Do you know what stresses you?

October 30, 2017

I am one of those who can’t watch a “live soccer penalty shootout” in a big game. It is too stressful. I wonder if it stresses the spectators so much (some even get a heart attack and die!), how stressful it must be for the players. There are studies to show that it is the stress, not skills or fatigue of the game that causes players to make mistakes like kicking the ball outside the goal post.

In today’s fast-paced life, everyone seems to be stressed. Workers may find work to be stressful; whereas for many not having work is the biggest cause for stress. Tensions in family and strained relationships cause stress to many; whereas some attribute stress to their loneliness. Age is no bar. Children, adults and old persons all suffer from stress.

Doctors say a bit of stress is good as it pushes us to perform better by keeping us alert. But when does it cross the goodness bar and becomes harmful is not known. Chronic stress can actually affect all aspects of our life: emotions, behaviours, thinking ability, as well as physical health. The World Health Organization says stress has become a ‘world wide epidemic’.

Experts agree that eating a healthy diet, regular exercise and adequate sleep can go a long way to managing stress. But the problem is that stress goes unnoticed for a long time. We spend our life amidst worries, anxieties, and tensions not realizing that if they continue for too long, they stress us.

We need to reflect for a moment and find out what triggers stress in us. It may be different for different people. In my case, when my ‘things-to-do’ list gets too long, I get stressed. And tasks which have remained pending for long keep adding to my stress. I feel relieved when I find time to finally do some of the pending tasks. After completion of each pending task I ask myself —couldn’t have I done it earlier?— the answer, invariably, is ‘yes’. Even though I believe in ‘DO it NOW’ attitude, there are times I don’t do it myself. By writing about it as a stress management technique, I am reminding myself, as much as I am reminding others.