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Your Lifestyle Is Affecting Your Mental Health Severely

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For most urban dwellers, stress is the most likely patho-physiological cause for mental disorders, particularly depression.

Today more and more people are thrilled about living an urban lifestyle, as rural living becomes less desirable. While it means our society is headed towards progress, in many ways an urban lifestyle has become a bane; increasing chronic diseases, mental health issues and so much more. And the root cause of it all is a single factor – Stress. Also read: Are You Suffering From Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?

Stress And the City

Talk to anyone proud of their urban lifestyle, and they will happily tell you that they welcome a certain amount of stress in their life. Stress keeps people on their toes, making them strive harder to perform better in all walks of life – be it personal or professional. And this is true to some extent, as stress is the mechanism that prepares us for any ‘fight-or-flight’ reaction from an evolutionary point of view. Also read: Stress Is Making Your Gut And Body Sick And Here‘s What You Can Do about It

Stress could be the accelerant that helps us to adapt better to a new environment, it also elicits some of us to perform at our peak. But prolonged exposure to stress is the root cause of many chronic diseases, including many mental illnesses.

Some shocking recent studies have reported that stress increases as our social network grow. Why? We constantly strive to fit in, and we struggle to maintain a façade and pretend to be better than we are – financially, emotionally and even physically, and that puts us under constant pressure. Lack of control, social threat and the fear of losing your social status strongly contribute to experiencing what can be called only as ‘social stress’.

The negative mental impact of stress is more common in urban society, where social disparity and hierarchical orders are more dominant.

How Is Your Urban Lifestyle Affecting Your Mental Health?

Are You Suffering From Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?

Even though infrastructure, nutrition, socioeconomic conditions and health care services are better in cities than in rural areas, it is also true that a jet setting urban lifestyle that is always geared towards ‘Action’ and the desire to better play a crucial role.

An urban lifestyle revolves a lot around a successful career, and there has been a remarkable increase in workplace stress and related health disorders. What is worse is that such a lifestyle also constantly puts personal relationships under pressure, which adds to the level of stress. The result – poor emotional as well as mental health. Also Read: Meditation Is The Only Way To Deal With Stress

An urban lifestyle increases the risk to many psychiatric diseases, for example, depression and anxiety. And things get worse for kids growing up in cities, as research studies have associated extra risk of stress with growing up in an urban area. These studies reveal that stress vulnerability of the brain alters with age; so for kids living in the city, early exposure to stressful events can have some serious repercussions on mental health even in adulthood. Also Read: The Simplest and Easiest Way to Deal With An Anxiety Attack

Stressed at work is not a good thing

Today more and more Indians choose to chase high profile jobs, material possessions and a social media-worthy lifestyle. But it seems like all of these perks come at a cost; and what we may be paying with could be our mental health, even our sanity. But it’s not all a hopeless case. Learn to slow down, cut down on too much activity, meditate daily ( even for 5 min) and be mindful of your activities. And if nothing else, seek counselling to combat the feelings of depression and sadness. You are not alone in your journey, so reach out.  Also Read: Sunday Night Syndrome Is A Very Real Cause of Anxiety for Many

Here is a super interesting video about how social media is changing your brain:

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Health & Fitness

Lentil and Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie

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DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and lightly oil a 9-x-13-inch baking dish.

In a 2-quart pot, bring the vegetable stock and lentils to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and cook until the lentils are tender but not falling apart, about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain the lentils and reserve the stock. Measure the stock and add water, if needed, to make a 1/2 cup.

While the lentils are cooking, place the parsnips in a second large pot and cover with water by an inch. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and cook until the parsnips are tender when pierced, about 10 minutes. Drain, then place the parsnips in a food processor. Purée until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the nondairy milk, 1 tablespoon avocado oil, and 1 teaspoon salt, and purée to mix.

In a large skillet, warm the remaining avocado oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until it begins to sizzle, about two minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, and add the mushrooms, carrots, and remaining salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are shrunken and browned and other veggies are tender, about 15 minutes.

Add the thyme, sage, pepper, flour, and tomato paste. Stir until combined, then add the reserved stock from the lentils and bring to a low boil. Cook for about two minutes, then turn off the heat. Stir in the peas and cooked lentils, then scrape the mixture into the baking dish and smooth the top.

Spread the parsnip purée over the lentil mixture. Sprinkle with the paprika.

Bake until lightly browned and bubbling, about 35 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

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