STRESS is a response to demanding situations and is something how we react when we are under pressure or threatened. According to the National Institute of mental Health (NIMH), Stress is how our brain and body respond to any demands or perceived stress. National Stress Awareness Day is observed in the first week of November to highlight the issues of the topic and promote awareness for the same. The day is being observed today (November 2) by the International Stress Management Association (ISMA), to promote and regulate best practices for stress management, well-being, and performance worldwide.

When the body faces a perceived threat, the stress levels of the body rise and hormones like cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine are released to increase alertness, tense muscles, and heighten blood pressure. According to a survey conducted by Cigna TTK Health Insurance, about 89 per cent of the Indian population suffers from stress compared to the global average of 86 per cent. Around 75 per cent of the respondents in the study do not feel comfortable approaching a medical professional for help and consider it as a barrier. Read below some effective ways to manage daily stress.

1. Exercise:

According to Harvard Medical School, exercise reduces the levels of the body's stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol and promotes the production of endorphins which is the chemical in the brain that acts body's natural painkiller and mood elevator. Exercise helps an individual get away from stress and enjoy time being yourself. Therefore, regular consistent exercise keeps an individual healthy and reduces stress.

2. Deep Breathing:

The American Institute of Stress states that deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen in the brain and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system which in turn, regulates the state of calmness and peace in mind and body.

3. Take A Break:

Research conducted by The Wellbeing Thesis, taking breaks can be very beneficial for your mind and body. Micro breaks and lunchtime breaks show a positive relationship with well-being and productivity. Taking breaks helps a person recover from stress and improve performance. It also restores energy and prevents the body from catching mental disorders.

4. Communicate:

Good communication and communication strategies can help an individual in managing stress. Effective communication acts as a strong tool in stress management. Having an open and heart-to-heart conversation with your family or friends or someone you trust helps release stress quickly and easily.

5. Know Your Triggers:

Identifying and learning your stress triggers is a fundamental step towards being mindful in stressful situations. Having and creating the ability to sense our triggers increases self-awareness and confidence. Once an individual knows what his/her stress or anxiety triggers are, they can manage the stress accordingly and efficiently.

6. Reframing Thoughts:

Recognising the negative thoughts and reframing them over time helps an individual feel better and make decisions that support and balance overall well-being and stress management. Reframing is a way in which we can alter our perception towards stressors to relieve stress and create a peaceful space to be in.

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