Stress has become almost an everyday concomitant of many people. With the passage of time, the extent and impact of stress seem to be increasing and causing physical and psychological problems for many people, especially for the ones that have to work under pressure.
It is not becoming rampant at the work places only; its tentacles are being spread in everyday lives of many people including children. Pressure of study along with other activities, imposed by the parents, has turned lives of many children quite stressful these days.
Kind of tension is not bad altogether. It prompts people to work harder and perform better. However, uncontrolled tension and excessive worries are matters of great stress that are bound to affect many people. Though the numbers of medicines are not few for controlling stress, the harmful effects of stress are nevertheless on the increase. Life expectancy of people has increased in the country. However, number of premature deaths is also on the increase. There is still not any comprehensive study that relates stress to premature deaths.
However, it will perhaps not be hyperbole to find a correlation between stress and increase in premature deaths in recent time. News of deaths of middle-aged people because of heart attacks and strokes strikes us very often these days. Many people remain stressed due to workplace tensions, family and social pressures. Many can cope with the pressures nicely. However, the intensity of pressures is not the same in all cases. At times, pressures are beyond the thresholds of endurance. Such types of pressures are great stressors for many.
Will it be an exaggeration if it is said that restlessness has become an order of the day? How many of us can live in the ivory tower overlooking the inconsistencies that are taking place around us? Some people may not have work life or family worries. However, one cannot remain distanced from social worries. How can a composed person remain relaxed at the news of a rape of a toddler? Though such social events might not come under the ambit of stressors in academic perspective, such events distress our psyche greatly.
Admittedly, stress is a great contributor to many diseases. Ulcer, insomnia, hypertension and diabetes are some of them. Acidity, a by-product of stress, is almost a regular phenomenon in every household of the country. Ulcer is caused by excessive acidity aggravated by excretion of excessive adrenaline hormone. Thus, one does not need to be a physician to understand the concatenation between stress and acidity. Hypertension is also caused mainly by tension. Meanwhile, diabetes is also increasing alarmingly these days.
One might question the validity of the author’s wisdom in relation to raising and discussing the preceding stress-related diseases. In fact, anyone interested in stress and its management can get such orientations from any standard literature dealing with managing stress. Though the diseases mentioned above are great physical ailments, psychological reasons and factors have a lot to do with them. In fact, psychological factors exacerbate the said diseases in many respects.
There is no denying that stress has become a matter of great concern in our everyday life. However, is it beyond control? It may be not controlled completely. However, it can be managed successfully for which we need to have some simple yet significant reorientations. Some of such tips, based on academic literature, are in order: First of all, we have to remain aware of our strengths and limitations. We have to set our expectations accordingly. Thus, having an unattainable target can be a great stressor which we can avoid so easily.
We have a general tendency to compare what we have and what we have not. As many of our dreams might not come true immediately, we may tend to be frustrated and stressed. Under such circumstances, why don’t we concentrate on and become happy with what we have and have achieved? How many in the world can get all their desires fulfilled? Our conditions are a lot better in comparison to many in the country and beyond. One may not be successful today. However, as the truism goes, there is always tomorrow.
Having a positive image of life is a very essential element in managing stress. Life is precious. Life is beautiful. The preceding simplistic and widely used sayings can give us tremendous strength at times of stress. Though the above sayings might seem rather heavy going at some worrying times, things become rather manageable after the storm is over. And, any storm hardly becomes permanent. In fact, the people who have to work hard to carve a livelihood remain in a better position to have positive portrait of life and their existence.
Another important means of managing stress is avoiding the human stressors, that is, the people that cause stress. These people can be termed as pains in the neck. In our everyday life, we come across such people every now and then. Though these stressors do not stay away on their own, we need to stay away from these people. Such stressors are likely to get frustrated and dissuaded following constant avoidance. Unfortunately, however, number of such stressors is on the rise in our society.
Success and failures are parts of life. Thus, failures will be there. The best way to deal with failure is to take it easy, as the saying “Take it easy” teaches us to take things easy. A relaxed yet reflective approach in this regard can help us greatly in getting over a failure and starting afresh upon a failure. Meanwhile, another very effective mechanism of dealing with stress successfully is the decision as to whether we have to face every battle or not. The answer is in the negative. Yes, we do not need to fight every battle. We can easily circumvent unnecessary battles that do not necessarily hamper our self-respect and social responsibility.
The writer is a Professor, Department of Public Administration, Chittagong University. E-mail: email@example.com