STRESS: A SERIOUS CONCERN FOR CHILDREN
WHAT IS STRESS?
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, stress is a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation. In the Oxford Dictionary, stress is defined as a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances. In common parlance, it is a kind of unusual feeling experienced by people who are under immense pressure and tension. It is a kind of reaction to the change which one encounters.
REASONS AS TO WHY STRESS OCCURS
Stress is essentially a physical response to things. When a situation of anxiety and pressure arises to which the person is not able to cope with it and the reaction which is produced is known as stress. This reaction may be produced in the form of a blend of hormones and chemicals like adrenaline, cortisol, etc. This release of hormones and chemicals provides the body with much-needed energy which helps us in tackling the situation well. But, if this stress continues for a longer duration of time, it might result in harmful implications.
STRESS IN CHILDREN
The problem of stress is not only confined to adults, rather it includes children within its domain too. Stress is actually the amalgamation of the demands imposed on us and our reaction to those demands. Actually, these demands may come from external sources or internal sources. It is the difference between what we ought to do and what we actually do. Hence, this demand may originate in any one- be it a child or an adult.
Child stress has become a matter of concern these days. We live in the twenty-first century, the era of modernization and globalization. This era is marked by the presence of stress in everyone’s lives. Children are undergoing rapid stress these days. It can exist in various forms:
- Study-related stress- The old concept of fun learning through education has now been replaced by competitive learning. A child aged two years is sent to school to join the race whose finishing line is not yet ascertained. We have become so competitive that we compare our child with other children and impose our wishes on him. This attitude of parents has somewhat created a lot of strife and tension in the mind of young ones.
- Peer-related stress- Today’s children are more influenced by what happens in their surroundings. Their mental outlook and perception are shaped by what their friends do. They try to imitate their friends. And when they are not able to do so, they get frustrated and resort to ugly means in order to get their demands meet.
- Family-related stress– The archaic notion of joint family has now very well been replaced by nuclear families. The fragmented families, daily disputes between parents, and divorce create a negative impression in the mind of young ones. This results in severe stress which unfortunately they find hard to come up with.
- Society related stress- Many children are influenced by what happens in society. The incidents of terrorism, homicide, violence, etc. do not create a good impact on their lives. They find it difficult to live in such a society and become stressful.
PREVENTIVE AND CURATIVE MEASURES TO DEAL WITH STRESS
Of course, a certain amount of stress is normal, but when it becomes excessive it is harmful. Let us now discuss the various preventive and curative measures to deal with stress.
- Reschedule lives- These days the children are so indulged in things that they do not get time for themselves. The hectic schedule at school of six to seven hours coupled with extracurricular activities and tuitions make the life of a child vulnerable. He is not able to take out time for himself and ends up caught in the web of stress.
- Make play a daily routine– The children of this century have become so busy in their lives that they do not take out the proper time to play. Often they are found locked in their homes. This not only hampers their physical and mental health but also makes them anti-social. So, it becomes all the more important to take out play time daily.
- Take enough sleep- Proper sleep is the remedy for most of the diseases, stress being one of them. When the child has enough sleep and wakes up fresh and healthy, he is well prepared to fight all the odds against him.
- Find a solution to the problems– When the child is undergoing stress, it becomes very important for the parents to talk to him/her and search solution to his/her problems.
- Learn to listen- Most of the problems are solved if we try to listen. It is very important for the parents to listen to his/her child, understand him and give him his proper space. Support from the parents acts as a backbone for them.
- Consult doctor or counselor- Often doctors, health care providers or counselors can be consulted in order to deal with the situation of stress.
- Encourage family time- A proper family time when served with love and affection is the best medicine. Taking your child out for a family dinner or movie can prevent stress in him/her.
DIET TO TACKLE STRESS
The various diets to beat stress are:
- Asparagus– A single cup of asparagus per day helps to relieve anxiety and depression as it contains the mood enhancing nutrient in it.
- Avocado-Avocados are very good for relieving stress as they consist of vitamin B, monounsaturated fat and potassium.
- Blueberry– Blueberry is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, thus helping to fight stress.
- Walnuts- Walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acid which lowers the norepinephrine level in the body and combats anxiety and stress.
- Milk- Milk is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, protein, and calcium. This amazing combination makes it very good to combat stress.
- Almonds- Almonds are another diet to reduce stress as they are highly rich in Vitamin B2 and
- Chamomile tea– A cup of chamomile tea is very comforting and relaxes your body well.
- Oranges- oranges being rich in Vitamin C are other essential food to fight stress.
- Spinach- Spinach consists of magnesium that very well regulates the level of cortisol in the body.
Well, all these diets are one of the best foods to combat stress. You can also consult the best dietician of you are for professional help. Apart from this good amount of love, affection and care is the best medicine to this disease.