Dr Girija Wagh, Obstetrician, Gynecologist, IVF expertMD, FICOG, DIP ENDO, FICS
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I am stressed doc and truly don’t know what to do!! What is all this life style about?? Want to know more.
As a gynecologist I deal with many women doing the balancing act of a homemaker as well as a bread winner suffering from varied abnormalities such as menstrual disorders, pain, behavioral problems, acne, rashes, relationship issues, miscarriages, infertility, weight issues and many pregnancy associated complications . Every woman I have realized has a wonderful story to tell. Some of them have been achievers, some have become lost and some have completely surrendered to the challenge and sort of succumbed under pressure which they all name as stress.
I decided to identify this stress in very many situations partly or completely responsible for the above mentioned ailments and decided to study about it in order to offer solutions to my women clients and sometimes also have helped their family, husband, parents, boyfriend and even their children to find respite from this issue. Here is a small gist of things I have understood and wish to share with you to help you deal with this better.
What is stress?
Stress is a reaction to an event that has happened around you and it can be of various kinds. Of course as humans with all the five senses such as hearing, touch, seeing, smelling and tasting one has to respond. But one has to understand that there is a difference between response and reaction. Let us understand this better with an example. The one I commonly quote.
There are friends; men and women sitting in a restaurant for a tea .One woman also has a kid of 5 years old moving about. The waiter who is serving brings in a tray full of all the meals and drinks that they have ordered and the kid suddenly moves past him. The waiter is startled and drops the tray. The kid starts wailing and shakes with fear as there is a loud noise (reaction). The mother gets up and spanks her with not one or two but 6 tight slaps (reaction) till the other friend stops(response) her . The father gets up and starts yelling (reaction) aloud at the kid and his wife for being so careless .The host is a woman who is stunned (reaction) and does not know what to say. Other man gets up and comforts (response) the waiter and apologizes (response). The 6th woman requests (response) for another table and a fresh order and tries to calm the situation.
What did you understand in the above scene? The event was the same but everyone had different responses and/or reactions based on their connect to the situation, their basic nature and their attitude.
Thus stress is a physical reaction to a situation or an event
Stress is supposed to be necessary. Is it true?
Yes stress is necessary to keep us going, to keep us harnessed and motivated .Some pressure is necessary. Like; it is necessary that we wear clothes to cover our body, to look presentable and decent and civilized. Likewise some pressure is necessary to motivate us to wake up, be responsible and keep our commitments .It is a mechanism also to protect us from certain dangers. Mainly physical as well as mental .stress actually is an exaggeration of the basic flight and fight mechanism.
Then why do we get stressed?
Many reasons are identified for this exaggerated abnormal reaction .Irrational expectations and thinking, fear of being admonished, low self-esteem, low index of satisfaction, inability to complete work on time which can be called as inefficiency, taking things personally, tagging everything emotionally ,lack of proper planning . Many problems actually lie within us and therefore solutions too are with us.
What are the types of stress men and women experience?
Stress which is within one’s own self: due to illness, wrong direction and pattern of thinking, low threshold for getting angry, improper communication, too many expectations from others
Stress due to the family : ill member of the family, financial anomalies, spouse related issues such as disharmony or substance abuse or relationship issues, the typical Indian family syndrome the In laws, dependability, children upbringing, non performing member, calamity, demise etc.
Stress due to the society: general mass issues such as inflation, demonetization, epidemics, and accidents etc.
Stress at work place : judgmental attitude of the colleagues and employers, favoritism, indecent behaviors, negative work place, inappropriate remunerations, lack of progress, work which is not in synch, communication barriers, work place timings, distance etc.
How does the stress affect us physically?
In any situation of stress there are various kinds of reactions that each individual will give to the event. It can be through anger, abuse, wrong communication, thinking, depression and fatigue, excessive sleep, becoming introvert or extrovert. These all are results of certain chemical substances that get released within our bodies .These are cortisol, adrenalin and so many others which we call catecholamine. These cause many changes in our internal systems. Our entire body is at work of all such chemical messages created and broadcasted through complex delivery systems involving the hormones and the vital organs such as the heart, blood vessels and the brain and the nervous system. If such signals get transmitted repeatedly there is a turbo effect where gradually bodily changes occur which can concentrate into some forms such as rise in blood pressure, fat accumulation, irritability and many lifestyle illnesses such as diabetes, thyroid dysfunction etc. .
How can we overcome stress?
Arriving at rational thinking and balanced actions through challenging is the solution. Of course it’s easier said than done .It’s true that throughout our upbringing we unfortunately don’t get taught as to the proper ways of thinking and communicating. Many a times there are more “no’s taught than “yes “and” then when we are on our own are lost as many lack the processing of thinking and responding .Many a times individualized assessment, counseling and certain life style changes and mind modulations help.
What is life style changes and mind modulations that you have mentioned?
These we will deal with in our next write up next Saturday. Meanwhile give a good thought to what I have written today. And follow the below given tips
First sit in a comfortable place and allocate a time of at least half an hour to this exercise. Close your eyes and take 3 deep breaths and leave. Calm yourself and follow the following steps
Remember life is beautiful. Keep an open mind, trust yourself and have faith in the universe .Lets meet once again next week.
Dr. Girija Wagh, MD (Obstetrics & Gynaecology), FICOG, FICP, Diploma (Endoscopy, Infertility), Fellowship of Indian College of Ob-Gynec, Women health care specialist, Academician, Acclaimed Orator & Researcher, B. J. Medical 1990-1992, Topper University Of Pune 1992
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