Stressed out?? – Time to kick the stress, out!!

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Business Mantra : Faridabad

Dr. Ashwani Kumar may be contacted at 09820498117 & ashwani@santulaneap.com

At the risk of seeming repetitive and clichéd, let’s take a few seconds out of our crazy schedules and do a small stress test for ourselves. Given below are five statements, the options to which may be always, sometimes or never. Here we go…

  • I feel exhausted to the point that even getting through my routine seems unbearable.
  • I worry over insignificant things.
  • I am extremely anxious about getting things done.
  • I find that my fists are tightly closed, jaws clenched or just a general tension in my muscles especially neck and shoulders.
  • I am overcome with physical ailments like stomach upsets, headaches, skin rashes and so on.

If you checked the “always” option for one or more questions, the stress is probably getting to you. And now it’s time to kick it goodbye! This article will equip you to combat stress at least at a primary level.

Let’s think of a wonderful analogy that has been doing the rounds on social networks or through text forwards. A lecturer, while speaking at a conference about managing stress, raised a glass of water and asked the audience how heavy the glass was. The audience, not knowing the actual answer, gave out a wide variety of answers. When people gave up, the lecturer simply mentioned “The absolute weight of the glass doesn’t matter. What matters is how long we hold it. A minute is not a problem; an hour and I’ll probably have an ache in the muscles of my hand; a day and I’ll have a serious problem. So you see, it’s the same weight but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes and the harder it gets to sustain.” (Source not known)

Let’s replace that glass of water with our daily frustrations and stress and it all adds up. Let’s remember to keep the glass down from time to time. How you ask? Here’s how:

  • Take a walk: Just walk it out. As simple and silly as it may sound, it is extremely effective. If possible make it a walk through the park or any place you can actually see some green, it’s proven to relax the eyes.
  • Happy place: Think of a happy place for yourself. It can be real or imaginary. Just make sure you can picture the details vividly. Thinking of a happy place can help calm you down.
  • Breathe: In the perpetual rat race, we often forget to do the simplest thing – breathe. This is not just some crazy abstract psychological concept. There’s a plain scientific explanation as to why it works – breathing helps us acquire oxygen which in turn increases the blood supply to the brain, thereby clearing out the unnecessary clutter in our minds.
  • Take a nap: Stress is our body’s way of telling us that it can’t take any more. Sleep revitalizes our bodily functions.
  • Cut the junk: Junk food or rather “comfort food” as it is often called (quite wrongly though), only makes things worse. The delicious French-fries you just had, have most probably slowed down your body metabolism which in turn is likely to reduce your buffer against fighting stress. (Let’s not even get started on the weight-guilt equation!!)
  • Have some fun: Take some time out to do what you like. Play with your dog, do the crazy moves to your favorite beats, paint, go swimming with your kid!! Anything at all!!
  • Stop and go: The moment you realize the situation is overwhelming you, just tell yourself “Stop!” No more getting involved in the stressful situation. Go away from the situation whenever possible. Step away from the desk and just take a breather for a while. The world will not end in 5 minutes.
  • Get organized: Many a times most of us feel so overwhelmed by the queued tasks ahead of us, we give up even before we begin. All you need is a plan. Prioritize, clear off that clutter on your desk, organize the random icons on your computer screen. These may seem like small things but they have a cumulative effect on our frame of mind.
  • Toss the electronics out: Well not literally. But get off Facebook and Twitter and Linkedin and Whatsapp for a while. Look up from your phones!! Try to connect with real people rather than virtual contacts. Think of it like this – if these real people get on your nerves then you can “poke” them in reality and they will actually feel it!!!!
  • Look at the bigger picture: Sometimes stress can be good because it helps you perform better. You decide whether it is or it isn’t. If it isn’t then it’s time to take some action.

Stress is not a psychiatric disorder in itself but it may be the key precipitating component for a variety of mental health conditions. If at any point you feel like your stress levels have gone beyond the primary levels then it is recommended that a mental health practitioner’s opinion is sought and a customized approach is followed to tailor individual needs.

Just remember, wear a smile, because if nothing more, it at least makes you look great and feel great.

Author may be reached at info@businessmantranews.com

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