Not just lifestyle, govt policies can also stress out common man

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Stress and wellness are not just lifestyle issues of the wealthy, but a health concern determined by government policies as well, said Shashi Tharoor at the Radiant Wellness Conclave in the city on Saturday. Unemployment being one of the biggest stress factors, the growing wellness industry, which includes the homegrown Ayurveda, can be seen as a sustainable job creator providing a socio-economic solution to the problem.

“Wellness industry in the country is the sunrise sector today,” said Tharoor, who stressed the idea of tapping into health tourism globally. For people here, however, the industry has to innovate to make products cheap and accessible to the man on the street, said the senior Congress leader and Lok Sabha MP. Expanding the idea of wellness to include the responsibilities of governments he said, “The state’s role is in making policies that ensure access to health insurance schemes and affordability of healthcare,” said Tharoor, adding that he believes demonetisation was an unnecessary disruption that heightened stress levels.

The one-day conclave, which looked at different aspects of wellness like that of the body, mind, financial, spiritual and emotional, also featured speakers such as Thyrocare founder Dr A Velumani, TV journalist Rajdeep Sardesai and ad filmmaker Prahlad Kakkar. Moderating a panel discussion on good and bad stress, Kakkar said, “Though the word stress became fashionable about a decade ago, early man had also experienced it — be it when rummaging for food or while trying to protect themselves from animals,” said Kakkar, pointing out that it was only now that people were feeling too overwhelmed by it. “Stress has got to us because we have lost our capacity to laugh at ourselves and move on in life,” he said.
 Speaking about the concept of good stress, experts like Dr K Ravindranath, MD of Global Hospitals, said stress in short bursts was good as it helped people perform better and made them stronger mentally and emotionally. But prolonged exposure to intense situations could launch a person into the vicious circle of anxiety, sleeplessness, binge eating, and in extreme situations cause mental health issues. “It is how we cope that matters,” said Dr Ravindranath.