Dangers of our urban living
During the early 90s, the term urban was limited to a small radius in the city of Dhaka. Fast forward 30 years, and the term "urban" has spread as far as the horizon of the ever-growing mega city. As the new era preceded its adverse effects with full force, the urbanites adapted accordingly. From carrying briefcases while donning baggy trousers to carrying a backpack with slim-fit jeans, a lot has changed if you look at the era with a microscope.
Such gargantuan change over the decades took our lives on the fast lane and changed them along with some effects which were not noticeable for the time being. Now, the demography of age 23 to 45 can be seen on the streets zooming past each other with no time to leave a breath behind.
If a toddler grows up in an urban lifestyle till the day of his/her mid-twenties, chances are that the individual has suffered from 'overload.'
People with an urban lifestyle experience an increased level of stimulus. Such as the high intensity of inputs from the density of buildings, crowds, noise, smells from thousands of sources, sights, disarray, pollution, lights and other sources. Every cog in the machine of the Mega City life is deliberately designed to assert meanings and messages to you whether you like it or not. Constant exposure to such stimuli triggers actions and thoughts on a latent level of awareness, and as a result, our inability to cope becomes more and more apparent.
In such a situation, the effect of overload leads to increasing the body's baseline levels of anxiety, stress, arousal, and preparedness. It also drives people to seek relief or detachment: in quiet, private spaces; if such behaviour persists, this urge may evolve into social isolation due to depression and anxiety.
Urbanites who live in the city usually have limited access to the factors that work for good mental health than those in rural areas. With diminished access to nature, city folks have fewer chances to make exercise part of their daily routines. The 'down time' also reduces as more time, focus and energy are spent at work and commuting around the city. With such a gruelling daily schedule, it is only natural for urbanites to find themselves feeling inadequate, unsafe, not grounded, and having less sleep.
Along with Dhaka, these urban symptoms are also seen in megacities like Tokyo, Japan. It is followed by Delhi, India and Shanghai, China. So, how can one cope with the fast life?
First thing first, start to take things slow. Allocating time for yourself is crucial to improve one's cognitive state. Contrary to popular belief, "me time" is a healthy way to deal with one's anxiety and stress. Healthy solitude can become the answer to decompressing if proper time is allowed. Such as taking oneself to a cup of coffee or enjoying retail therapy every once in a while. Appreciating one's existence is the first step to dealing with toxic thoughts head-on and being in the present.
Take mandatory breaks and go out of the city for at least 24 hours. Anywhere which has full of greenery is good enough to calm your nerves. Various pieces of research indicate that cognitive and mental health benefits from spending in nature. One can benefit from improved mood and emotional well-being by visiting one's village, Sreemangal, Kaptai, Rangamati, and Khagrachairi, and other tourist destinations.
Benefits of spending time in nature include —
Increased levels of endorphin and dopamine production (promotes happiness).
Capacity for concentration and attention can be restored.
Signs of anxiety and depression can recede.
Low levels of irritability.
Blood pressure and cortisol (stress hormone) can be reduced.
Reduced feelings of isolation.
Reaping the full benefits of spending time in nature —
Make sure the place you choose is where you feel safe and calm. Spending time in nature has proven to be the only stress antidote given you are able to relax and embrace the experience properly.
To reap the fruits of being in nature, try your best to be present by detoxing yourself from the digital world. Listen to the sounds around you while taking deep breaths and pauses.
Taking a walk in the woods can prove to be quite helpful against stress, try moving your workout outdoors. You can reduce the risk of mental health problems by up to 50 percent when exercise is performed regularly close to nature.