Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

Stress

Jigyasa JAIN responds to ThinkWellness360 questionnaire:

Your view on beauty?

Beauty, for me, is being unapologetically ‘me.’ While wearing a subtle, unobtrusive make-up wouldn’t hurt anybody, the most beautiful thing you’d ‘wear’ 24×7 is confidence. Confidence gives you the ability to feel good without needing someone to tell you. It is, likewise, just as important to view oneself in flattering ‘light,’ come what may. It is, therefore, up to you to put your best foot forward, in style, without being too intrusive. If you have a scar, you may look at it as a flaw, or simply share a story of how you overcame that glitch. Wear your attitude, with confidence. Be it shimmer, or scar, just do it your way — as Frank Sinatra crooned in his sonorous baritone.

Your ‘take’ on fitness?

Fitness, for me, is part of life, an indispensable element. It should be flexible to align with whatever changes happen on the outside. Agreed, that, you cannot always be motivated — the best thing you’d do is stick to a plan and, most importantly, embrace discipline. To highlight my own paradigm: I’ve lost 40kg, primarily because I’ve been working out for over ten years. The next best thing that I’ve followed is my eating regime. I’ve been rigid, yet I’ve not gone overboard with it. I’ve achieved the right balance.

Crash diets and crash fitness regimens don’t help anyone; they are deleterious, also dangerous. So, if you really want to make a difference, think of a long-term Investment with incremental improvement every day. This holds the key to optimal health and wellness. This is simply because ‘easy-come’ is ‘easy-go.’ Most crash diets and crash fitness regimes have nothing but a crushing effect on your body. My axiom: do not associate your fitness goals to getting fit for an event, or for someone, or a certain time frame, or looking ‘fit’ in a certain way. The idea is to do something as simple as a brisk walk for 30 minutes, but doing it every day. Fitness is a commitment that you give yourself when no one is watching.

Your view of health and wellness?

Health, for me, is the ultimate goal with wellness being the active progression of achieving that objective. While we cannot always choose our state of health, we are all endowed with a conscious choice to make active decisions towards wellness. Wellness is multidimensional and holistic; it encompasses lifestyle, mental, financial and spiritual well-being, and the environment. It amazes me how wellness is under our control — all it calls for is making the right choices. In other words, intelligent lifestyle choices. Add to this, sound health knowledge and healthful attitudes, on a daily basis, and it reduces the song of one’s burden — stress, anxiety, and depression, among others.

Your ‘take’ on work-life balance?

I think work-life balance is a myth. It is all about prioritising and making appropriate choices. Well, there is no need to feel overwhelmed if you have put in extra hours at work because it is contributing to your career growth and, at the same time, not to feel guilty if you take some time off for self-care. You need to pamper yourself just a little bit. It helps, right? It is a common belief that prioritising something means taking it away from something else. That there’s a cost. It may be true in certain instances, but this is not really the case when it comes to pragmatic self-care.

Self-care is not a ‘zero-sum’ game: If you choose to go to the gym, instead of working for an hour, you’ve chosen to do something at the expense of the other. And, so, you may believe that ‘zero-sum’ applies here. This isn’t true. Remember: the next one hour you may be better equipped to solving that big work problem.

Your mantra to beat stress?

The first thing, as I always emphasise, is to recognise that stress isn’t going anywhere; it will always be there, and it is our reaction to stress that is actually stressful. So, de-stress to the best extent possible, without sweating the small stuff. Just go and figure it out with —

Mindfulness. This is essentially a practice of accepting things and people around you. It helps you to become a keen observer of things, situations and people and less judgmental. You will slowly develop a mindful connect with the joys of life. Remember, it is important to know what makes you happy and be mindful of such moments and turn joy into gratitude. This leads a positive feedback loop in your brain. Science suggests that being grateful directly activates certain parts of the brain that produce dopamine and serotonin, the ‘mood and happiness’ chemicals. This is also part of our body’s reward-motivation cycle [Well, it is just the scientist in me ‘speaking’ in purple prose].

Be Positive. Stress is positive reinforcement. I use a simple 3-step process, or formula, to beating stress, viz.,

  1. See it. Accept, or change. Ignoring doesn’t help
  2. Own it. Connect stress to your goals. Owning stress helps you channel it and direct your energy towards achieving your goals, or overcoming most challenges
  3. Use it. Choose your mind-set. I use this to my advantage and take pressures as a privilege. I also try and look realistically at the big, larger picture.
JIGYASA JAIN, BPharm, MPharm, MBA, is an E-commerce marketing manager with Reliance Retail. She started her career as a research scientist and has worked primarily in sales, especially in the pharma domain, aside from marketing and strategy in diverse sectors, viz., nutraceuticals, petrochemicals, textiles, fashion and lifestyle. She is a fitness enthusiast and chai lover with a penchant for creating innovative healthy recipes too. She lives in Mumbai.

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