Stop worrying and start living: here are some practical tips on how to stay calm and in control
You are bound to feel overwhelmed by stress at some point in your life. It could be brought on by a promotion, a family problem or even good news like a wedding in the family or the birth of a child (just the thought of the expenses could make those worry lines more pronounced). And, stress can impact every aspect of your life unless you learn how to control it. Experts tell you how to stay on top of things.
1 Recognise the root cause“When we are stressed, our body breaks down, and the immune system takes a hit,“ says psychiatrist Minnu Bhonsle.“Consequently, one may fall sick often. That's the body's way of signalling that something is not right.“
The first signs of stress, she says, may include irritability. When you recognise the signs, it's crucial to take some alone time to address what you're feeling and what may be causing this.
2 Don't fixate on what you cannot control“While you cannot control when your clients get mad or the timing of a crash in the stock market, you can control how you react to situations like these,“ says Bhonsle. “It's important to remember that there's no point in worrying about situations that are completely out of your control. A wise person once said, if you can fix a problem, fix it, but if you can't, it serves no one to worry about it.“
Bhonsle recommends that you, “identify when a situation is beyond your control and surrender to it. Try to see the humour in situations and maintain a positive perspective.“
3 Manage time better“Time management is life management,“ says certified life coach Milind Jadhav. “A lot of our time gets wasted because we are not focused on what really matters. Often, our focus is on worrying about the future or regretting mistakes made in the past.This starts a vicious cycle because when you waste precious time, you will likely have to race against the clock later, and this will cause more stress. The opposite is also true: when you live in the present and are mindful of time, you become more productive, and that eases stress.“
“People also tend to worry about things that lie in the future: will my daughter get into that university?; will my son find a wife? Your mind goes over the worst case scenario.What you need to do is to remind yourself that these are just stories.“ Bhonsle adds, “Instead of going into a panic spiral and wasting your present for the future, stay calm and wait for a problem to emerge before you start worrying.“ Jadhav also recommends prioritising and delegating. “Don't overload yourself with work.“
4 There is a difference between worrying and caringDifferentiate between worrying and caring, Jadhav says.“You may care about your child, but is worrying about him or her all the time going to resolve all of his or her problems or will it ensure that he or she stays injury-free? Worrying about things is tantamount to worshipping the problem -finding a solution requires a more pro-active approach.“
5 Take some time off to relax“It's incredibly important to take daily, weekly, and monthly breaks to unwind and rejuvenate,“ says Bhonsle. “Every morning you could take some time to meditate, go for a walk, or just read the newspaper in silence.“
“Meditation and breathing exercises can also help control stress as they help one to focus on the present moment and this keeps the mind calm,“ adds Jadhav.
He also recommends using the `Mindful Minute' technique. “Take a single minute after every couple of hours of work to engage in mindfulness. Use this time to focus your attention inwards and on yourself, and remind yourself to take it easy.“
6 Embrace your mistakes“Years in the Indian education system which penalises students for making mistakes, have conditioned us to panic when we make one, mull over it and regret it long after the issue has passed,“ says Jadhav. He points out that, in reality, mistakes are great because they help one to grow. “You learn more from mistakes than you do from successes, and a single mistake, no matter how serious, is rarely the end of the world. Learn from yours, that's all.“