8 Ways To Beat Stress


Words: Dr Rajgopal NIDAMBOOR

Stress is a given. So, also our ability to deal with stress. This is because we have a large reservoir of techniques and the like to handle stress. But — how well do we all know that there are as many stress relief measures as there are stressors in life.

However, if you ever thought that effective stress management came with a big value ticket to ride, you ought to think again.

We are sure prone to relate to stress management as a way of dealing with the problem of stress and its outcome on us. Not just physically, but also mentally.

Stress can certainly cause a host of adverse effects on our system, and lead to health problems.

One common mode of stress management anyone could think of is, therefore, predictable — enchanting vacations on exotic locations, lengthy massage sessions, a Caribbean cruise and/or curtailed work schedules.

Sure, all these and more are useful techniques when it comes to handling stress. But, do you know that some of the most powerful stress management drills involve only plain self-reflection? Or, giving thought to one’s inner self — and, embracing the vitality of life and being itself?

Here’s more — if you don’t have such a process, or processes, in your stress management briefcase. You’d use them, with good effect, to get over your stresses — in the best manner possible:

  1. Understand your limitations. We are not movie stars or celebrities who emote only one side of our glossy face to the world. If you think you are a hero, the thought will shake up your life. In other words, you will not be able to cope with stress when there is one. Remember — it is only when you are open, and awaken the humanity in you, including the flaws that come with it, will you not only be able to create an inner setting of harmony, healing and buoyancy, but also manage stresses in life well.
  2. Stick to core values. All of us have our own core values — big, or small — which uplifts our life and destiny. When we abandon our core values, even if it’s just one among the many we value, we feel out of tune with ourselves. This is how they work. In the event you do not have your own set of core values, or are trying to assemble them, or not too sure what to have in them, there is no need to lose sleep.
  3. Just sit in a comfortable place, think deeply, or brainstorm yourself. Next, try to create a list and stick it in a prominent place which you can see all the time. We all need values — when we don’t think of values, or do not value them, we feel ill-at-ease with ourselves. This also means that some of the most common stress relief techniques might not help us. If you value understanding, or empathy, you will be able to relax. Likewise, if you value family dinner time, but miss it often, you should not be under the illusion that a few sessions of yoga would bring the ‘lost’ balance back to your being. It doesn’t. So, keep your eye on the equation of harmonious living — you will be much better off with it.
  4. Stick to the basics. When you get too entrenched in the nitty-gritty of your professional career, you do not listen to your natural instincts. You forget your own primitive needs, or feelings. There is a way. Take a few minutes off from your chores, everyday, and just immerse yourself in meditation. Or, take a series of deep breaths while imagining the warmness pervading your heart, mind, and spirit. Or, you’d do something which your grandma often did. Tell a story to your child. Or, go for a jog in the park, or walkway. Or, listen to soulful music with your headphones — and, make music a truly personal, elevating experience. This can sure help you connect to your inner self.
  5. Think differently. Do not always think with a straight-line approach to dealing with stress. For example, if you feel or find you have a problem at work, you would do well to indulge in self-talk. This could help you to change your attitude, and ease your uncertainties. Or, if, for some reason, you feel awfully stressed out, just allow your creative juices to flow. Once you do this, you will be able to formulate an inventive solution to your problems as you take your customary forty winks. Result? You will be amazed with your own hidden, inner capabilities.
  6. Laugh. Yes. Because, laughter is the best medicine. Laughing your heart out has deep therapeutic effects — it is said to be even better than exercise. Laughing helps release just as much endorphins, the feel-good hormone, as does exercise.
  7. Do away with schedules and planned holidays. Stress management does not ask for a planned, expensive, or momentary trip to an idyllic location. It calls for some of the most simple, inexpensive, and abundant pleasures of life — like spending quality time alone, or with your family.
  8. Don’t heed to peer pressure. Peer pressure is not restricted to the playing arena — or, the cricket ground, when you were in school. So, remember — that what works for your colleagues may not work for you, but, there is a good chance for agreement. What does this signify? That you should stand firm against the impulse to be conventional. Also, you should aim to craft your own professional self and style. Remember too that conformity is ‘suicide’ — because, trying to do and act as others desire will only generate more stress.

This is not all. There are many other understated stress-busting techniques available without a price tag. All you’ll need to do is to find out the one, or a set of techniques, that have it in them to help you manage your stress — effectively.

Most important — just practice them as and when needed, or as and when you can.

You will be happy with the rewards they bring you — all of them at no cost.

Dr RAJGOPAL NIDAMBOOR, PhD, is a wellness physician-writer-editor, independent researcher, critic, columnist, author and publisher. His published work includes hundreds of newspaper, magazine, web articles, essays, meditations, columns, and critiques on a host of subjects, eight books on natural health, two coffee table tomes and an encyclopaedic treatise on Indian philosophy. He is Chief Wellness Officer, Docco360 — a mobile health application/platform connecting patients with Ayurveda, homeopathic and Unani physicians, and nutrition therapists, among others, from the comfort of their home — and, Editor-in-Chief, ThinkWellness360. 

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