What can be done to reduce the stress-related problems of the stressful modern life?

Original Question:

In recent years, life has become more stressful than it has ever been. As a consequence, more and more people are suffering from stress related problems. What factors are contributing to this increase and what do you think can be done to overcome the current problems?
Source: Handout from GP instructor Mr. Kamal Pandey

Stress and stress-related illness seem to be unavoidable in the life most people lead nowadays. For many years now, it has been recognized that increasing levels of stress in the workplace not only increases the risk of disease but also reduces people's ability to respond flexibly to the demands of their job. This stress results from a variety of aspects of our modern life; there are, however, several things that can be done to reduce the problems caused by stress.

The modern world is constantly developing and at a very high speed. This means that there is constant change and people need to update their skills. Job security is no longer guaranteed and this can cause a great deal of stress. In the past, most people were guaranteed a job for life, but this is no longer true. In fact, many people may have to change career more than once in their life time. In Japan, for example, the restructuring of many businesses in the last ten years led to a reduction in the number of middle managers. This was very stressful and led to an alarming number of suicides.

Another contributory factor is population growth. This puts more pressure on our environment. For example, many calamities like soil erosion, landslide, and drought are caused through deforestation and various types of pollution have caused the human problems. Moreover, the roads and public transport become more crowded. As a result, there are longer lines for everyday activities and very crucial services like shopping and more important things like visits to the hospital where there is great question of saving a life. In a world where people do not have much time these waits can cause huge amount of stress.

Although there are many factors behind stress and they are continuing to grow, there are several courses of action open to everyone. An important way to overcome stress is to focus on health. Health services could embark on a stress-awareness campaign to make individuals and families understand the factors that lead to stress. Employers could also run relaxation classes during work time and try to make work less stressful for their workforce. They can make work divisions with shifts for works in a day as per the ease of the workers. All people need to find time to relax.

Except the roles of companies, governments have great roles to play to reduce stress of people in different ways. For instance, they have to provide job opportunities to people with establishments of job places and they have to supply all necessary things of daily life related to food, shelter and dress without causing any lacking and problems. Furthermore, they have to develop the situations of security for the people so that they need not worry about safety of their own and their property.

In brief, the problem of stress is caused by many things and will continue to increase. However, it is the responsibility of all members of society, governments, companies and individuals, to take action to minimize its impact. Unless we can control the effects of stress, economic and social development will be restricted and people will be unable to live a fully active life.

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