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There are short term and long term remedies to deal with stress.

Clinical psychologist and psychotherapist
Dr Shwetambara Sabharwal believes in the latter
Cheat stress

1. Weekend getaway: There is a saying that goes, “Everywhere I go, I spoil my holiday by taking myself with me.” Dr Sabharwal says you can get away physically from a stressful environment, but your thoughts travel with you wherever you go. “A holiday is like temporarily cheating on the stressful situation. You will have to eventually go back and deal with it.”

2. Meditation: Is beneficial since it provides oxygen to the brain. “But it only means you have once again postponed your thoughts temporarily. It is not a holistic, deep-rooted approach.” Treat your thoughts, don’t delay them.

3. Massage:  Expert hands that knead and pummel each nerve and muscle can have a stimulating-yet-relaxing effect like no other therapy. Yet, after that one hour, you have no choice but to get back on track.

4. Adventure sports: While some consider adventure sports a stress buster, Dr Sabharwal merely terms it a distraction from stress.

5. Listening to music: All this provides is temporary escape and buying time from dealing with a particularly stressful situation.

BEAT stress

What if? Your boss has reprimanded you over failure to perform...

1. Don’t deny stress: Accept it. Understand that stress is natural. Don’t isolate yourself as the only one experiencing it. It happens to all employees at your workplace.

2. Compare: Similar situations evoke different responses in people. So, understand that it is the way in which we interpret situations that stresses us out. Consider two other colleagues who also get reprimanded. One would see it as motivation to work harder, one would weep, another would get stressed out.

3. Become aware: Of what is it that you are “thinking” about the situation that is troubling you. It is usually not the fact that your boss fired you. Think about the thoughts that crossed your mind when you were being lambasted: “I must never be shouted at”, “I’m a loser”... Once you have identified this, you can also take responsibility to treat it.

4. Take responsibility: To rid yourself of stress. It is your perception of the situation that leads to stress, and so it is you who can relieve yourself by identifying possible faults and irrationalities in the way you perceive things.

5. Reality and facts: Must be the basis of your perceptions, not unrealistic expectations from yourself or others. Seeing to it that your perceptions are healthy is the best long-term way to treat stress.
 Mumbai is Under Stress
 May 25, 2006