mental health

Herbal Teas for Stress Relief That are Worth Trying

There is nothing more relaxing than a cup of tea after a long day. Tea is not just your everyday beverage. When you change the ingredients, you can enjoy some wonderful medicinal properties. The use of teas for stress relief is an age-old practice that you can try at home, too. 

How Do Herbal Teas Help in Stress Relief 

Traditional medicine uses the best teas for stress and depression that are made with a combination of medicinal plants and herbs. Some special brews are known to calm you down and even help you sleep better. The beneficial plant compounds found in these teas are highly potent and may give you instant relief. This effect is the result of several properties of these plant compounds: 

  1. They are rich in antioxidants, protecting the body from stress 
  2. They are known to reduce blood pressure and clots formation 
  3. They improve sleep and help you rest better
  4. They have a direct calming effect on the nervous system 
  5. They help the body release hormones that bring down stress levels

The Best Herbal Teas for Stress Relief 

A study conducted in 2018 suggests that the best teas for stress relief can give you results even when you just inhale the aroma. Here is a list of the most commonly used teas to help you experience faster stress relief: 

1. Lemon Balm Tea

Lemon balm is a traditional herb that is commonly used for stress relief. This is one of the best teas for stress and depression because it is known to help you relax and improve your mood. Lemon balm, when combined with lavender, provides extremely beneficial results as it also helps you sleep better. It is also known to produce certain mood regulators that prevent overexcitement of the neurons, thereby reducing anxiety and stress. 

Lemon balm tea is available in the form of powders, tablets, and tea bags. It has a very refreshing citrus flavour with some mint-like notes. 

2. Chamomile Tea 

Chamomile tea has always been associated with low-stress levels and a healthy nervous system. A study conducted in 2013 showed that this is one of the best teas for stress relief. These randomised tests conducted over 8 weeks showed significant results after consuming this tea regularly. 

Chamomile tea is soothing, relaxing, and calming. It is highly recommended before bedtime to improve your sleep. Chamomile is also known to provide relief from Irritable Bowel Syndrome which is associated with anxiety and stress. 

3. Rose Tea

Brewing tea using petals gives you a delicious and soothing beverage. Roses have the ability to nourish and restore the nervous system. If you are looking for the best teas for stress and depression, then this is amongst the easiest ones to prepare. All you need to do is add a few petals of a rose to regular black tea. 

One of the factors that contribute to the calming effects of roses is the fragrance. So when you are brewing the tea, make sure to inhale the scent for stress relief. There is no restriction on the colour of the rose that you should use for these teas for stress relief. Rose tea is also known to benefit women during their menstrual cycle. It helps reduce pain and cramps and elevates the mood as well. 

However, make sure that the petals are free from any pesticide or herbicide residue. Choose organic roses or make sure that the petals are cleaned thoroughly before using. 

4. Lavender Tea 

Stress and depression affect your sleep. It is a vicious cycle where the lack of sleep makes you feel more stressed. Lavender has long been used as a remedy for insomnia. The luxurious scent of essential oils containing lavender is recommended for those who find it hard to fall asleep. Studies have shown that smelling lavender oil just before you go to bed can help you enter deeper stages of sleep, faster. 

Lavender Tea has a similar effect. Starting with the aroma, this tea calms your nervous system down instantly. It also soothes the body and allows you to unwind after a stressful day. Studies show that drinking one cup of lavender tea in the morning calms the nervous system and one at night reduces the depression and anxiety scores of most participants. The added benefits of lavender are better digestion, which in turn affects your mood. 

5. Ashwagandha 

Ashwagandha is one of the most well-known Ayurvedic herbs which has multiple uses medicinally. One of its significant properties is its adaptogenic abilities. An adaptogen is anything that helps your body manage stress. It supports the body by helping it restore itself to normalcy after a stressful event. 

For this reason, most commercial teas for stress relief include ashwagandha in their blend. Ashwagandha contains compounds called with anolides which activate GABA receptors in our brain. These receptors reduce stress response and prevent the nervous system from becoming too excited. 

However, to see significant results, it is recommended that you consume ashwagandha tea regularly for at least 3 to 4 weeks. Ashwagandha also has positive effects on your immunity because of its potent antioxidant properties. It protects your body from oxidative stress and keeps you healthier. 

6. Valerian Root Tea 

To help you overcome stress and depression, sleep is a very important factor. It is restorative in nature and you should feel well-rested each morning in order to function well. One of the most effective herbs when it comes to improving sleep is valerian root. It is one of the best teas for stress and anxiety because it improves both the quality and quantity of sleep. 

Valerian root works by reducing certain enzymes that interfere with the function of GABA receptors. This gives you a sense of calm and helps you relax. Valerian root has gained popularity recently, especially after a study conducted in 2020. It revealed that valerian root reduces the time taken to fall asleep and increases the time that you spend in deep sleep stages. 

7. Peppermint Tea

Peppermint tea is made using dried peppermint leaves. It has several health benefits besides stress and anxiety relief. Peppermint is known to soothe digestive troubles, relieve constipation, improve focus, and boost your immunity. 

A study conducted on patients with cardiac issues showed that peppermint aroma was beneficial in those who experienced anxiety before receiving an Intravenous catheterisation. This is also one of the most easily available types of teas for stress relief. 

Conclusion

To prepare the perfect teas for stress relief, you can also try the blends of different herbs. Chamomile and lemon balm, for instance, gives you instant results. You can try different combinations until you find the perfect blend to keep your nerves calm. Herbal teas are very safe to use. However, if you have a history of food or other allergies, it is highly recommended that you consult your doctor before including a new type of tea into your routine. If you are unable to prepare the teas using the herbs, choose organic ones available in stores for the best results. 

Buddha’s Birthday: Understanding the Significance of This Day and Buddhist Meditation

Significance of Buddha Purnima
Story of Vesak
Celebrating Vesak (Buddha’s Birthday)
Buddhist Meditation
A Guide to Practising Mindful Meditation
Conclusion

The world celebrates the birth, attaining enlightenment, and death of Lord Buddha on May 16 every year. This day is also known and celebrated as Buddha’s Birthday or Buddha Jayanti, Buddha Purnima, Buddha Pournami, and Vesak. This Buddhist festival is celebrated in Asia (East and South), honouring the birth of Gautama Buddha, earlier known as Prince Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism. 

Significance of Buddha Purnima 

(Buddha’s Birthday) Buddha Purnima was declared a public holiday in India by the then minister of law and justice, B. R. Ambedkar. It is celebrated especially in Arunachal Pradesh, Lahaul and Spiti district, Ladakh, Kinnaur, Sikkim, Bodhgaya, and other various parts of North Bengal such as Darjeeling, Kurseong, Kalimpong, and Maharashtra (inhabiting 77% of all Indian Buddhists), as well as in other parts of India as per the Indian calendar. This is how this day is celebrated:

  1. A sweet rice porridge, commonly known as Kheer, is served. It recalls the story of a maiden, Sujata, who in Lord Buddha’s life, offered him a bowl of milk porridge. 
  2. In Bodhgaya, India at the Mahabodhi Temple, this auspicious day is celebrated with remarkable enthusiasm. The temple is colourfully decorated. 
  3. Special prayers are performed under the Bodhi Tree by the devotees of Gautam Buddha to celebrate Buddha’s attainment of enlightenment (when he discovered life’s meaning). 
  4. This time also reflects on what it means to be a Buddhist and the teachings of Buddha’s lifetime. 

Story of Vesak

Buddhists believe in the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, popularly known as the Buddha, and not in a single God who is believed to have created the world and all living things in it. 

Prince Siddhartha is believed to be born into a wealthy family in the 5th Century B.C in what is now known as Nepal. It’s said that Prince Siddhartha realised that luxury and wealth cannot guarantee happiness. So, he travelled all around the world as a homeless man to learn more about it and witnessed the suffering in the world. After six years of meditation and studying on his travels, he finally reached his goal of finding meaning in life and became spiritually aware. This was his enlightenment. 

Going through this journey, he attained the title of the Buddha and taught the followers about his experiences for the rest of his life. Buddha is recognized as a title, which means the awakened one or the enlightened. 

Celebrating Vesak (Buddha’s Birthday)

Followers of Buddhism around the globe decorate their homes with lanterns, take part in parades, and wear white clothes to mark the occasion. 

A ceremony where water is poured over the shoulders of a statue of the Buddha is performed to remind people to clear their minds of negative thoughts like hatred and greed. This ceremony is known as ‘Bathing the Buddha’. 

Animals, birds, and insects may also be released by people while celebrating something known as life release to give freedom to those who are imprisoned, tortured, or are in captivity against their will. 

Buddhist Meditation

Meditation is an essential element of Buddhism. In Buddhism, the practice of meditation is known as Buddhist meditation. And, in the classical language of Buddhism, meditation is known as bhāvanā which translates to “mental development.” 

In layman’s terms, meditation means to engage in a kind of mental exercise by concentrating one’s breathing to focus one’s thoughts and reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness. 

Buddhists practice meditation as a path toward freedom from cravings, destruction, and clinginess. This is also known as awakening, which results in the achievement of enlightenment. There are a variety of meditation techniques that aid in the attainment of a wholesome state of mind. 

1. Meditation for Peace and Calm

A person who is calm on the inside is a person who can be calm on the outside. Peace comes from within. Anyone can do it if they really want to and there is no wrong or right way to do it. The most used method is by controlling your breathing

Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Relax your body. Let go of tension. Focus on the natural rise and fall of your breathing. Exhale any tension as you breathe out. Try to be present in the moment. Repeat as and when necessary. 

2. Meditation for Inner Peace

Meditation can be practised for attaining inner peace as it eliminates worries, fears, and anxiety. It helps to control stress and negative and unhappy thoughts, promoting a state of mental and emotional composure and confidence. 

3. Meditation for Mind Peace

One of the most effective ways to achieve peace of mind is to practice mindful meditation. It allows a clear point of view toward everyday problems faced by a person. Meditation allows a person to remove themselves from the equation and look at it from a different perspective. It takes a quick 10 minutes of your morning and has the potential to change your life. 

At first, you might need a bit of practice but once you’re set, it can help you achieve real happiness, lasting inner strength, and peace of mind. 

A Guide to Practising Mindful Meditation 

  1. First, find a quiet and comfortable place to sit. If you’re a beginner, you can sit on a chair with your back straight, chin up, your feet flat on the floor, and your arms resting comfortably. 
  2. Then, set an alarm for 10 minutes to avoid wondering when the time will be up. 
  3. Now, close your eyes shut and take a few slow, deep breaths. 
  4. Focus on your breathing. Don’t try to control it, let it flow naturally. Don’t worry if your thoughts wander. Acknowledge them but don’t react to them. Try to focus on your breathing. Once you start feeling in control, imagine a ball in your mind. 
  5. Now, fill that ball with the problems that cause you stress. Think of letting go of one of those problems every time you exhale. Repeat until the ball is empty. 
  6. Finally, imagine a warm feeling, let it take up space until it fills the void completely. Imagine that this feeling contains the solutions to all the problems. Let yourself be taken up by this feeling.
  7. When done, open your eyes, and go about your day knowing you can deal with anything the world throws at you. 

Conclusion

This Buddha’s Birthday, make sure you try and stick to one of the above-mentioned meditations and help yourself and others achieve a state of absolute happiness.

International Day of Families: Why Spending Time with Your Folks is Important

Significance of International Day of Families
2022 Theme for International Day of Families
Ways to Spend Time with Family
Health Benefits of Spending Time with Family
Conclusion

May 15, as declared by the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution of September 20, 1993, is celebrated as the International Day of Families. May 15 was chosen as the International Family Day in 1994 because the United Nations believed that it was important to recognize the value of families. This day is celebrated to draw attention to the important matters essential to the welfare of families such as rights for children, education, health, social presence, gender equality, etc. 

Significance of International Day of Families

In society, the family is the basic unit. The International Day of Families provides an opportunity to spread awareness about family issues and increase knowledge regarding economic, social, and demographic processes that affect families. 

In the 1980s, the United Nations started focusing on family-related issues. In 1983, the Commission for Social Development, on the recommendations of the Economic and Social Council, requested the Secretary-General to improve the alertness of the public and the decision-makers, directing them to the needs of families and how to fulfil those needs. 

Finally, in 1989, the International Day of the Family was declared by the General Assembly to be celebrated on May 15 every year. 193 member states of the United Nations, on September 25, 2015, unanimously adopted the Sustainable Development Goals directed toward eliminating discrimination, abuse, poverty, environmental destruction, and preventable deaths in an era of development. Family-oriented policies were very important for the accomplishment of such goals. 

2022 Theme for International Day of Families

The International Day of Families is a powerful mustering factor for families of all countries. This year’s theme for the International Day of Families is “Families and Urbanisation”. Urbanisation is seen as one of the most important megatrends that shape life, well-being, and the world of families worldwide. This theme seeks to boost awareness of the importance and value of family-friendly and sustainable urban policies. 

In today’s world of excess social media and screen time, people have become less social in ways that are beneficial and essential to their physical and mental well-being. The American Journal of Health Promotion conducted a study that revealed – excess time spent on social media is one of the major risk factors for loneliness. 

Spending quality time with family and loved ones is proven to help deal with loneliness, anxiety, and stress, leading to a healthy lifestyle. Spending time with family increases satisfaction and happiness. Families provide unconditional support and love which helps with the overall mental health of all the members of a household. 

A family makes us who we are, who we really turn out to be. Family isn’t restricted to just blood relatives. Friends can be family too. As kids get older, spending time with them gets more challenging with all the work commitments and life changes. 

Ways to Spend Time with Family

Here are some ways of spending quality time with family while managing your life simultaneously:

1. Make Time 

Even if it’s just once a week, family time is for bonding and togetherness. It can either be a game night, a movie night, dining out, or a stay-in family dinner, etc. The important aspect is to spend time with your family. 

2. Help with Household Chores 

It’s not fair if all chores are to be done by just one person. Have a family meeting and assign each member some chores. This will help loosen up the burden on one person and lead to building a sense of responsibility and independence. 

3. Mutual Support 

If you have multiple kids and they are involved in some kind of extracurricular activities, have your other kids cheer them whenever they can. 

4. Family Downtime 

Mark at least one day a month where all family members are to disconnect online and connect offline. A technology-free day. Such a day can be helpful to unwind and let go of things that bother you. 

5. Go on a Family Vacation 

Vacations are a great way to spend quality time together. Vacations help break away from the otherwise hectic routine while exposing you to new activities, people, food, and locations. 

6. Family Project 

It can be anything from building a treehouse to reading a couple of books a year, collecting something, volunteering at the local food/animal shelter, etc. Committing to family only on holidays and vacations is not enough. Time commitment may not be huge, but it needs to be consistent because you need time to develop deep, meaningful, and lasting bonds. 

Health Benefits of Spending Time with Family 

Spending time with family has a lot of health benefits too: 

1. Mental Health Improvement 

Making face-to-face communication reduces the rate of anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses. 

2. Better Academic Performance 

On average, kids who spend more time with family tend to do better in school. Moreover, they are better at communicating and conveying their needs. 

3. Less Behavioural Problems 

Children who spend more time with family show reduced risk of behavioural issues such as substance abuse, anger, and violence. To a child, family is very important as your advice allows them to cope better with problems and helps them to make positive choices. 

4. Parenting Skills

Kids learn through their parents’ behaviour toward each other, how they treat each other and how much they respect each other. Through them, they learn how to treat others. 

5. Adaptability and Resilience  

A child’s ability to face life’s challenges and changes is improved by having a strong bond with family. It gives you the feeling that you are cared for, you are needed, and you belong, which gives a child a sense of purpose and meaning. This assurance provides motivation to grow, push forward, and succeed in life. 

Conclusion

The family is society’s smallest building block and plays the most important role in a person’s life. The familial relationships contribute to a safe atmosphere for an individual’s development. This International Day of Families, make sure you spend time with your loved ones and remind others to respect these special bonds.

World Laughter Day: How Healthy is Laughter for Us?

Perhaps the phrase “Laughter is the Best Medicine” is one of the most quoted phrases that we have heard all our lives. A good hearty laugh can not only cheer the mind but also lightens the mood. To celebrate laughter, World Laughter Day has been celebrated annually since 1998. First celebrated on 10 May 1988 in Mumbai, India, this day brings forth the importance of laughter, a positive and powerful emotion that is imbued with all the ingredients to change a person as well as bring about a change in the world in a peaceful manner. Dr. Madan Kataria, the founder of the worldwide Laughter Yoga movement, was the first person to arrange this event in 1988, which is now celebrated and acknowledged worldwide. 

History of Laughter Day

Dr. Madan Kataria, a family doctor in India, was inspired to start his Laughter Yoga movement by the facial feedback hypothesis. This hypothesis is rooted in the theories of Charles Darwin and William James. It reportedly states that one’s facial expression directly relates to their emotional experience. Physiological activation of facial expressions has a direct relation to emotional state, meaning that while smiling or laughing, a person’s emotional levels are heightened and they tend to be in a good mood. World Laughter Day marks a positive manifestation of world peace and a consciousness of brotherhood, friendship, and humanity that can be expanded globally. 

Health Benefits of Laughter

Besides uplifting your mood, the benefits of laughter are in abundance. Here is how you can harness the powerful effects of laughter, humour, and comedy:

1. Laughter May Boost Your Immune System 

A good hearty laugh can noticeably reduce stress hormones and increase immune cells – the antibodies that fight infections. Thus, laughter may help improve your body’s resistance to ward off diseases.

2. Laughter May Burn Calories

This can be misleading if not explained. Laughter is no replacement for working out at the gym or doing home exercises but a study conducted showed that laughing for a good 10 to 15 minutes a day can burn up to 40 calories. This amount of calorie loss is enough to burn three to four pounds in one year.

3. Laughing May Protect the Heart 

By improving the functions of blood vessels and improving blood flow through the heart, laughter may help you fight against cardiovascular diseases like heart attack and others.

4. Laughter Relaxes the Whole Body 

When you have a good, hearty laugh, you can immediately feel your body doing much better in terms of less physical tension and stress. A good laugh may help relieve you from stress for at least 45 minutes.

5. Laughter Triggers Release of Endorphins 

Endorphins are the body’s natural hormones that make you feel good. Endorphins are known to reduce pain and discomfort in the body, increase pleasure, and uplift mood and self-esteem.

6. Laughter May Help You Live Longer 

A study conducted in Norway showed that people with a good sense of humour live longer than people who do not laugh as much. This study proved to be truer for people battling cancer.

7. Laughter Lightens an Angry Mood 

A good and hearty laugh that is shared is probably the best way anger and conflict can be diffused. By looking at the funny side of situations, confrontations and bitterness can be resolved, enabling the group or the person to move forward in life without resentment and remorse.

Laughter & Mental Stability

Besides elevating one from sadness and pain by bringing joy and peace, laughter can give a person courage and determination to find a new ray of hope and a sense of well-being. Even in the most difficult times, if a person finds a way to smile or has someone that can make them smile or laugh, this can help them deal with situations, crises, or any problem maturely. Laughter is, as people say, contagious. Just hearing people laugh will signal your brain and you will want to hear the story to join in the mood. Laughter has a deep connection to improving your mental health. Here are the ways in which laughter helps you mental well-being:

1. Laughter Helps Your Brain to Recharge 

A tiring day at work is not welcoming. Stress is a part and parcel of all our lives but with a good hearty laugh, your brain receives fewer stress hormones and increases energy in the body. This enables you to stay more focused at work as well as have fun outside work.

2. Laughing Stops Distressed Emotions 

When you are truly laughing or are in good company where you are enjoying yourself, you cannot feel angry, sad, or anxious. All you will be able to concentrate on is how much fun you are having.

3. Laughter Draws You Closer to Other People

Laughter has a profound positive effect on your mental and emotional state of being. When you stay in a good mood, you are automatically drawn closer to people.

Conclusion

Laughter is one of the oldest yet most refreshing and effective tools to keep yourself positive and your relationships exciting. Laughter adds vitality and resilience to your relationships while also making you a person who not only has a good effect on their emotional state but also brings out the best in other people. This World Laughter Day, make a vow to spread and practice laughter and lead the happiest life!

World Day for Safety and Health at Work: Mental Health at Workplace

Steps an Employer Should Take at Workplace
Steps an Employee Should Take at Workplace
Activities on World Day for Safety and Health at Work
Mental Health at Workplace
Conclusion

“When safety is first, you last.”

Handsome salaries, perks, and fancy designations are undoubtedly the stuff that we look for in any job. But perhaps a safe and secure workplace is equally crucial if not more. Every year on April 28th, World Day for Safety and Health at Work is celebrated which promotes the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases globally. It is to spread awareness of the enormity of the problem and to create a safety and health culture that can help reduce the number of work-related injuries and deaths. Interestingly, it coincides with Workers’ Memorial Day. 

The International Labour Organisation started celebrating World Day for Safety and Health at Work in 2003. The theme of this year’s World Day for Safety and Health at Work is ‘act together to build a positive safety and health culture’. This theme encourages workplaces to adopt a strong workplace health and safety culture where everyone contributes to a safe and healthy working environment. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic for the last two years, we have witnessed a strong Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) system including the combined effort of the government, employers’, and workers’ organizations, public health workers, and all other relevant parties. This contribution has been vital in protecting and safeguarding the well-being of the workers. Moreover, social dialogue has played a crucial role in this. Proper safety and health measures at the place of work can play a critical role in containing the spread of diseases, while also protecting workers and society at large. 

Steps an Employer Should Take at Workplace

To ensure that the work premises provide a safe and healthy place of work, an employer should:

  1. Make sure the workplace is properly ventilated, with clean and fresh air 
  2. Keep the workplace and equipment clean 
  3. Prevent risks to health 
  4. Make sure plant and machinery are safe to use 
  5. Make sure safe working practices are set up and followed 
  6. Set up emergency plans 
  7. Make sure that ventilation, temperature, lighting, toilet, washing, and other facilities, all meet health, safety, and welfare requirements 
  8. Prevent and control exposure to substances that may damage a worker’s health 

Steps an Employee Should Take at Workplace

Like an employer, an employee should know their responsibilities for their own well-being and that of their colleagues: 

  1. To take reasonable care for your own health and safety 
  2. To get proper training and understand as well as follow the company’s health and safety policies 
  3. Use safety provisions correctly 
  4. Co-operate and promote their colleagues to follow rules

Safety Activities to Conduct on World Day for Safety and Health at Work

There are various activities that can be conducted at the place of work to spread awareness and convey information about World Day for Safety and Health. Some activities that can make safety training fun are: 

  1. A safety-selfie photo contest, wherein employees take pictures of themselves next to safety equipment at the workplace and vote for their favorites towards the end of the day. 
  1. A group of employees giving a presentation about how to use equipment properly and then going through it again, this time leaving out some information. This can be followed by organizing a contest for the most attentive employee who points out the missing information and gets a prize. 
  1. A team activity where employees form groups and conduct a quiz contest where they ask other teams questions like what piece of equipment, if not used properly can cause what type of injury and what safety measures to take if a said injury happens, etc. and a lot of points for the same.  

Mental Health at Workplace

Mental health includes a person’s emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It determines how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health doesn’t always stay the same. It fluctuates as circumstances change and as we move through different stages of life. 

Safety and security at the place of work are crucial but what’s equally important is mental health. The pandemic has hit our lives badly and people are experiencing many organizational challenges. While work from home opportunity has been a boon for many, workers are also experiencing many organizational changes, reduced work opportunities, fear of losing their jobs, big layoffs, unemployment, and decreased financial stability. All these and many other factors are ultimately affecting mental health and well-being. 

Other factors that affect mental health at the place of work are increased competition, higher performance expectations, long working hours, etc. Work-related stress is seen as a global issue affecting all countries, professions, and workers. A study led by WHO, showed that an estimated 264 million people, globally, suffer from depression, with many of these also suffering from anxiety. 

A toxic work environment can be vicious to our mental health. There are many factors responsible for poor mental health in the workplace. Just as unemployment hits us hard, toxicity at the place of work is harmful too. These mental health problems lead to harmful use of substances or alcohol, lost productivity and poor work-performance, poor communication, limited participation, etc. 

According to a survey commissioned by mental wellness company Modern Health and conducted by Forrester Consulting, shows a third of employees might change jobs to save their mental health. 

According to another recent study, 50% of Millennials and 75% of Gen-Zers quit a job due to issues related to mental health. While this study focuses on these two generations, in particular, mental health issues affect all types of people. Evidence strongly suggests that workplaces with high levels of mental well-being are more productive. 

Organizations that promote mental health and support their employees are more likely to witness increased productivity, better communication, and better decision-making on part of employees, to name a few. Employers should promote awareness about the Importance of Mental Health and Stress Management at the place of work. 

Some steps employers can include are:

  1. Make mental health assessment tools available to employees 
  2. Offer health insurance with low or no out-of-pocket costs for depression and other mental health-related problems 
  3. Make social support networks available for employees 
  4. Host seminars/workshops that teach and practice mindfulness, meditation, breathing exercises, etc. to help employees reduce stress and anxiety and improve focus and motivation 
  5. Conduct anonymous surveys to understand the attitude and state of mind of employees.

Conclusion

Today, when we are surrounded by so many concerns in our lives, a healthy and happy workplace can do wonders for our careers. It will not only make the employees rich in positivity and well-being but will also boost the companies’ bottom line. This World Day for Safety and Health at Work, let us promote a healthy work environment.

Common Symptoms of Depression in Women That Shouldn’t be Ignored

Clinical depression is a serious mood disorder whose levels can range from mild to moderate. It may cause severe symptoms that can affect your lifestyle, the way you feel, what you think, and even basic activities like sleeping, thinking, and eating. Major cases of depression are chronic. Moreover, studies show that depression prevails more in women than men in some cases due to fluctuations in hormones during various phases of life – mostly during puberty. However, the underlying problem still remains incomprehensible and depression is often correlated to hormonal changes. Some researchers state that hormonal fluctuation caused by a woman’s menstrual cycle contributes to premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) which are marked by anxiety, depression, and mood swings that occur before menstruation. Read on to understand all the factors related to the symptoms of depression in women.

Signs of Depression in Women 

Although depression can happen to anyone, women are vulnerable to it at twice the rate that men are. And even though depression mostly occurs once in your lifetime, people do experience multiple episodes. Women also experience depression differently than men do. Some common symptoms of depression in women are:

  1. Feelings of tearfulness, sadness, hopelessness, or emptiness
  2. Irritability, frustration, and angry outbursts even over minute matters
  3. Loss of interest in mundane activities like sports, hobbies, etc. 
  4. Insomnia, sleep disturbances, or sleeping too much
  5. Lack of energy, tiredness, and restlessness
  6. Agitation and anxiety
  7. Slowed body movements, thinking, and speaking
  8. Guilt, self-blame, feeling worthless, and fixating on past failures
  9. Finding trouble concentrating, having trouble thinking, making decisions, and having trouble remembering
  10. Recurrence of obsessive thoughts that may include issues of suicide attempts, death, and suicidal thoughts 
  11. Unexplained physical problems, such as headaches or back pain 

Having mentioned the symptoms of depression, it is important not to discard them as a ‘weakness’ or something that you can “snap out of” easily. It is advisable to see a psychotherapist as they can diagnose you correctly. Symptoms of depression are mostly serious enough that may be noticed in your day-to-day activities such as in your personal life and social relationships. 

Risk Factors Related to Depression in Women

Factors that seem to trigger depression or increase the risk are:

  1. Traumatic events or events that impact a person deeply such as the death of a loved one, bad relationship, sexual or physical abuse, bullying, or financial problems
  2. Abuse of recreational drugs or alcohol
  3. Personality traits of low self-esteem, being pessimistic or too self-critical about oneself
  4. Chronic illness 
  5. Particular medicines can also become triggers such as long term use of sleeping pills or high blood pressure medicines in a susceptible person. 

Complications of Depression 

If it is not treated or consulted with a psychotherapist at the right time, your depression can take a terrible turn or can even get worse. You may experience behavioural and health issues, emotional imbalance, and situations that affect every area of your life. Some examples of complications that are associated with depression in women include:

  1. Obesity and heavyweight which can lead to heart diseases and/ or diabetes 
  2. Physical illness
  3. Misuse of drugs or alcohol
  4. Panic disorder, social phobia, or anxiety 
  5. Obsessive thoughts, suicide attempts, or even thoughts of suicide

Prevention of Depression

There is no sure short route to “prevent” depression. However, as it is said that prevention is better than cure, here are some steps that you can take:

  1. Take necessary steps to control stress in order to boost your self-esteem and become resilient. 
  2. You can reach out to your loved ones, especially when you feel at your lowest. You should trust someone to get you out of rough weather spells. 
  3. You must visit, get help, or visit a doctor as soon as you notice the earliest signs of depression. This can help you in preventing depression from worsening.
  4. Instead of going to consulting therapists only when you feel low, you must consider getting long-term treatments for your maintenance. This may help a relapse of symptoms of depression. 

Conclusion 

It is advisable to visit a mental health professional if you notice symptoms of depression. It is important to talk about this to a loved one, a healthcare professional or someone you trust. And if you often get obsessive thoughts and think you may hurt yourself then you must call your emergency hotline number immediately. As mentioned above, females are more prone to depression. So, if you can observe the symptoms of depression in women around you, don’t think twice before extending a helping hand.