(How to deal with stress at workplace and the various consequences that lead to chronic health issues like depression, heart diseases and suicidal tendencies?)
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
There is a growing populace of the sandwich generation worldwide becoming vulnerable to stress overload.
In line, India is increasingly becoming home to working people with psychosomatic disorders. Unfortunately, these disorders are often not recognized or worse, identified late. If left untreated, the condition can worsen to depression and/or have other lasting and irreversible consequences on one’s health and state of mind.
As per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India (GoI), in its ‘Guidelines for the Management of Common Mental Disorders’ (2010), a psychosomatic disorder is “a real medical condition affected by stress or psychological factors”.
A survey by Cigna TTK Health Insurance has identified that 89% of the surveyed Indian population complain of suffering from stress compared to the global average of 86% (2018 Cigna 360° Well-Being Survey – Future Assured).
Stress does not stop at the workplace. A significant number of people are being exposed to stress inducers at their home too. With an overlap across the two spaces and one majorly impacting the other, it is even more necessary to abate stressors at all levels.
All stress is not bad. Some amount of strain can have a positive and beneficial impact (eustress), but being exposed to it for prolonged periods and at intense levels may have severe and negative health consequences (distress), both in terms of their short-term and long-term ill effects.
Types of Stress
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), there are 3 different types of stress:
● Acute stress
● Episodic acute stress
● Chronic stress
Each type of stress requires a different level of intervention and treatment, which may vary based on the personality, body condition, lifestyle, person’s environment, developmental history and coping mechanisms.
To quote Sai Prasad Chakilam, Chief Technology Officer, DocOnline, “Good nutrition, a positive mind, regular exercises, planned schedules, a conducive work and home environment, occasional brief breaks at work, vacations, etc. are a few of the ways to maintain a healthier self.
With cutting-edge technology, one can use wearable devices to track one’s physical as well as emotional health. Ranging from heart rate, breathing and sleep patterns, health habits, brainwaves, mood swings, physical motions, electrodermal activity, etc., the new activity and wellness tools and apps can not only monitor but also correlate one’s physical and mental conditions.
With a focus on workforce happiness and retention, corporates are also increasingly facilitating office mentors and buddy systems as a buffer for their team.
Another important element in stress management is preventive healthcare. Facilities like professional medical support and counselling sessions further augment employee-benefit platforms.”
He further added, “Stress is a disorder which can be addressed to a large extent by inculcating preventive healthcare measures like regular health screenings and clinical consultations. These can help assess, pre-empt, and thereby alleviate some of the issues associated with stress. Remote clinical healthcare delivery options like telemedicine can address employee-related needs such as medical consultations, diagnosis and treatment by both general and specialist medical providers.”
In the following fortnightly section, we shall see how to identify stress and understand it better to deal with it effectively. Until then, stay tuned!
To be continued…
Article by: Kolla Krishna Madhavi