Stress and the City

Big city, large crowds of people, soaring rents, not enough free time – are those the reasons why people in Central London are so often under stress?

A recent social media study revealed that Westminster is the ‘most stressed’ borough in London. According to the Evening Standard a research by the site Spa Seekers tracked around 24,000 mentions of the words “stress” and “anxiety” on status updates on the social media.

Map created by Tsvetelina Petrova (Click for full-screen access)

Westminster is the winner, as more than a half of the posts were posted in the area. Hackney and Camden get the silver and bronze prizes but still, the anxiety and stress mentions were much lower in these boroughs. Unsurprisingly, the suburbs’ residents are less stressed and anxious. Barking and Dagenham turned out to be the ‘least stressed’ boroughs in the capital.

There are millions of definitions, ideas and researches about stress. Everyone experiences their own kind of stress. This is why I went to Westminster and Barking – two completely different boroughs of London with absolutely opposite stress levels. Listen to the Londoner’s points of view about stress in the following audio:

Is stress bad for your health and how to deal with it?

A limited amount of stress is normal and even healthy. However, continuous or severe stress can be very harmful to your physical and mental health. Once it turns into chronic stress it may develop serious problems such as depression, diabetes, obesity, hair loss, heart disease, etc. There are many techniques and stress-busting suggestions. Few of them are exercising, connecting with people, relaxing and avoiding alcohol and/or smoking. However, to conquer the stress you need to radically change your perspective.

Here are 10 quotes that could help you change your opinion about stress:

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Can stress be your BFF?

First of all, good or bad, the stress will be with you forever. Luckily, stress can be your friend. According to psychologist Kelly McGonigal, the most harmful thing for us is the belief that stress is bad for our health. She explains the positives of stress and how just by changing our perspective, stress can be more of a friend than an enemy. It is something that motivates us to accomplish our goals. Stress also connects people, releasing the neurohormone oxytocin in the human brain. This is sometimes called the “cuddle hormone” because it causes us to crave connection with the ones we love. Here you can check McGonigal’s TED talk.

Apparently, stress is not uniformly bad, we pay for it in scary movies and roller coaster rides, hence we love stress in the right amount. We also need it because it stimulates us. So, accept the positive side of the stress and be much happier in future.

Words: Tsvetelina Petrova | Subbing: Vanessa Craus

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