In modern society, the glorification of busyness has become a status symbol. The busier you are in your professional and personal life, the more of an achiever you seem to be. Chasing deadlines and socializing to build strong networks is all good and will probably pay off in the long-term, but too much of it leads to a condition which if gone unchecked can have a severely negative impact on the quality of life. And this condition is called stress.

   From the beginning, stress can come with no physical symptoms, which is why it can be hard to notice. But what is a reliable indicator of stress is our emotional condition. Identifying stress in the right time can prevent its development into a grave illness. So, with that in mind, here we present a three-step guide to effectively deal with stress.

Step 1: Know the Symptoms

   According to The American Institute of Stress, stress has around 50 common symptoms ranging from simple headaches to obsessive compulsive behavior. However, some of the most easy-to-recognize signs are:stress-management

- Lightheadedness or dizziness.
- Stomach pain, heart burn.
- Hypertension.
- Excessive worry or nervousness.
- Communication problems.
- Constant fatigue.
- Forgetfulness.
- Hypochondria and listlessness.
- Irritability and/or overreaction to petty events.
- Increased dependency on stimulants like alcohol and/or drugs.

   If you have three or more of these symptoms simultaneously, then it is highly likely that stress has been affecting your life.

Step 2: Identify the Root Cause

   Before jumping to conclusions and resorting to prescription drugs, it is imperative to identify the root cause of your stress. This step usually reaps benefits when it is guided by sound advice from a stress management professional like a counselor or psychologist.

   Stress can be triggered by many different factors: problems at work, financial issues, failure in personal life, health complications, and others. The root cause of stress can be one or a few of such incidents and thus working with an experienced professional on identifying the root cause can do wonders in eliminating stress completely from your life.

Step 3: Working on Eliminating the Root Cause

   Once the root cause has been identified, it is time to work on methods to uproot the cause completely ensuring no relapse. There are different approaches to this and the actual method adopted and practiced depends on one’s unique situation. However, there are general effective ways in which one can reduce stress and shape a healthy body and mind:

   Diet: A stress-free life includes proper diets concentrated on fruits and veggies with as less junk food as possible. To make up for protein, focus on white meat such as chicken breasts and fish.

   Water intake: The more water we drink, the more toxins are flushed out of our system. This combined with a diet rich in vitamins helps the body feel very light and relaxed. On an average, people are advised to drink the amount of fluids sufficient to produce two liters of urine.

   Physical activity: During and shortly after a workout, the body releases dopamine - the ‘happy’ chemical which makes us feel pleased and satisfied. Exercising daily is a common habit that is shared by almost all healthy people. It keeps the mind relaxed and the body fit while providing all the energy needed to balance work and social life.

   It is never too late to start managing stress. Incorporating even little changes on a daily basis can pave the way to a massive turnaround towards leading a healthy and quality life.