Saturday, May 22, 2021

#Stress Busters To Keep You Cool

What better time than this one to talk about stress?Stress is good and stress is bad.It motivates you to work harder and faster but it can also bug you to death.It is not difficult to pinpoint the stress which is helpful or the one which is killing you but ousting the pernicious kind from your life is sometimes hard.
It has been categorized by various experts into three classes:Acute,Episodic Acute and Chronic.Another way of categorizing it would be as Physical,Mental and Emotional.All three require different kinds of stress-busters.Relief is faster if you match the remedy with the malady.
Physical Stress
Physical stress assails us when we work too hard for too long or there is a looming deadline in front of us.Conquering it is the easiest of all.Here are some tips:
*Cut down your to-do list and prioritize that which is most important.
*Break down a complex task into smaller,more manageable parts and tackle each one systematically.
*Do one thing at a time,shun multitasking. 
*Intersperse hard labor with small breaks.
*Do a couple of stretching exercises to relax taut muscles,or take a small walk to infuse mobility in stiff limbs.
*Drink a glass of water-it is very refreshing and we often ignore it in a frenzy to finish our tasks.
*A cup of tea or coffee too,helps to relax.
*Close your eyes and lie down for a while if the setting allows.
Mental Stress
We experience mental stress when we face a problem which is more challenging than our usual workload.This also happens if the goal is not clear or one has to choose between two or more,difficult options.Sometimes,other things being right;inadequate paraphernalia jumps in to spoil the broth.

*If a problem is mind boggling or beyond your purview,seek help from someone who you think,knows more about it.In this way you can save your time and energy as well as eliminate stress.       
*If you would rather do it on your own then take a break and relax for a while.Do something which never fails to calm you.This will allow your churning mind to stabilize and your thoughts will become clearer.
*If time is not a constraint then sleeping over a tough problem often provides the correct solution.As we sleep,our brain continues to work over what had been foxing us and the next day a probable solution pops up,as if dispatched by a kind fairy.I have often experienced this magic-it works.

Emotional Stress
Emotional stress can come from any source:tragedies,difficult relationships,contrary circumstances,a sudden loss,past memories, or worries of the future.It is certainly the most agonizing of all and the most difficult to boot out too.The mind returns to that painful,irritating,humiliating incident or worry again and again.Such triggers cannot be avoided but what you can do is,build a firewall around your heart. 
*Take life easy,don't fret about every aberration or altercation.
*Vent it out.Talk about your problem with those who care for you-or to a professional.
*If not this,then write down your feelings in a journal.
*Exercise,Tai chi,breathing exercises or meditation-all these are great stress busters.
*Sitting in the lap of nature is calming,it will enable you to think things out coolly.
*The best way to divert your mind from agonizing thoughts is to pick up something to do.When you focus on the work in hand your thinking will automatically peruse a new channel.Do it-it is very effective.
*I have found that the best way to forget a worry is to work on an extreme sudoku.I forget everything else when I do this.
*Taking up a strenuous work like gardening,car washing or de-cluttering is also helpful.Such labor consumes the surging adrenaline and cortisol leaving you calmer

Whatever you do to de-stress yourself,don't start any kind of substance abuse,it gives only momentary respite and is harmful in the long run.The thumb rule is to adopt a positive attitude,be grateful for what you have and look at the broader picture.The pits and troughs will automatically look smaller.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Reality,Denial and Positivity

Yesterday my husband and I got talking about his health.I had been pestering him to get his blood sugar tested but he had been stalling it since many months.Finally when he did get it done he tested positive for Diabetes.He is a very observant person and notices the slightest aberration in his health or the various systems controlling it. He must have noticed that his hunger pangs were increasing by the day just as I did but he brushed off the thought that he was probably Diabetic.What might have been a minor ailment had now come out in full force.

When I chided him for having been in denial for so long he replied that it was also important to negate disturbing thoughts.So the discussion veered to reality versus Positivity.Positivity is no doubt very beneficial but it is also necessary to give serious thought to the various aspects of a negative thought which disturbs your equilibrium:

  • Like why does it assail you so often?
  • Since how long has this continued?
  • Is it grounded in reality?
  • And what could transpire if it was true and you continued to ignore it?
Denying the possibility of a disturbing feeling having a genuine cause sometimes blows up into a bigger trouble just as it did in my husband's case.The next time you are disturbed by a worrisome thought consider the following:

  • Is it one of your habitual forebodings?
  • Could it be the signal of a pernicious worm turning it's head?Something going wrong?
  • Can things worsen if you continue to neglect it?
  • What are the pros and cons of checking it's veracity?
If your introspection affirms that this negative thought is only because of your tendency to envisage doleful developments and ignoring it will not harm you in any way,you can rest easy and get on with your life.But if this is not the case then you would have attained a safe margin to take prophylactic action against a looming trouble.Both ways,you win.

It is safer to be realistic instead of burying your head in sand in the name of positivity. A brief perusal of recent developments,current circumstances and upcoming events often discloses what could be the cause of your anxiety.Evaluating that element  and deciding your course of action is the best way of coping with it.

Positivity has it's own uses.It inspires hope and surges confidence.You are motivated to fight on and do the best you can.But ignoring reality and postponing a frank look at an imminent danger in the name of positivity does not work.It only worsens the prospects of early resolution. Suppressed thoughts tend to pop up again and again. Positivity gives only temporary respite.

Reality has an inherent force.It will push itself into your life whether you like it or not. Analyzing your thoughts and taking prompt action to safeguard you health and happiness is the best way to be positive. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

The Golden Mean

We all wish that others should admire us,hold us in high esteem.An upright, likable image is conducive to success and happiness too.But which are the attributes that can help us attain such an image?A clear cut picture in our minds of the things to be done and those to be avoided will surely make things easier.

Great thinkers and philosophers of many religions have advocated the adoption of a golden mean to lead a happy and successful life.In other words avoiding extremes of any kind is the best way to be.

At every step in life we are required to pick options.Other than the common place choices there are some issues which require well thought out decisions.These decisions determine  our personality as well as the course of our lives.

Take the question of Achievement,of chasing tall targets, surpassing everybody on the radar.Work yourself to the bone,shelve rest,obviate all kinds of  diversions and you may one day find that you are so alone at the pinnacle.All that labor has not given you the desired results.

On the other hand,take life easy,go with the flow,avoid challenging tasks and you will one day realize that you have stagnated and not made enough use of your talents and abilities.

Swimming with the tide is easy and comfortable while pushing against the current can be exhausting.But what of the euphoria you feel when you have conquered an opposing force and reached your desired destination?

Making such choices should follow a deep analysis of one's needs and abilities,plus the tendency to avoid extremes.

Take the case of Amiability.Everybody wants to be loved and accepted by others. Close,loving relationships make life livable.In order to sustain them we sometimes give in to unreasonable demands or allow others to encroach upon our territory.But if we make it a habit to give in in order to be liked and accepted,we could end up being trodden all over.  

On the other hand if we religiously nullify others'attempts to dominate us we are likely to be labeled as unfriendly and uncooperative.

Dwelling at any end of the spectrum will besmirch our personality.The golden mean is the best choice.

Forgiveness is another tendency which requires careful thought.Whenever we are deceived by any one a natural reaction is to give tit for tat or plan revenge.But as Gautam Buddha said:When you hold a burning coal in your hand to throw it on someone it is you who get hurt.

Fine,but whom,how often,and for which kind of wrong to forgive?This is a nebulous zone.Going for full throttle vengeance makes us a negative person while forgiving unthinkingly can attract further invasions.Neither extreme is desirable.

Courage is another quality which should not be taken to the extreme.Too much of it will make us foolhardy and too little shall label us as being a coward.

Related to this is the matter of  Self-confidence,neither extreme of which is desirable.

Come to think of it:an extreme of any kind is counter-productive.A sense of balance in our endeavors as well as our reactions will give best results.