Coping With Stress
For Improving Our Health

Coping with Stress...

...Or anxiety or tension or pressure situation or

by whichever name one can understand the topic...

...can be thought of as our inability to meet the challenges of our lives in a proper and effective manner.

We face several such situations throughout our lives right from our young age to our old age due to various reasons.

At young age during our school and college years, we face pressure situations due to our educational circumstances:

  • When we have our parents' anxiety thrust on us to meet or exceed the performance level of our neighbors' or friends' or relatives' sons or daughters in different parameters :
    • We are constantly compared with our peers in school and colleges on our scholarly performances,
    • In our ability to score marks in various subjects and tests or
    • Due to our interest in extra curricular activities like taking part in sports activities or public speaking or singing or acting classes or
    • Due to our interest in taking part in various contests for students like inter school or inter collegiate or inter universities' quiz competitions, spelling bee or mathematical olympiads or
    • In TV competitions like American Idols live shows or
    • Due to our interactions with the school and college authorities etc.
  • The pressure situations during our working years can be due to career, financial, social and many other causes such as :

  • Our interactions with :
    • Co-workers,
    • Our superiors and
    • Our subordinates.
  • Our work related associates like :
    • Consultants,
    • Our suppliers,
    • Our clients,
    • Government officials,
    • Bankers etc
  • The need to meet our targets whether in sales or accounts or production or R & D depending on which area of work we are involved.

  • Annual increment and/or promotion times.

  • Change of jobs or

  • Transfer to a different city or state or even to a different country or

  • Getting qualified for a different type of vocation.

  • Bringing up children,

  • Interacting with relatives and other society members.

  • Facing both pleasant situations like going on holidays with family on annual leaves, attending marriages of friends or relatives or

  • Sad situations like funerals or visiting some one in hospitals due to severe illness etc
  • Some of us can handle even the most difficult situations with reasonable ease while some others cannot handle even the least difficult situations.

    The ease or the difficulty with which common folks meet their challenges will be known to only a limited circle of people within their own circle, but in the case of celebrities such ease or difficulties will become public knowledge depending on their celebrity status, thereby increasing their stress level.

    Some of the occasions which we can recall from the Tennis world are :

  • How Roger Federer broke down and sobbed openly during the prize distribution ceremony of the 2009 Australian Open Tennis Tournament.
    • He had lost to Rafael Nadal in the finals. The pressure situation had been caused by his own expectations and those of all tennis fans around the world, when he and the others were anticipating that he would win the tournament and equal the record of Pete Sampras of winning 14 grand slam titles.
    • Or from the older set of players (1970's and 80's):
    • How John McEnroe had fought with tennis officials, umpires or other tennis players during most of the tennis tournaments or

    • How Bjorn Borg was totally calm and cool even during the most tense match situations to earn the nick name of “Ice Borg”.

  • Common folks or celebrities, every one faces situations when they get confused about coping with stress.

    Some of them are caused due to positive reasons such as :

  • Expecting to achieve a landmark result (as in the case of Roger Federer mentioned above) or

  • Getting admission in a prestigious educational institute for higher studies.
  • And some due to negative reasons, which may cause pain or anguish, such as a surgery or the death of a loved one.

    Coping with stress becomes somewhat easier when we get the idea about its cause or the source.

    It is known as Stressor.

  • When stress is caused due to positive reasons it is known as Eustress;

  • While the one caused by negative reasons is known as Distress.
  • Both types can harm our health due to the release of certain chemicals like adrenaline in our body as a readymade counter action.

    When we are bothered by stress, depending upon its severity some of our reactions may be :

    • Dizziness,
    • Chest pain,
    • Heart razing fast,
    • Feeling of alarm due to fear,
    • Inability to think clearly or logically,
    • Overwhelmed or
    • Depressed and so on.

    Our response in such cases may vary from fight-or-flight, meaning we may decide to fight the same and solve the problem or try to run away to escape from it.

    For Coping with stress, we may adopt some of the following techniques:

  • By engaging ourselves in a strenuous physical activity such as :
    • A workout at the gym or if it is not possible,
    • Go for a fast walk or
    • Jogging or
    • Yoga or
    • Even deep breathing exercises.
  • By meditation :
    • By reciting certain mantras or
    • By listening to spiritual music.
  • By getting a massage.
  • Coping With Stress In Brief

    We humans want to do well under any situation. That makes it necessary not only to learn how to do the work at hand well but also to learn about coping with stress also.

    When we are sure about the situations under which we can do our work well, we face no problem but when we are not sure about the situations, it causes anxiety and tension in our minds.

    Stress can harm our health and hence we should learn to understand what is stress, what causes it and how to deal with it effectively to lead a healthy life.

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