With CAT ’11, is over & now MBA aspirants are gearing to wait & hoping for best. You must be having sleepless night coupled with ‘stress’. No doubt stress has today become an integral part of our lives. Be it an adolescent or an adult, stress seems to have become a common, unifying denominator even though its sources and causes may vary.
In this highly competitive world it is difficult, if not impossible to change stressful situations. What we can do however is change and reduce our exposure to those stressful situations. The matter of fact is "stress is not necessarily something bad”. It is said that you perform better under stress but it all depends on how you take it.
“Stress is a condition or feeling which a person undergoes when demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize."
The intensity of stress can cause severe health problems and, in extreme cases, can cause death. The stress of exhilarating, creative successful work is beneficial, while that of failure, humiliation or infection is detrimental. In fact, the simple realization that you’re in control of your life is the foundation of Stress Management.
Managing stress is all about taking charge: taking charge of your thoughts, your emotions, your schedule, your environment, and the way you deal with problems. The ultimate goal is to have a balanced life.
To turn the tide of stress in your favour, it is very important to find ways to cope with stress and pave your way to the path of success, both in the personal and professional front. And to do that we need to find certain ‘stress busters’ (apart from banging your head) to deal effectively with stress.
Here are few ‘stress busters’ if routinely followed can bring a ‘sea change’ in your stressful life:
- Be assertive in your approach: Many of us mistake the word ‘assertive’ for being ‘aggressive’ and unreasonable, which is simply not the case. Assertive means to be ‘self- confident’ and ‘self-assured.’ Be reasonable enough to put forth your opinions and the way you want to do things with conviction while backing yourself up with the right evidence.
- Develop a healthy communication: Don’t bottle up. Becoming secluded and withdrawing into a shell like a tortoise won’t help. Instead have a good healthy communication. Opening channels of communication and discussing things elaborately provides a base for feedback and refutation and enables one to look at different sides of a matter and thus cope more effectively with stress.
- Healthy lifestyle is the mantra to beat stress: This is the last and the most important aspect to fight stress. If you have an unhealthy lifestyle problems will only become bad to worse. Not having a sound body and mind will result in mood swings and more irritating attitude towards stress. Sleep well, eat well and regularly exercise. These are the basics of trying to ensure that one is physically in a position to be able to cope with the different stressors that may exist in the environment.
- Work on your strengths and weaknesses: Having a clear idea about your strengths and weaknesses can go a long way in ensuring your success. Utilise your strengths to succeed at what you do. At the same time be aware of your weaknesses to avoid pitfalls associated with them. Instead work on your weaknesses and transform them to strengths. For instance: if you are weak in Data Interpretation (DI) don’t panic and come under stress. Relax and dedicate few more hours to understand the nuances of the subject.
- Adapt yourself to change: Human nature yearns for stability in life and is therefore not prone to change. And for many of us it creates problem in the long run. But remember change is the fact of life and we need to embrace and work with it. Just like there is day after night the acceptance of this fact makes it easier to cope with stress. Due to this we tend to be prepared before hand and understand things would change anytime.
- Be organized and methodical: Having a haphazard lifestyle won’t land you anywhere in life. Take a preventive approach. Don’t put additional stress on yourself by going beyond the time constraints. Follow the routine of ‘early to bed and early to rise’. Try and work within limits that time places upon you. Being methodical will help you to do the tasks according to a schedule so that they get accomplished on time.
- Have a good social support system: This is a very important aspect of your life. Without a good and reliable social support system, your stress will definitely devour you into pieces. It is essential to have people around you who provide the right kind of support. They can be your parents, friends or colleagues. But at the same time these individuals apart from giving the right kind of support should also act like the devil’s advocate, helping you look at the situations from all perspectives and making you think for yourself as well.
- Take breaks to rejenuvate: Having short breaks between studies and work is an absolute must. They not just refresh the body and mind but give a much needed physical and mental break that crops up from the monotony of work. But make sure that breaks are short and do not turn into picnic spots. A 10-15 minutes break is ideal.
- Always be a problem solver: You heard it right. Problems will keep coming and that only leads to stress. Thus instead of running away from problems remember they are not bigger than you. Therefore it is imperative that you try and tackle those problems. Develop an attitude to face the problems and try to solve them. Don’t run away or shove them on someone else’s shoulders.
- Don’t be shy to ask for help: Always remember it is not possible to do everything alone. At certain point of time you need help. So remember that help is always at hand. Be it in the form of adults, teachers, friends, peers, counselors or other professionals take it when the need arise. Erase this from tour mind that taking help is a sign of weakness, rather it reflects the understanding you have of your own self and your limitations.
Thus, stress and stress management are directly related to personal well-being and specifically to workplace well-being. The key to de-stressing in the moment is getting away from or removing yourself from the stressor.
Stress is an ignorant state. It believes that everything is an emergency. Don't let your stressed mind bully your body into believing it must carry the burden of its worries. Give your stress wings and let it fly away.
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