Written on October 21, 2011 – 2:21 pm | by Aditya
The above saying of Sanskrit means Contentment is the highest gain; good company1 is the highest course.
Stress is omnipresent in our lives, be at work, at home, even going for a movie on a weekend fearing in the mind about the traffic, parking and probable dents and road rage that we may face. Most of the workdays irrespective of roles that we are in, stress builds upon us and we get wound up like a spring with tension, fear, un-certainty, frustration and we let it out improperly leaving long-lasting effects on our emotional and physical wellness.
There is no golden rule for managing stress and have that one happy smile at the end of the day with our loved ones. However, I would like to highlight on being aware of ourselves and the situations so that those few moments available with spouse, kids, parents and friends that we get in a day can be more fruitful.
In one of the book2 that I read there are three basic stages of stress Alarm, Resistance, and Exhaustion. For example an expected hike that has been promised is being held up for market conditions, you tend to be restless, fear gripes in, anxiety creeps up in the first stage. If you resolve like most of us do of not letting anyone know about your feelings by keeping up a fake smile mask and hope for the best you build up a resistance with emotional isolations, denial of requests from people at work and home. If there is no change in the situation and the uncertainty grows you tend to lose confidence, get into un usual erratic behavior and lose the charm of the life with loss of self-confidence finally exhausted. A prolonged discontentment and stress at workplace or home will lead to burnout. This stage people become discouraged, depressed or have developed a sense of lack of purpose. In these conditions the individual will dread to go to work, is bored, impatient and irritable with people at work and at home, becomes negative and develops an in ability to see fundamental niceties of life once upon a time which were so natural to him or her. It happens to best employees, workaholics, those who are caught in situations related to financial security, or expectations mismatch or any fear.
Out of many forwards that I received over years will share the summary of a long story3 that makes me think always when I return back home from work on my mood. In short the essence of the story is, there is this person who is so caught up in his stress at work that he denies spending time with his little daughter. One day he becomes so mad at her persistence of asking for that time, he loses his cool on her and shoos her away for disturbing him. Realizing later on how awful he behaved with his kid calls her up to make up for the lost time. The kid gives him a gift box to open up and he obliges, to find to his discontent that the box was empty. He thinks it as a prank gets irritated and beats up the child in the heat of the moment. As he realizes the mistake he takes her in his arms and inquires why she had given him an empty box, the kid with tears flowing down and her innocence answers to him that the box was not empty as she blew many kisses into it before it was gift packed it for him and doesn’t know why they were not there for her dad. Story continues for a sad end… but the above story is one of those many which tells us on why we need to compartmentalize the work situations and personal life.
It is definitely tough for a real balance and everyone has their own method to deal with it. But one thing we all deserve is few moments of happiness everyday where we can smile with our loved ones forgetting all that conspired in the workday and be happy. There can be huge science and art of managing stress but here is what I learnt, when I drive home back I take that time to do self-retrospection of what is bothering me, define it and mentally make my stress diary, develop a sense of humor to the situation to deal it with later.
Please realize that there is someone who is waiting for you at the end of the day to listen to you spend time with you and those moments mean so much for them. Don’t spoil them. In the current world, with those basic necessities of roti, kapada, makaan, connectivity, computer, credit card, career, cellphone we deserve one genuine smile in a day and let no one or no situation steal those moments from you.
1 – Company in the above quote doesn’t mean the organization that we work for …. It is our companions or associates who would get us out of that sense of aloneness.
2One of the recommendation of a book out of many I read: Managing Stress For Mental Fitness – By: MerrillF. Raber, MSW,Ph.D.; George Dyck, M.D. Publisher: Crisp Learning
3 My apologies if I haven’t captured the sentiments of the story in its entirety
After debating so much on what to start off in sharing my views here, felt appropriate to start off with the importance of smile. Will share my thoughts in the next article on the topic of “Profession as a performing art” a nice project work done along with my friend with his due permission.