Stress is not a disease as is generally believed. It is a way of reacting to various kinds of situations or emotions. Stress can be caused by people around you or the work environment, too much noise or pollution, financial loss or loss of a near one. You may feel physical stress or mental stress according to the reasons mentioned above.
Being in stress is not bad in itself. In fact it helps you to perform better under certain circumstances, such as; when you have to meet deadlines at work you feel a flow of energy to bear the extra burden. You can work tirelessly to achieve your targets.
This kind of stress is good stress. It may be physically exhausting but you are reacting to it in a positive way by facing the challenge, because you are expecting a favourable result.
Stress can be bad in situations where you are unable to cope with it. It mostly happens when you are emotionally affected due to various reasons. When you are emotionally or internally stressed then your way of reacting to the situation would be negative. You feel disheartened and demoralised; you may feel that you are incapable of performing well. In extreme cases, this kind of negativity can lead to depression.
There are four ways for leading a stress free life
• Maintaining Physical well being
• Maintaining Mental well being
• Maintaining Social well being
• Maintaining Spiritual well being
They form the four pillars of a healthy life in all respects. Physical and mental fitness provides you the stamina, energy and focus to face the challenges of life positively. Spiritual well being gives you peace of mind and helps you to maintain self discipline. These three ways of living a healthy life have been extensively discussed. But maintaining social well being or social health is equally important for a perfect lifestyle.
Social health means the art of living in society. Man is a social animal. Social health helps you to get along with people comfortably for better performance at work place and maintain healthy relationships in the society. It can vary from person to person, because of different temperament of each individual.
An extrovert is a confident person who is able to mix up with all kind of people comfortably. But if someone is an introvert, then he will not be able to gel with everyone. This is not in his nature, but it can be overcome if he is aware of the concept of social health. It has now been medically proven that people who are socially active live longer than those who live a life of isolation. A healthy individual means a healthy society.
Modernization has made people self centered. Life is being limited to ‘I, me and myself’. People have created boundaries and closed themselves in a shell. They are electronically connected via internet, cellphones, SMS etc. but physical proximity and personal bonds are missing from society. You may know everything about your friends or relatives, but you won’t “know” them without being social.
Social activity is important to avoid loneliness. There is a difference between being alone and being lonely. A person can be lonely in a crowd and happy even if he is alone. To avoid being lonely it is important to be socially active. Loneliness is a disease. A lonely person may suffer from Tired All the Time (TATT) syndrome. He can go into depression and may take the extreme step of taking his own life.
How to maintain Social Health
Be with people.
It is important to be with people who can share your ideas, likes, dislikes, joy, grief etc. Friends that stand by you in your success and failure alike. This social support helps you to sail through life as it comes. It gives you emotional strength.
Religious rituals also teach people to live in society harmoniously with your neighbors, relatives, friends. In moments of death; people gather to give you emotional support and help you overcome your grief. That is why a certain period of mourning is maintained to help the affected family to restart their life.
Similarly, you need to share your joyous moments like marriage celebrations or birth of a child in the family. You invite friends and relatives to participate in rituals, even though marriage can be performed in the court. Rituals or ceremonies are a way of bringing people together.
Do something for society.
Society has given you so much; it is a social obligation on you. Contribute to society by giving it back. You should be able to perform normal role in the society. You can do this by joining an NGO or by doing volunteer service for the needy and aged persons.
Sponsor a child’s education or work in rural areas by teaching the illiterate. This kind of social work will give you immense satisfaction and a sense of well being. This is one of the best ways of forming a healthy society.
Mix with people by attending parties occasionally.
Partying rejuvenates you and helps you to forget your day to day problems. You can make new friends and develop new contacts that will help you in your career. Go for a picnic or an excursion with your friends and family. This will help you to spend quality and quantity time with your family and strengthen the emotional bond. It brings happiness, freshness and vitality in life.
You will be able to lead a healthy life by being socially active. It elevates personal growth and helps you and your family to live in harmony with each other. Social well being makes you more adaptable and flexible in your outlook. It improves your patience level in all spheres of life.
By maintaining your social health; you will be able to deal with people inside and outside your home with a more positive approach. You will become more considerate to other person’s needs and be willing to make adjustments accordingly. A good social life helps you to nourish friendship and you do not feel lonely in your life with such sincere friends around you.
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