Beat the Stress, Darling

  • Lipi Patel
  • India
  • Sep 28, 2012

One thing invariable to our lifestyle is the mounting stress in our lives. As a part of my work I meet various kinds of people on a daily basis, to understand their lifestyle. I see different kinds of stress – whether in a traditional Indian housewife and mom, or a stiletto clad corporate high flier. 

While completing small mundane activities and chores, or managing bigger troubles and conflicts at workplace and home, or with friends, foes or relatives, we go through a lot on a daily basis. As we grow up/grow old, a constant frustration creeps in our selves through the cracks we have left open. Intolerance and the slightest provocation ignites us to pick a fight on the road, at home or at the work place. We start to view situations and people as for and against us. A sort of negativity enters us, which is somehow an output of this “stress” we all are going through.  

I believe “stress” is mostly created by an external environmental condition which is out of our own control; but how we let this stress affect us is completely dependent on us. Many a times this external stressful condition is aggravated many folds by our own thought process. We blow up the situations out of proportion in our own brain, and get trapped. Most of us can’t manage these negative thoughts, and get bogged down by our own fear and anxiety.

In clinical terms, medical science has named this condition as “Anxiety”. It’s not unusual to feel anxious, when you perceive there is a real threat to your or a loved one’s safety, security and welfare. And not all Anxiety is bad either – it’s a way in which your body and mind warns you of a real threat. It lets you know that you are at risk unless you do something to eliminate this threat.  However, when it goes out of proportion, Anxiety can really harm us in many ways. In its most extreme form the anxiety reaction changes into a panic attack, and that can be very terrifying. Physical symptoms of such an attack are: we feel as if the walls are closing in, our heart starts racing, our palms sweat, breathing becomes shallow, and we notice a tightness in the throat or in the pit of the stomach. These physical symptoms are accompanied with the emotional reaction we call Anxiety.

So how do we tackle this monster, which is becoming an integral part of our modern living? I think the solution probably lies in our own brain, our thought process and emotions. All emotional reactions are driven by habitual patterns of thinking, based on the inner beliefs about self, and the environment. 

Experts say we can change this anxious situation by a little “mindfulness”. We need to be aware of our own habitual beliefs and patterns of negative thinking. Uncovering our own negative self-talk is a very effective first step towards a successful management
of Anxiety

Secondly, we must strive to achieve a healthy work-life balance. We must try to take out some time only for ourselves, on a weekly basis, when we can pursue our hobbies or do the things we really like to do. Engaging in such activities can bring us in touch with our self and our emotions, which in turn builds happy positive feelings inside us. 

Thirdly, we probably need to let go of the unrealistic expectations from ourselves and from people around us.  We expect to have more money, a more affluent life-style, and material possessions. We have unrealistic ideas about relationships and appearance. But we are far from investing and gaining the emotional support of our loved ones, which is the true antidote to anxiety in today’s times.  

Focus on all the good things in our lives and ignore the things that are imperfect as of today. On that happy note “Friday Gurgaon” wishes you a stress - free and
happy weekend. 


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