‘Anxiety’ and ‘Stress’ are small words. In truth, however, they are very heavy mental issues to handle. The strongest of minds give up when they are confronted by pressure that is beyond their capacity to handle. At times we can bear the worst of happenings but during other times, it becomes more than difficult to even think about them. Each one has different bearing capacities and each one looks at similar problems in different perspectives. Just a change in thought process can lead issues into a completely different direction.
And that is the real technique for dealing with the stress monster. If you know yourself better, you can handle all your feelings.
When you are feeling anxious or stressed, use some of the following strategies to cope up:
Take a time-out and pamper yourself. Practice yoga, listen to music, meditate, get a massage, or learn relaxation techniques. You can’t just keep thinking about the problem all the time and figure out a solution. Just leave it for some time. Stepping back from the problem helps clear your head.
Don’t show anger on your meal routines:
Eat well-balanced meals. Do not skip any meals. Do keep healthy, energy-boosting snacks on hand. Always remember that not eating or eating too much does not solve any problems.
Stimulating your mind is not a very good idea when you are under mental pressure. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which can aggravate anxiety and trigger panic attacks. Juices and more fluid intake will throw off toxins which will make you feel lighter.
Sleeping helps in rejuvenating the body and the mind both. Get enough sleep. Relax yourself completely. When stressed, your body needs additional sleep and rest. When you feed yourself with relaxing gesture, you definitely feel peace within you.
Maintain Your Health
Health maintenance should be our first priority in any case. This includes physical and mental health both. Exercise daily to help you feel good and maintain your health.
Focus on Breathing
Claustrophobic feeling is common in anxious people. Don’t fall prey to it. Manage the feeling with simple tips like taking deep breaths. Inhaling and exhaling slowly.
Don’t be a slave to the rat race and the social competition. Do your best. Instead of aiming for perfection, which isn’t possible, be proud of however close you get and celebrate. Don’t try to copy others or imitate people’s success. Feel satisfied and live at peace.
Life is not a machine:
Some things will always be beyond our understanding and capacities. Accept that you cannot control everything. Put your stress in perspective. Talk positively to yourself and ask valid questions.
Laughing works wonders:
It is the best medicine as rightly said. Welcome humor. A good laugh goes a long way. Learn to enjoy conversations. Smiles and laughs can be best psychological tools.
No matter what, be positive:
Maintain a positive attitude. Make an effort to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. What you think becomes your language, what you speak becomes your action and what you act becomes your destiny. Choose what you think.
Get involved in other people:
Help them solve their issues. You will end up finding solutions to many of your own problems.
Some things affect you more than the others. It’s important to observe yourself. Learn what triggers your anxiety. It could be work, family, school, or something else you can identify? Make a feelings diary and note down when you’re feeling stressed or anxious, and look for a common pattern.
Talk to someone. Tell friends and family you’re feeling sad, and let them know how they can help you. If this is not a possibility, then take help from a psychologist. It’s good to take help them suffer
We miss out on one all important fact, that is the beauty of our life. Understanding the value of life is one of the biggest virtues one can possess. Every problem has a solution, have the courage to find it.
Anxiety and stress are not the disease; over thinking, negativity, low self esteem and lack of confidence are the real killers. Don’t let these killers make your life difficult. Deal with them in the best way.
A Multi-Faceted Person: A Psychologist, Counsellor, Corporate Trainer, Co Cognitive Therapist (CBT) and Wellness Consultant, among many, Dr. Swapna feels very strongly about her subject of emotional intelligence saying that it is connected with every person no matter which profession they belong to, if one wants to sustain in this world and live peacefully, successfully and harmoniously, the knowledge of this is essential.
How many of you like to make friends on Facebook, or follow people on Instagram or make strong connects on Linkedin. The reason we do all these networking is for our benefit to have lasting friendship, to be a trendsetter and to get better career prospects. Surprisingly our brain does the same by creating neural networks that help us increase our awareness and our knowledge base. Eg: When I say apple, what all can you recollect. I will recollect the colour Red, a Doctor, Iphone, Kashmir and Switzerland. I am able to associate the word apple with 5 different things because that is my knowledge base and that’s the neural connection my brain has already established for the word apple.
Our Brain’s neural networking works in similar fashion as the social networking we do in our social life.
THE LONGER YOU SPEND TIME, THE STRONGER THE CONNECTION
When we spend more time with someone the social networking that we create with that person is also longer and may at times last a life time, very similar to the neural networking, more we associate our brain to a specific thing stronger is the relation between us and the object. Eg: My strong social connect with my childhood friends and the neural connections in my brain between me and my friend.
In our social life when we meet a person we not only know that person, but all those people who are associated with that person. This helps us to make our social connect stronger. Similarly when we create an association between us and an object, we are able to relate or associate that object to many other things thus creating stronger neural network. Eg: My strong social connect with my childhood friends make me associate to her other friends as well, similarly in our brain I am creating neural association for my friend and her friends.
A CHAIN THAT KEEPS GROWING
Social life is all about the chain of people we know, neural network too is about the chain of neural connections that is build over time.
As kids our social circle is limited and as we grow older our social circle goes on increasing. Similarly our brain’s neural connection as a kid is weak and often breakable too but as adults it gets stronger. Eg: As a kid I had only few friends but now as an adult I have friends some of whom I know since childhood.
LOSE CONNECT, FORGET FOREVER
Though we as humans are social animals, we are also selfish. What if I stop meeting a person after few years, slowly the social connect between us would reduce and at one point may be in our old age we may not even remember this person. Neural network too works the same way, when we stop creating associations we lose the connecting neurons sooner or later.
Like it’s not easy to build social bonds it’s not easy either to build neural bonds. But once the bond is built it’s for the life time. Eg: the social and neural bond between a mother and her daughter.
So for better social life, network more and for better neural life, associate more!
A post-graduate in Industrial Psychology, Harshana Uchil Kuveskar believes that psychology is the crux of human behavior. She also believes that since we deal with people from all walks of life on a day-to-day basis, the art of being emotionally intelligent is crucial.
I recently had a friend message me: I had a fantastic facilitation session. I just cannot tell you how it was … am so emotional … it was magical!
The message set me thinking. Why are we so overwhelmed by our emotions? Why does connecting with our emotions give us a feel good factor? For that matter, what is it that makes a TV series, fairy-tale stories and movies so popular?
If a book, a TV serial or a movie can get you emotional, to the extent of making you cry, more often than not, it is responded to positively, and thus get created many best sellers and superhits.
Maybe the emotions we experience while reading or watching a movie are those that we identify with somewhere deep within us. Sometimes pent up and kept away, and at other times, blissfully unaware of these emotions within us, when released through whatever medium, they give us relief.
Moreover changing times that call for increased responsibility and stressful lives, leave us with little time for ourselves. We are often caught in a web, either between one activity and another or from one thought to the next. With lifestyles and work becoming highly competitive and task oriented, we are simply left with no time or energy to connect with our emotional side.
Rationale takes over, and before long, we have overused this aspect to the extent of either being emotionally drained or emotionally dry in either case, with similar results – lack of awareness, insensitivity to others and the self and living an imbalanced life with just half of our faculties working effectively (Considering that emotions and rationale are two of our major faculties).
Sometimes facilitation sessions with experienced trainers, sensitivity training also help. However one must be careful, not to take this to another extreme.
When excessively emotional, people tend to be more vulnerable and volatile too. They place so much importance to their emotions, that all else fades away, taking them to another level of insensitivity.
It is important then, to strike a balance and practice self-awareness. In nature everything works operates on a principle of balance. Cause and effect seen in every aspect of nature is but a manifestation of that principle of balance. The first step to striking a balance is being self-aware.
While one may feel adequately self-aware, a simple way of verifying this, is to keep a note of the various emotions you experience through the day, what stirred those emotions, and whether you feel your emotional response to that situation or thing could/should have been different (e.g. Anger replaced by compassion). This could also be referred to broadly as analytical meditation.
Done on a daily basis, this first step to getting in touch with our selves could indeed be revealing!
An HR professional, Trainer and Coach for more than 12 years now, Vineeta has done her MBA (HR) from ITM Business School. For a large part of her career, she worked in the field of HR in the corporate sector with companies like United Phosphorus Ltd, STAR C. Currently, she teaches as Visiting faculty in the areas of Business Communication, Interpersonal Communication and Organisational Behavior in colleges in Mumbai and consults at organizations like Poddar Developers Ltd.