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How to deal with stress?



By Shivangi Roy

“The greatest weapon against stress, is our ability to choose one thought over another” —–         William James, American psychologist

Stress has become part and parcel of our lives. Daily we are exposed to a variety of stressors and are forced to overcome these situations. If experienced moderately, stress has the capability of motivating us and pushing us towards our goals. But with constant exposure to chronic stressors, the same can take a toll on our physical and mental health. Chronic stress is linked to heart diseases, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver and even suicide.

While it is nearly impossible to get rid of stress, the best way is to deal with them by taking action. We must condition ourselves to cope with it and deal with burnout in a healthy manner. Our body’s in-built stress-resilience mechanism signals us its requirements in times of need. When we are faced with stress, it releases a hormone oxytocin that leads us to crave for human connection.

However, by merely changing our perspective towards situations can also be a helpful tip. For instance, the next time we appear for an exam, instead of referring to our feelings and actions as those of fear, failure, anxiety and restlessness, we can try to look at it as our body’s mechanism of preparing us for an upcoming challenge.

An increased heart rate for higher oxygen supply to our brain and limbs can get us higher metabolism for ease of energy-production. And so, we are likely to perform better than before solely on the basis of a changed mindset.

Dealing with stress does not necessarily mean finishing the tasks at hand as soon as possible in the hopes of getting a break. Rather, it is about striking the right balance between different activities. We should learn to prioritise, organise and execute our tasks with efficiency while being mindful of our personal needs.

Life does not have to be a constant one-person struggle. So if we start appreciating company and deal with obstacles one step at a time, we would know how to lighten and brighten our world.