HindustanTimes Tue,23 Dec 2014
Seven ways to beat stress
Chitra Jha, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, April 09, 2013
First Published: 15:11 IST(9/4/2013)
Last Updated: 15:17 IST(9/4/2013)

Twenty-first century’s fast-paced, erratic lifestyle, work pressures, tight deadlines, cut-throat competition, unrealistic expectations and work-life imbalance have made the environment – both at home and the workplace – highly stressful for most of us. Stress affects every person, irrespective of age, gender, job profile, and economic well-being, impacting our health, relationships and performance.

In such a scenario, it is important to know and use some simple tools to cleanse our system from time to time. Here are some time-tested stress-busters that will not only help release the accumulated stress but also prevent it from building up at all:

1 Cry it out: Whenever we feel overwhelmed by stress, tears naturally well up in our eyes. But more often than not, we try to control them. From now onwards, allow your tears to flow freely, without feeling like a jerk or a coward. Tears are a wonderful stress-releasing mechanism factored in our physiology. Use it.

2 Talk it out: Speaking about our problems lessens their pressure on us. But most of us shut ourselves up tight and wallow in our sorrows. From now onwards, talk about everything that lies bottled up inside you. Besides talking to your friends and family, you can join some online support group.

3 Take out some ‘me’ time: It is very important to take out some time for your personal upkeep. Be kind to yourself, and once in a while pamper yourself, without feeling guilty. Find sufficient time to relax.

4 Say ‘No’: We usually find it hard to say ‘No’ to others’ requests and feel guilty when we can’t please everyone. But remember that saying ‘No’ and ‘Yes’ at the right time and to the right person goes a long way in managing stress which comes from over-demand and inadequate self-maintenance.

5 Ask for help: Whenever you feel overwhelmed with work, don’t be reluctant to ask for help. Remember, Jesus Christ’s words, “Ask and it is given.” In any case, don’t bite off more than you can chew. Do not combine too many projects.

6 Happy thoughts: Once in a while, close your eyes and think of something from your past that you are proud of or happy about. Let that memory play back in your mind with all its details, sounds, smells, emotions, feelings etc. Live that experience once again. This is a great stress-busting tool.

7 Breathe deeply: Our breath connects our inner world to our outer world; hence, we can use this phenomenon to release all the accumulated stress in our body and mind.

Learn to deliberately deepen your breath. Every once in a while, especially when you are feeling tense, breathe in slowly through your nose and breathe out slowly through your mouth. Do this for five minutes and notice the difference in your energy. You will definitely feel less tense.

If you use these simple tools regularly, you can say goodbye to stress and enjoy your life more fully!

The author is a life-skills coach, time-line therapist, and new consciousness writer. Contact: chitrajhaa@

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