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How To Recognise Stress
There are two ways to deal with stress. Either you avoid it, or accept that you have to deal with it. In most cases, avoidance may or may not be a choice, dealing with it surely is
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You’re placing a food order, not choosing a life insurance, for heaven’s sake!
That above line totally describes the state of wound up people around us, including ourselves. We get so caught up in the nitty gritties and detailing of everything that we either miss the point, or miss having fun, or both. It’s accepted that life is unfair, so why crib and ruin it further? Just follow these tips, and see that smile coming back to your face.
Acceptance. There are two ways to deal with stress. Either you avoid it, or accept that you have to deal with it. In most cases, avoidance may or may not be a choice, dealing with it surely is.
See the signs. I’m listing the following behaviour patterns that will tell you if you’re bordering on a breakdown. These are no-holds-barred frank signs, and I’m not mincing words here, so please do not take it to heart when you feel this is you but sounds like a really bad person, because stressed out behaviour is rarely in your control. What is definitely in your control is to recognise it and take corrective action. So here goes:
You’re cranky 50 per cent of the time. The world seems less intelligent, your colleagues are trying your patience, your son’s school game is irritating you. Sometimes, you snap and surprise people by your short temper. It’s time to unwind, buddy.
You feel it’s not worth it. The work pressure is high, the delivery schedules are tight, you have no time to think, yet you pause. Think. Wonder what you’re doing. Why you’re doing it. And how wonderful it would be to just run away from here, to be somewhere else where there are no pressures. In short, you feel blue.
All your relationships have issues. Your spouse remains pissed off (or vice versa), office colleagues avoid you lest you flare up, friends start asking you to chill and not over-react to situations, and your kids find you a lecturing bore. Where has that carefree person gone, who sang songs while driving and read every book on space ships, you wonder. It was that person that all those who had a relationship with you loved. You can bring that person back if you just relax, recoup, regenerate and re-discover yourself.
You binge eat. You could go for hours without food, and suddenly you start eating a lot. Or you crave fried and sweet foods. You’ve had sudden weight gain or loss, and every time you feel stressed, you feel like reaching for comfort foods. Those that destroy your body, skin, digestive system. Cravings like black aerated drinks, junk food, chocolates and sweets means that there’s a void that you’re trying to fill. Fill it and remove it by talking to someone who will nudge you into sharing where your stress is coming from.
You do substance abuse. The urge to have extra cups of coffee, a few cigarettes more, a few drinks extra every few days because you feel you deserve it, are all signs of stress. If you’re overdoing any of this or all the above, alarm bells should definitely ring in your system.
Make your move. Now that you’ve recognised these symptoms (and you don’t need to scream off to people saying, “GAWD! THIS IS ME!”), just start unwinding and taking time off, sleeping, resting, eating raw, pure foods before the stress reaches your brain permanently! In short, get Mr or Ms Popular to come back home.
(This story was published in BW | Businessworld Issue Dated 14-12-2015)