Have you heard of social media detox? Now and then, you would have heard of celebrities quitting social media or taking a break from it for their mental well-being? They often go for a social media detox to escape trolling and harassment which creates emotional exhaustion, which in turn leads them into a stress cycle.

Mental stress leads to physical stress responses, which increase overall stress and, eventually, one finds oneself caught in a vicious cycle. This can negatively impact performance and confidence at work. For example, due to stress, you may find it difficult to concentrate on a project, which demands deep engagement.

What is the stress cycle?

In today’s fast-paced world, people of all age groups are affected by stress. A stress cycle is a chain of reactions that makes it difficult to focus on anything. It creates mental blocks and blurs your rational thought process.

How the stress chain builds up

There’s always a trigger such as rumors of impending layoffs in your company. This could lead to a feeling of uncertainty and strain. Your body and senses will perceive a threat, sending signals to your brain message that something is amiss. Eventually, the fight-or-flight response is stimulated.

Then you start internalizing the stress, and negative emotions escalate. At this stage, often people resort to maladaptive coping mechanisms such as smoking, drinking, drug consumption, or overeating. But such behavior only worsens the problems.

Breaking the stress cycle

You can get out of the stress cycle and feel at peace only by completing it. Everyone has to devise their ways of completing the stress cycle and letting their minds and bodies know that things are back to normal.

Completing the stress cycle is an ongoing process, which can be done one step at a time.

  • Identify the triggers of your stress
  • Find out the ways to escape from these triggers
  • Inculcate a positive attitude
  • Practice relaxation techniques

Follow your passion: Doctors and researchers vouch for the effectiveness of physical activity in breaking the stress cycle. According to them, physical fitness increases our well-being and boosts energy levels. It is also important to maintain a routine that consists of the things you love doing. Understand your stress cycle to find solutions that give great results.

Celebrity Oprah Winfrey has a busy schedule, but then she has some ‘me-time’ every morning. Every day, she wakes up around 6 am, takes her dogs for a walk, has coffee, works out in the gym, and meditates.

Beginning your day with mindful and refreshing activities can go a long way in helping you. Music can also help reduce stress and make you feel relaxed.

Train yourself to be stress-resilient: Research shows that when you are stressed, the brain releases harmful chemicals such as cortisol. So to bounce back, the first thing is to train your brain to be stress-resilient.

Raman is the CEO of a stock market firm and his job is highly stressful. Thankfully, he is mindful of this and even educates his team about the effects of stress and how to overcome it He organizes various programs and modules to combat the effects of stress. No wonder he is much loved and respected by his staff and the retention rate is high at his firm.

Here are some changes or actions that will help you be stress-resilient.

  • Mindfulness
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Lifestyle modifications
  • Wholesome eating
  • Exercise
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Sharing and communication
  • Support groups


The key to breaking the stress cycle is to regulate yourself and be prepared for the pressure.  Harappa’s Practicing Excellence course prepares you for the workplace and instills confidence to help cope with stressful situations. As you learn about the Four Selfs of Excellence, you will be able to put your best foot forward, not only at work but also in life.

Explore blogs on topics such as stress management, how to reduce stress, how to handle stress at work, and relaxation techniques in our Harappa Diaries section to learn how to lead a stress-free life.

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