Is your corporate job stressing you out? It may be more than just stress. Read this blog to learn from the story of a real life corporate proofessional and what happened when they ignored their stress
How I found out that it isn't just a feeling in my head.
Having been a part of the corporate world for almost 10 years, I have one confession to make: Stress is real.
Stress is this strange state of emotional tension with constant feelings of worry, confusion and anxiety. The last 5 years have been what I call my stress roller-coaster ride. Be it running a home, starting a new family, endless weekends spent working, or simply not having time for myself- these 5 years have taught me the biggest lesson Stress is everywhere. Stress is serious. Stress cannot be ignored. And stress has some serious side effects.
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We are definitely designed to handle minor stress. But ignoring long-term chronic stress only has negative consequences both emotional and physical.
In retrospect, my body had been sending me signs for almost 3 years. It started with frequenting mood swings. I was irritated and agitated all the time. I felt nervous and worried about smaller, simpler things. I knew I was not my confident self anymore. It was like this constant feeling of heaviness and lethargy. Even my family began to notice, but I ignored them all.
I knew something was wrong. But I was so busy playing catchup with life, that I never really thought anything like this could become a problem. It was what I told myself all in my head!
But soon after I started denying my condition, I became unwell more often. Headaches and an upset stomach were becoming frequent. I was feeling stiff and suffered regular muscle cramps. I even sometimes felt my heart racing, for no reason at all. On the few nights I managed to get to bed on time, I found it hard to fall asleep, and I would wake up in the morning tired and uncomfortable.
I blamed it all on my extremely hectic lifestyle. I believed that it will all get better soon. My wife grew more worried about me but I was still sure it was all in my head.
Within a few months, I had lost my appetite. I was having difficulty swallowing food and even felt my mouth was drying up. I was having trouble concentrating at work.
Id had it. I was done just dealing with the growing number of problems mentally & emotionally.
I sat down with my wife and told her everything. All that was happening with my body and in my head that I had ignored for the longest. It felt like a much-awaited release. Not like a cure, but an immediate relief. I secretly expected my wife to reaffirm that it was indeed all in my head.
However, to my surprise, she connected the dots better than I did. She understood the seriousness and began convincing me to see a doctor. I wasnt sure if it was that serious, but I wanted to find a solution.
And so, I agreed. Im sure the doctor will confirm its nothing, I remember thinking to myself. My wife booked an appointment, and before I knew it I was meeting the doctor.
That 60-minute appointment changed my life. My doctor was surprised that I hadnt treated my string of problems sooner. What is there to treat? I remember asking him.
Thats when he explained Stress is a medical condition. It needs to be treated and cannot be ignored. It has so many symptoms that people generally ignore, but can be very harmful in the long term. It could lead to high blood pressures, abnormal heart rhythms, menstrual irregularities, sexual dysfunctions, depression, personality disorders and even a heart attack.
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I was shocked. Till date, I remember every word he said.
There have been cases of increased use of alcohol, nicotine and even drugs. (I had been smoking twice as much during that time).
I finally acknowledged what it was and what it could have been. He gave me some medication but also referred me to a therapist.
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Its been 3 years since. My life is as hectic as before. But I feel happy, motivated and free. I am healthier, work better and feel happier. The three months of therapy sessions definitely helped me cope with stress.
And since then, I promised to spread the message about the seriousness of stress!
So, heres the golden rule: Talk about it. Care about it. Take it seriously!
Take the pledge to #Live Better.
Article by Ms. Jayashree Sarda (Mphil)
Consultant Psychologist, CallHealth
Have a question? Consult Ms. Jayashree online.