How to beat the anxiety epidemic

The human brain is hard-wired to analyse danger and respond - a trait picked up from our cave-dwelling days.

Published: 12th April 2023 10:42 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th April 2023 10:42 AM   |  A+A-

Mental Health, Anxiety, Depression

Image used for representational purpose. (File Photo)

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Stress Awareness Month is a globally recognised and celebrated healthcare event, observed every year during April since 1992. Various awareness campaigns and activities are conducted by healthcare professionals and health promotion experts across the globe to promote public awareness about both the cures and causes of our modern stress epidemic globally. This year’s theme is ‘anxiety’. It is important to emphasise public awareness for same. The prime objective of the initiative is to increase and develop public awareness for both the cures and causes of this modern-day epidemic.

Learning to cope with our stress and finding healthy ways to deal with these situations can help with living a healthy and positive life. In 1974, International Stress Management Association was founded to gather experts and research directed towards workplace and personal stress management. Dr Shanmukhi, Consultant Psychologist, KIMS, talking about the main causes of stress in this day and age and why it’s so evident in the newer generation says, “First of all, differentiating between good and bad stress can help people understand how they can motivate themselves and better their lives.

The human brain is hard-wired to analyse danger and respond - a trait picked up from our cave-dwelling days. In today’s world, this behaviour does us more harm than good, as our brains have a hard time distinguishing between distressing thoughts and actual threats.Whenever we confront stressors, the sympathetic and parasympathetic system gets activated. Mostly, physical symptoms are observed: sweating, dizziness, fluctuation of BP level, lightheadedness, dried mouth, etc. People are mostly not aware of how it impacts psychologically. So, psychologically it impacts our thoughts and emotions. Our perceptions, our thinking change when we experience stress and anxiety in life.” 

When asked how people can be aware of stress and approach stress management, she says, “We need to communicate more about mental health, whether with our family or our social circle. Googling something isn’t the solution. If you’re feeling anxious, you need to speak on it. So, talking about your vulnerability is what I feel everybody must embrace. And in immediate situations, it’s important to know if your anxiety is hindering your everyday life then you should write those thoughts out but not label them, taking deep breaths, calming your mind, and hydration is necessary as well. And a change of environment when it’s happening can do wonders, a sudden anxiety attack can be scary, that’s when it’s good to shift to a place with some people around or if that’s what is causing it, then sitting alone until the feeling subsides.”

Dr Mamta Jain, PhD, Counselling Psychologist, elaborating about the role of social media and information online affecting people, says, “Social media is desructive as much as it helps. Consumption of excessive information online can affect all sorts of age groups, especially teens to 30s, it is necessary for one to set a boundary with the amount of consumption and understand what is causing them stress. 

It is difficult to surely snap out of such habits immediately, but this is the time when it’s important to set a schedule, engage in different activities which don’t include a screen. A rise in reading habits these days is one sort of improvement we have noticed over the period.

The newer generation, Gen Z, falling prey to anxiety and stress is something very frequent now, it’s important for parents to understand and pay attention to their children’s mental health as much as their physical health is equally important. Since the world has changed a lot, it also comes with fast paced lives, and even young people should understand and give time to themselves while urging the parents to do so as well. Post Covid-19, now, it’s different for everyone, a balance in discipline and social life is something very much required. It’s not good being in the clutches of validation and peer pressure, so everyone needs to learn to build their own routine and commit to simple habits which make them happy and make them feel self love.”


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