In line with its commitment to give attention to mental health, the Department of Health has introduced 12 steps in managing “stress”as it observed World Mental Health Day.

From the agency's social media account, it said the 12S will be comprised of physical, social and mental ways to cope with stress.

As defined by the Stress Management Society, stress is primarily a physical response. When stressed, the body thinks it is under attack and switches to fight or flight model. The SMS further noted that having stress is not necessarily a bad thing, as it can also be a 'boost' of energy that allows a person to complete an activity. However, when the 'fight or flight' keeps going consistently, it could have negative effects on the body.

Under the DOH's 12S, emphasis is placed on 'Stretching,' as physically, it helps the body loosen muscles, lubricate joints and increase the body's oxygen supply. Meanwhile, engaging in 'Sports' keeps the body active, not only reaping physical benefits but is likewise good for socialization. The Health department added that a stressed individual can take 'Sensation techniques' or have massages.

Taking downtimes or 'Siestas' a short time, or break to 'recharge' and improve productivity thereafter.

'Socials' and 'Smile' both help in nurturing social health as the former helps with the "ability to deal with other people," while the latter "calms you down."

'Spirituality', meanwhile, is more attuned to personal well-being, as well as listening to 'Sounds and songs' and getting tasks organized or 'Scheduling' helps minimize stress.

'Stress debriefing' is one way of specifically managing stress. This means submitting to a brief crisis intervention in reaction to a critical incident.To 'Speak' is when one talks to someone when they feel overwhelmed or unable to deal with stress in their own. According to the DOH, 'venting' can help you unload unwanted feelings.' 

The last of the 12S is 'Self Awareness,' where the individual develops a habit of paying attention to one's self expression of thought, emotions and behaviour.

The Health department noted that the more attuned a person is to themselves, the more capable they are in adapting to life changes. MIMS

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