No more blue days


Hectic schedule, balancing work and family, meetings, traffic jams, financial problems, frequent bandhs, political instability, work dead lines — all add up to the problem people are facing — stress.

The world is changing by the day, and so are the things around us. To be able to meet the expectations and challenges, one has to be ready to face any obstacle. One has to manage time efficiently and be alert mentally and physically at all times, and this of course causes stress. Stress is the discomfort that our body faces while trying to adjust to the continually changing environment.

Clinical psychologist Bharat Bikram Thapa says, “The process of adjusting to new surroundings and living up to expectations have both physical and emotional effects on us which creates stress. But stress is not always bad as we assume. It has both negative and positive influences. Positive influence helps one to be more alert, aware and gives new perspective, which compels one to work and enjoy. Negative stress can cause tension, anxiety, discomfort, depression, insomnia and other health problems like high blood pressure and heart disease. Negative stress is a danger to body and mind.”

Life’s problems, deadlines, competition, confrontation, frustration, failures, sorrow, losing our loved ones creates stress in our life. Stress is a part of our life. We cannot avoid it, but the least we do is face it, manage it and use it to motivate us instead of letting it defeat us.

Thapa explains, “Techniques of coping with stress vary from person to person according to one’s perception, experience and self-esteem. A person with a hostile nature and low self-esteem is more stressed.”

It depends on the individual choice whether to fight or flee from the situation.

Fun ways to bust it:

• Focus on your strengths.

• Always remember stress is a choice. You choose to be happy, sad, relaxed or stressed out. You can either enjoy the load shedding by spending some quality time with your family in the evening or grumble the entire time.

• Tune in to your favourite sitcom or rent a funny movie. Read funny jokes or share it over the phone with your friend. You’ll find stress melting away as humour is one of the best therapies.

• Use your imagination. Think of your dream destination that will take your mind off stress.

• Smell the roses once in a while. Nature is the best healer. Take a walk or watch the sun set. It will do wonders to your mood.

• Take up hobbies be it gardening, painting, pottery or dancing... anything that you enjoy.

• Go get new haircut, or just go window shopping, or if you feel rich enough to a spa. Pampering yourself always helps.

• Put on your favourite music and dance your blues away.

Tackling stress:

• Avoiding and ignoring the problem is not the answer. First you should be aware of the event/thing/person that stresses you out. Be aware of your emotional and physical reaction towards stress. This will prepare you to face it.

• Try making changes by taking a break from the situation. Devoting time and energy to make changes like in goal setting and time management might be helpful.

• Reduce the intensity of emotional reactions towards things. If you overreact or view things as critical and urgent, try calming down. Adopt a moderate view; try to handle stress as something you can handle rather than something that overpowers you.

• Build physical reserve by exercising and maintaining a healthy life style.

• Develop supportive relationships. Try perusing realistic goals that are meaningful and important to you.