Express To Relax

Words: Dr Rajgopal NIDAMBOOR

Stress is nothing short of an omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent element. It runs in our veins, our mind, and also our physiology. It does not matter whether you are a genius, average, or whatever. Stress transcends us all — although the ‘stress’ that you have, or apprehend the most, may be different from your friend’s stress portrait. This is why stress is sometimes referred to as an ‘equal potential destroyer.’

Ironically, stress encompasses change, or transformation, too. It makes, or breaks, our nerves, or resolve — or, it takes us sooner to our winning goals, or dreams. It depends upon how you ‘channel’ its effects — when you use stress to your advantage you surmount obstacles. When you don’t, stress becomes a perilous entity. Stress has been a part of our existence, right from the dawn of civilisation — a spoke in the wheel of time and our way of life.

It is, indeed, a quirk of fate that most of us seem to have a love-hate relationship with stress — we either achieve balance, or we throw in the towel in the wake of a stressful situation, even when it is trivial, not life-threatening. When we achieve control over stress, we are better able to overcome it and take our goals to the next level. This is simply because stress, any which way you look at it, emanates from a surfeit of external factors, not so much internal — hence, it is a manageable prospect, provided we stay focused and not lose our emotional equilibrium. Picture this — job uncertainties, rising prices, inflation, social upheavals, illness, or danger lurking around in the corner. They all highlight just one element — stress is based on our understanding of the world, people and objectives, not merely our own reactions, or responses to it. The way we deal with negative emotions, especially stress, and overcome it is similar to the mystifying essence of spirituality. It symbolises the mystery of existence — with its full glow effect.

This is where the idea of a hobby attains its zenith. It is rightly said that a hobby, or pastime, be it anything from collecting old stamps, coins, cricket scores, solving crossword puzzles, doing yoga, or listening to old Hindi movie, English, or other local numbers — when melody was milady —  washes away the grunge of stress.

What this connotes is a simple statement — the sublime healing power of expressed feelings. A hobby expresses contentment — a sense of relaxation. Mind researchers have always maintained that a leisure pursuit possesses great healing effects, perhaps, as great as the therapeutic power of herbs. It provides a curative window, or mode, that expresses our feelings. It articulates a resourceful core that resides in the deep recesses of our soul. It is also akin to going out for a walk in the garden, or relishing the chirping of sparrows on your window sill, balcony, or courtyard. It is like humming an old tune in your mind, no less — something which only you’d listen to.

It mirrors our emotions too. It represents their import. As mind therapists suggest it expresses our emotional resolve. What does this convey? That the techniques we use by way of getting involved in a hobby, or even taking care of a pet, be it a dog or cat, are often stress relieving. They also externalise our emotions — emotions we feel at a given time. The best part — one need not be a pro to pick up a hobby, or bring home a pet [provided you have adequate space and ‘room’ for it, not feel ‘caged’].

This is because the art of emotional expression is nobody’s special sphere, or realm. It belongs to each of us, whatever our background, skill, interest, talent, or zeal.

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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