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Taking a Step at a Time

Stress is manageable with sensible attitudes and practices Stress is normal in daily living. But it is more pronounced in this age of technology, where many things are expected instantly. As American author, Natalie Goldberg, once said, “Stress is an ignorant state. It believes everything is an emergency.” Therefore, more Americans are stressed, depressed and […]

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Stress is manageable with sensible attitudes and practices

Stress is normal in daily living. But it is more pronounced in this age of technology, where many things are expected instantly. As American author, Natalie Goldberg, once said, “Stress is an ignorant state. It believes everything is an emergency.”

Therefore, more Americans are stressed, depressed and anxiety-ridden today than ever before. In fact, a recent federal health study found that about 8.3 million American adults are suffering from serious psychological problems. What is worse, many of them do not receive the medical help their conditions require. Lead researcher at New York University Langone Medical Center, Judith Weissman, said, “Mental illness is on the rise. Suicide is on the rise. And access to care for the mentally ill is getting worse.” Statistics show that   suicide is the second leading cause of deaths in young people 10-24 years old, after accidents.

Nevertheless, as professor of psychiatry, Dr. Mark Olfson, of Columbia University Medical Center, analyses, there are several reasons why people with mental issues don’t receive treatment. Chief among them is that some adults underestimate the seriousness of the condition and believe they do not need medical attention. For others, it is a social stigma and embarrassing to be known   for mental health issues.

Meanwhile, the rising trend of mental health disorders is identified as a lasting after-effect of the U.S. financial crisis in 2008. In fact, subsequent studies show the recession as being responsible for over 10,000 suicides across North America and Europe.

With technology engaged in creating quality software for new authors, research shows that the most common mental disorders annually affecting 40 million Americans 18 years and older, which is 18.1% of the population, are anxiety disorders. These conditions arise from a complex set of risk factors like genetics, brain chemistry, personality and life events.

Studies show that among American adults, 15 million have Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), 7.7 million have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), 6.8 million have Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), 6 million have Panic Disorder (PD), and 2.2 have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

Equally concerning is that only 36.9% receive medical attention for these highly treatable conditions.

Yet, as stress continues to obliviously overload modern life, regular people can handle it through sensible attitudes and activities.

* Be realistic – Take on only as much responsibility as you can handle for you or for your family.

* No one is perfect – Let go of the fantasy of being “superman” or “superwoman.”

* Meditate – Slow down, listen to music, blank your mind.

* Visualize – Use visual rehearsals to boost self-confidence.

* One thing at a time – Multi-tasking can be stressful. Do one task at a time.

* Exercise – 20-30 minutes of regular physical activity benefits body and mind.

*Get a hobby – Relax by “zoning out” and doing something you like.

Above all, allow yourself time to enjoy one tree at a time, without seeing the whole forest, which could end up becoming daunting. As Dr. Martin Luther King once said, “”You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

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