Mental Health and Stress

Mental Health

One’s mental health can be affected by stress. The National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH) says at least three types of stress are known. Routine stress of everyday life which consists of routine interactions, mostly with people one is familiar with; negative occurrences, such as loss of employment or ill health; and traumatic stress that is connected with different levels of danger.

Good mental health according to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety is being in awareness of one’s ability to handle their everyday normal stressors. Stable mental health also includes having the ability to be a productive member of society. Healthy stress does exist. The athlete who pushes herself self past her norm, the writer who works best under pressure, or the emergency care worker who attempts to save lives. For some, these types of pressure might cause them to have a mental break down. One’s thrill can be another’s fear.

Stress can come about from a real or perceived threat. A group of young people playing around when approached from the opposite direction may seem dangerous. Similarly, so can hearing a person approaching quickly from behind, or someone seemingly coming out of nowhere asking for directions – these serve as examples. There are many people in prison today who were arrested under false pretenses.  The unexpected, along with assumptions, can startle a person, which can cause undue stress and bad decision-making.

Anxiety can manifest as accelerated heart rate, perspiration, change of breathing rhythm, and feelings of fear. Mentally a person’s health will feel the brunt of this and emotions can begin to go haywire. These symptoms can cause a person to go to the hospital. If it is stress that is causing the symptoms, the doctor will most likely recognize it as such.

There are options available to assist with relaxation. Yoga is an exercise that can be done in the home without any additional components, and meditation fits in the same category. If at work, and the aforementioned options are not at the top of the list, try something else. Perhaps taking a walk outdoors and listening to nature will help. Local entertainment publications often have light articles that can distract and possibly create a smile.  There are people that go to the gym during lunch to get a quick workout; adrenaline spurts build up energy that manifests as healthy stress.  Even taking a quick nap at times will do wonders for the body.

What ever the choice, keeping the mind on what is pleasing and relaxing is key to living in a more optimal state of health. Walking in the rain for some is one of the most relaxing experiences. Listening to the rainfall while watching it hit the ground can be enjoyable. For others it may be extremely stressful; their hair is getting wet, or maybe wearing new shoes that are not waterproof. Whatever the case, remembering stress and mental health are dependent upon choices, choose wisely and smile often. It is often the little things that make the biggest difference.

By Dada Ra

CCOHS

NIMH

Forbes

2 Responses to Mental Health and Stress

  1. Angela Savitri (@angela_savitri) December 22, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    Yoga, exercise, napping, and distraction as listed above as reading ‘light articles’ are healthy for periods of acute stress. However, to be free of chronic stress (prolonged experiences of stress for 6+ months), a person needs more than a quick fix or a few ‘tools.’

    People need a sustainable life that includes a realistic schedule + regular self-care to work with their external stressors. But most stress is internally driven by self-sabotaging tendencies like unrealistic expectations, perfectionism, and/or self-judgment. Combining ways to live at peace with their external reality + a mindfulness practice to be at peace internally is how one can experience true freedom from chronic stress.

    Reply
  2. Jeanice December 16, 2013 at 10:24 am
    Reply

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