Stress is so ingrained in our life today. It is a lifestyle disease experienced by almost all. If not addressed properly it can have quite adverse bodily and mental manifestations.
How does one deal with stress? Reminds me of the famous quote – ‘life is not what happens to you, but how you deal with what happens to you.’ So, stress has a different connotation for different people and the way of dealing with is also varies from person to person. The threshold of stress is not the same for all. For some, minor irritants or disturbances can disrupt their mental equilibrium causing a lot of stress. For others, it could be really difficult circumstances/events which can trigger stress.
One should keep the following key factors in mind to counter any stressful situation
- Definition of stress – something upsetting doesn’t always mean it is stressful. Trying to focus on the reason behind the actual cause can help one identify actual stress.
- Nature of stress – whether temporary or permanent depends on the perception of the problem. Does the problem look short term or long term? No stress can ever be permanent. If it is short term, one can deal with it either immediately or knowing that it is short-lived, one can rationalize about it by accepting its temporary nature. Long term stress needs more attention. Breaking it into parts and working on each segment at a time can be very effective in eliminating this kind of stress.
- Mental/behavioural modification – identification of stress inducing triggers help us understand to what extent we get affected. Modifying our thinking and behaviour by practising to either accept or filter out the stress triggers, can be formed into a habit over a period of time. The triggers that once caused stress may not do so to the same degree any longer.
- Minimising stress – it is completely up to us, how to magnify our positives and minimize our negatives. Doing more of what one enjoys against staying away from anything unpleasant is one way of reducing stress in one’s lives. Again, some stresses are inevitable like stress related to work pressures. Such stress should be balanced by spending the non-working hours to the utmost potential by indulging in happy activities. The list can be inexhaustive – ranging from reading your favourite book or listening to your choicest music, to spending time with one’s favourite people – family/friends. All extremely therapeutic.
There are so many innovative ways of dealing with stress in today’s times. Two recent ones have left me intrigued: Many working women in China are joining programmes to experience life of a Buddhist monk – to de-stress themselves from high pressure jobs. They lead a monk’s life to counter stress. They make lifestyle changes for a stipulated time period which incorporate a monk’s daily regime including listening to preaching, chanting and meditating. It works wonders and makes them stress free.
Another very intriguing fact at Mumbai international airport is the availability of furry friends – Labradors to help thousands of passengers who are bogged down by the stress of travel and the baggage of pent-up emotions and feelings. These are therapy dogs trained to offer comfort and relief to those in need of it.
Necessity is the mother of invention. While stress cannot be avoided there are innumerable ways of dealing with it. All I would like to press is address your stress – Just let lose your tress and let go of your stress…