We live in an age where stress is commonplace and many of us seem to struggle merely to keep up with the pace of life and the expectations society places on us. Though each generation may think they have had things harder compared to the previous, the reality is that the consequences of stresses are similar in that they spill over onto our emotional wellbeing and in time, likely to affect one’s physical health too. In my role as a college doctor for the University of Oxford, we know that there has been a continuous rise in the number of students suffering from stress, anxiety and depression each year and this has been seen at the national level throughout UK universities. On a certain level, these students are fortunate enough to be in a semi-protected environment where immediate help is at hand (i.e. in an academic institution where they have access to welfare support, counselling facilities, college nurses and doctors, tutors, etc.). For the general population, however, there are likely to be additional stresses including for example, the day-to-day work, politics amongst colleagues, financial issues of potentially greater consequences, family and relationship matters, etc. all of which can easily build up and tip the balance. As individuals, we all have different levels of tolerance to stress but hopefully and most importantly, we have some strategies to manage stress effectively. Clearly, we know that a certain level of stress can in fact be quite beneficial in some situations and for short durations but excessive amounts are best avoided.
On the cancer-free journey, there will be understandably different levels of stresses concerning one’s health to varying degrees at certain stages. The important thing is to find ways of reducing the stress levels and to ensure you have the necessary skillset(s) and tools to manage stress before it reaches a saturation point and problems may start to arise. Quality sleep, eating well, exercise, having a good social setup and network, keeping a good routine, seeking help early on, having the ability to take time out, having an awareness of the build up of stress, taking the time to relax, having a positive mindset will all likely to help to reduce the levels of stress.
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What is the Solution to Stress Then?
Cancer Prevention Research >> Achieving Good Health & Resisting Cancer (n = 1) I Tackling Sleep I Tackling Obesity I Tackling Smoking I Tackling Alcohol I Tackling Poor Diet I Tackling the Lack of Exercise I Tackling Sun Exposure I Tackling the Work-Life Balance I Tackling the Fear of Seeing Your Doctor I Cancer Screening I Cancer Vaccination I Genetic Testing