Managing Stress- A Holistic Approach
A global study by World Health Organisation (WHO) revealed that stress through its psychosomatic manifestations like heart disease, B.P, Ulcers, and asthma will be the number one killer the world over, in the new millennium. WHO is planning a stress – eradication mission using New age healing therapies. According to Philip E. Atkinson, “Stress is the disease of this century and is the biggest and the most significant time waster of all”. Therefore, managing stress is a topic of utmost importance and consideration.
The Holistic Approach to Managing Stress
Stress is defined as the demand made up of the adaptive capacities of the mind and body of an individual. Stress is the interaction of the individual with the environment. According to Arnold Toynbee, “The sickness of the modern society is so deep-rooted that it can be cured only by a spiritual revolution in the hearts and minds of human beings”.
Dr. Vernon Coleman, a world-renowned authority on Stress Management and Editor of ‘European Medical journal’ opines: “Spiritual poverty amidst material plenty is the bane of today’s society. Spiritualism here does not mean high philosophy. It is your own formula for inner peace”.
It is widely accepted that the harmony between body, mind & soul is the basic requirements for a person’s well-being and is the key to managing stress. When there is disharmony between body, mind and soul, stress and disease arise. As Deepak Chopra says: “Every disease is an imbalance of Body, Mind, and Spirit. Curing of disease is the rectification of this imbalance within the individual”. The holistic approach to Stress Management involves physical, mental and spiritual levels, even though more importance is given to psycho-spiritual levels. So, here is a list of good practices one should follow for managing stress.
For Good Physical Health
- Moderate right food- Include a lot of leafy green vegetables and citrus fruits in the diet. Brown rice, nuts, and seeds, olive oil, banana etc. are good for mood elevation. An Australian study shows that depression can be related to the consumption of junk food.
- Regular and adequate exercise(walking, swimming, cycling, jogging, yoga etc.)-Walking is the best exercise for almost all categories of people. Walking improves your memory, creativity and reduces stress. The third US president Thomas Jefferson once said, ‘The object of walking is to relax the mind’.
- Adequate rest and relaxation(sound sleep, recreation etc.)- Sleep is of utmost importance for managing your stress. Getting seven hours of peaceful sleep every night is to be your priority. Remember the maxim ‘Fitness fights fatigue’.
For Sound Mental Health
- Remove all negative feelings and emotions from the mind. (like anger, envy, jealousy, hatred, guilt, greed, depression, worry, enmity, selfishness etc)-Negative emotions are adversely affecting your endocrine glands and nervous system. The toxic effect of these negative emotions is extremely stressful and damaging to your health.
- Fill the mind with positive feelings (like love, affection, sympathy, empathy, kindness, bravery etc)-These positive emotions produce happy ‘hormones’ like Oxytocin, Seratonine etc. and reduces your stress very effectively.
- Have a habit of positive thinking (Replace the negative self-talk with positive self-talk). Positive thinking always reduces your stress while negative thinking causes stress.
- Build up a positive self-image– Your negative self-image creates stress and anxiety. Positive self-image makes you confident and happy.
For Inner Peace and Spiritual Health
- Prayer- Prayer is a powerful antidote to stress. The thirty-first US president Herbert Hoover once said; “Prayer is more powerful than an atom bomb.”
- Meditation- Meditation transforms the biochemistry of your body and relaxes your mind. Dr. Herbert Benson says; “Patients can successfully battle a number of stress-related ills by practicing a simple form of meditation.”
- Laughter- Laughter is the best medicine for eliminating stress. The healing power of laughter is scientifically proved.
- Be with nature- If you care nature, nature will cure you. The healing power of nature is fantastic. Your five senses can absorb cosmic energy from nature.
- Self-awareness- Self-awareness helps you to be here and now, to live in the present moment.
- Love and Service- The heart that loves is always young. Love produces Oxytocin, a hormone that makes you stress-free and happy.
- Music & Dance- Sound waves of the music activates the brain cells. Music can relax your mind and reduce your stress. Dance can energize your body and relax your mind and help in managing stress.
A person’s EQ (Emotional Intelligence) and SQ (Spiritual Intelligence) can be improved considerably by these techniques, thereby successfully and effectively managing the stress. Kiran Bedi has practically applied these techniques on the notorious prisoners of Tihar jail and succeeded in transforming them into better individuals.
Many multinational companies are adopting these techniques to improve the EQ & SQ levels of their executives and employees and make them better, stress-free individuals. Yoga, Meditation, and Art of living by Sri Sri Ravishankar are taught in a good number of MNCs in India and abroad, to reduce the stress of their executives and to make them more productive and effective. In today’s fast-paced hectic world, stress is unavoidable but the key to health and happiness is to find ways of managing stress.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Dr. JOHN MUZHUTHETTU is a Human Resource Consultant, National Trainer, and Counselor. Formerly he was the Deputy Chief Engineer, Kerala State Electricity Board and is still working as an external faculty of HRD Programmes of KSEB. He is also a faculty of Department of Management Studies, Mar Augusthinose College, Ramapuram, under M.G.University, Kerala. He is the PG course-coordinator of MHRM.
He is a columnist in several Magazines, like ‘Business Deepika’, ‘Creative Business’, ‘Donbosco’ etc. His articles have been published in many magazines and journals. His several speeches have been aired by All India Radio. His interviews on various subjects have been telecasted by Power Vision TV.
He is the author of five best-selling books:
- ‘Stress-Manassasthra- Aathmeeya Pariharangel’. (Current Books, Thrissur) 4th Edition
- Vijayiyude Vyakthithwam (Current Books, Thrissur)
- Jeevitham Santhushtamakan, Nithya Yauvanam Nedan.(css,Thiruvalla)2nd Edition
- Emotional Intelligence-Jeevithavijayathinu (CSS, Thiruvalla)
- Vijayarahsyangal (Current Books, Thrissur)
As a trainer, he has conducted more than a thousand seminars and workshops for teachers, parents, students, executives and others, on several subjects like Stress Management, Time Management, Personality Development, Emotional Intelligence and Spiritual intelligence for Excellence, Communicative Skills, Assertiveness, Motivation, Study Skills, Effective Parenting, Counselling Skills etc. He is an external training faculty of Power Engineers Training and Research Centre of KSEB. He is an external faculty of IMG Cochin. He is also the Secretary of Upasana Cultural Centre, Thodupuzha.
- PhD in Psychology
- M.Phil Degree in Psychology
- Masters Degree in Psychology (M.Sc Psy)
- Masters Degree in Human Resource Management (MHRM)
- P.G. Diploma in Guidance and Counselling (PG DGC)
- P.G. Diploma in Yoga (PGDY)
- Degree in Electrical Engineering (B.Sc Engg.)