Stress, anxiety and depression are terms that were not really heard of until a decade ago. The word ‘stress’ was used in a very generalized way to express being tired of something or doing something.
Today, we know ‘STRESS’ as the root of most ailments in the world. Yet, we as humans allow it to permeate into our daily lives. Living stress free is the ultimate goal!
Self Assessment With Gratitude
Do you wonder why the people around you are always agitated? Do you pause to think why your kids seem so perturbed?
‘YOU’ could possibly be the reason of their behavior. Our mood swings, our anxiety over trivial issues, our anger are all seen, felt and reflected.
Most of us are guilty of that but isn’t it a little unrealistic to expect others around us to be positive and happy? Now really, if you’re having a bad day and have not managed to smile all day, would you really blame your spouse for not being there or not talking two sweet words to you, while YOU are sulking and drowning yourself in negativity.
SOLUTION : Kick starting our day with a positive and clear mind will make us and the people around us feel joyful and content. Showing gratitude to our spouse and children will make their entire day. Learning to let go off small issues to maintain peace in our relationships, goes a long way. We can pray, meditate, listen to some soothing music, practice yoga or take a walk to keep all those cynical thoughts at bay (or rather away!)
Set Realistic Goals
Most students and their parents dread that time of the year when the exams and results are declared. Sleepless nights, racing thoughts, and anxiousness takes over. Then comes the D-Day and what happens after that? Doesn’t life just go on? Unfortunately, these days we also get to hear of people ending their lives over not meeting their family’s or their own expectations. Sadly, peer pressure is taking a huge toll on children and adults alike.
Years ago, when I was going down in the elevator with my neighbor’s high school goer, I asked him what he plans to do after his high school. With a dejected look he said, “I am very passionate about cricket and want to play cricket for India. But my father has said that I should only think of engineering and nothing else.”
I was really sad to see his despair. That day I promised myself that when I become a parent, I would let my child follow their passion and always support them in their choices within reason. I really wish that all parents could understand their children’s feelings, goals and aspirations better.
SOLUTION : We are seeing a generation who are coercing themselves to go beyond what is achievable. That doesn’t mean we should not aim higher or aspire for the better. But we should also learn to set realistic goals and work towards achieving them. We need to focus on giving our cent-percent and stop worrying about the outcome and result.
Step Out of The Rat Race Of Life
A few months ago an Indian movie called ‘Hindi Medium’ had released. The movie was based upon a metropolitan couple, who did not have a great command over the English language but wished to send their daughter to an elite International school. They wanted her to be everything they were not. The movie further depicts their dejection and the turmoil they go through, to ensure a guaranteed admission of their child into a prestigious school. It was a great movie but I thought it was a little far-fetched.
To my surprise (rather shock!) when I came to India for a vacation, I realized that the issue addressed in this movie was actually a reality. Conversations with friends and family pointed out to one common thing, i.e the competition is way too much.
Children attend school all day and have numerous classes planned out for the remaining hours for the whole week. Do you think kindergartners really need to attend extra classes for general knowledge, football, swimming, etc.
As if this wasn’t appalling enough, I had a friend tell me that she is going crazy trying to get an admission form for her 8 month old son. I asked her why is she fussing over school so soon. It seems like the norm to apply for kindergarten admission is when you are pregnant or just deliver your child (believe me, I was as surprised as you are reading this!) Fast forward to two weeks later, when I met her she seemed relaxed and content. She finally acquired an admission form from the school she plans to send her child to. He starts school in 2020!! I rest my case.
SOLUTION : Back in our day, we attended school and everything else was learned, absorbed or picked up from our daily lives. We increased our general knowledge by reading newspapers and encyclopedias. Swimming meant time to go to the beach. Most activities were unstructured and that was the best part about it. Today, even learning a new sport or language feels like an ADDED STRESS to the child because it has to revolve around his/her and the parents’ busy schedules.
Remember We Are Being Watched
As adults we stress over finding the right partner, getting married, paying the bills, having kids, raising kids, getting a high-salary job, making the perfect house and so much more. We need to realize that habitually stressing over something might be rubbing off on our kids and the people around us too.
Unknowingly, this may affect our kids and they might imbibe it into their subconscious. The repercussion of this is that they will grow to be adults with a low self-esteem, no self-worth, have anger and anxiety issues, and will be dismissive of life.
Every parent in this world only wishes the best for their child. Pressurizing kids to overachieve might seem what’s right for now but it actually does not enable them to be self starters.
SOLUTION : The focus needs to be on encouraging and appreciating our children for their efforts, for pushing them towards self-learning, for teaching them to rise above every shortcoming and to accept failures as a part of life and move ahead. We need to stop cushioning them and allow them to fail or fall back in a few of their endeavors. And unless we lead the way, how else would they learn to take responsibility?
A few marks up or down or a few thousands here or there, will not matter in shaping us to who we become eventually. Scoring a 100% or raking in a six-figure salary CANNOT guarantee a stress-free happy life.
Being content and grateful with what we have and being confident of ourselves, while accepting our flaws, will definitely make us appreciate our lives more.
Stop the fuss, eliminate the stress and enjoy the adrenaline rush of this wonderful roller-coaster called LIFE. For we can all get on this ride only ONCE! And if you’re still not satisfied, then remember that ‘stressed’ read backwards is ‘desserts’. So go grab a bite or a whole cake…whatever makes you feel better!!