Saturday, 24 September 2016

Never tell patients to reduce their stress… tell them how to reduce the stress instead

IMA Detox President Secretaries Meet

Never tell patients to reduce their stress… tell them how to reduce the stress instead

Doctors very commonly advise patients to reduce their stress. But, what we don’t tell them is how they can do so.

A Detox Leadership Meet was recently organized by IMA HQs at Om Shanti Retreat Centre at Manesar in Gurgaon (Haryana). At the meet, when asked to define stress, every doctor had a different answer to the question.

Under the IMA 1 Voice Program, all IMA members should be clear and speak in one language.

The correct definition of stress is “the reaction (evident or silent) of the body and/or the mind to the interpretation of a known situation”.

The components of stress therefore include:

·         A known situation, which may or may not be alterable
·         An interpretation, which may be natural, positive or negative
·         A reaction, often modifiable, which can be at the level of mind and/or the body and this reaction can be evident or silent. 

Stress management, therefore involves changing or modifying the situation, modifying the interpretation of a given situation or living a lifestyle, which prepares the body and the mind in such a way that the stress alerts or modifies the reaction or does not allow the body to react. This can be done by proper diet, regular physical exercise, pranayama, meditation and relaxation techniques.

Patients should be educated that while a certain amount of stress does motivate us to perform better by putting in extra efforts and do a good job, too much stress or long-standing stress can be detrimental to health.

People overeat (comfort foods), start smoking, drinking or use drugs etc. as means to deal with their stress. These factors, by themselves, increase the risk of many lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, hypertension. Anger or emotional stress, has been known to precipitate a heart attack or trigger arrhythmias. 

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