Conflicts in personal relationships - anger, deception, betrayal, bullying

5. Exposure to very bright lights

6. Greed, lack of  money, hectic lifestyle due to long working hours in offices.


When a person faces stress, he may try to adapt to it by improving the condition or may suffer from anxiety or depression. Adrenaline, cortisol and cortisone are the hormones released by the body under stress. Since the body under stress is conditioned to act as if we have to either run away or fight, blood flow is diverted to the large muscles of the body. Since muscles use up more energy, the body temperature increases and a person starts sweating. The blood flow to the other organs in the body is affected, resulting in poor digestion and other ailments.


Since stress is caused more by a person's response to a stressor, stress management helps a person to manage their response to the various problems they face in life. Breathing techniques, self understanding, exercise and meditation are some of  the popular  stress management techniques used.


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