While heart disease, stroke, lower respiratory infections and cancer are among the leading causes of death in the world, there is one other most deadly and more so because you don’t see it coming unless you’re paying attention and sought intervention. What is this silent killer? It’s the giant ‘S’. No, it’s not that one. It’s stress! Though we have ‘Eu-stress’ and ‘Di-stress’, one is beneficial stress and the other is not. Being in a constant state of distress triggers an overreaction in your body in order to frantically and successfully regain and maintain the body’s equilibrium. Sometimes, this doesn’t happen and without a positive supportive buffer, this can be dangerous.

Since mental health and medical professionals have sensitized us as to the deadly effects of stress, let’s begin to actively do something about it. Understanding the crippling financial position of many individuals, I compiled a list of strategies that require absolutely no money. Here’s what you do:

Be your own fan.

Put an end to hoarding negative thoughts about yourself. Deliberately replace these negative thoughts with positive ones. So start saying, “I am a great girl/guy and I can do this!” You may not believe it at first but keep at it till you do.

Connect with others.

Find and talk with persons who will provide wholesome emotional support. Try to keep it small enough. Share your concerns and care for theirs as well. Such groups are available, become a part of that circle, even for a period of time. Try not to isolate yourself; it will make you feel worse.


Be helpful

The Counselling and Psychology Services Department, San Jose State University, said that

“those who consistently help other people experience less depression, greater calm, fewer pains and better health. They may even live longer. Doesn’t have to require a great deal of time…”.

For example, you can simply call a friend to see how he or she is doing or volunteer on weekends.

 Protect and love your body

  • Heat contributes to your frustration when you are actively involved in activities that expose you to the sun. So try to minimize your expose to the striking heat and use protective means to lessen the stress on your skin.
  • Get massages. Your friends and family can help you release that muscle tension.
  • Listen to your body. Provide daily supplies of nutritious food. Note: skipping meals deprives you of energy needed to handle stress. When you are tired, sleep and rest.
  • Exercise daily. No excuses. 10 minutes is enough time to keep your body moving and you can even do this at your desk and in your bed! Find and use a compatible routine that creates a sweat and that fits your style (e.g., walk, skip, dance, swim, cricket, resistance training, etc.). This routine will help with your stress levels and minimize symptoms of anxiety, and depression.



Laughter is good medicine.’ Try not to take life too seriously. Allow yourself to even laugh at silly things you did/do. Hang around people who make you laugh. Works for me! Watch a comedy (I like the Golden Girls). Read a funny book. Here’s a challenge: try smiling when there is the potential to get mad. See what happens next.

Practice relaxing

Again, 10 minutes is all it takes in your busy day. It is proven that relaxation strengthens the mind and helps the body recover from stress. So if your doctor says ‘rest’, leave the work right on your desk. It’ll be there when you get back. Use deep breathing techniques-as you breathe out tell yourself to let go of any tension. You can have background relaxation music to help soothe you (Instrumental music with nature sounds, harps, flutes, piano, etc.). Go for an evening walk. There’s yoga too!

 Enhance your mind and spirit

This is certainly not the least.

  • Meditate. Read the Bible-Psalms and the books of Solomon are perfect for stress relief.
  • Jot down your feelings. No matter what the context, write. Don’t think it trivial, write.
  • Trust in the Divine Power. Give it a shot! It works every time.

So, no more heartbreaking hair loss, stubborn belly fat, deafening headaches, paralyzing body pains, annoying itches, unexplained irritability and fatigue, loss of confidence, insomnia and negativity (to name a few). It’s time to take charge of our body and emotions. Ready? I think you are.