How to keep calm during a period of stress
During periods of social distancing, which many of us continue to practise even as lockdown restrictions ease, one often tends to feel lonely. It's particularly daunting for those who are living through all of this alone. No emotional void can be filled with Netflix or cooking or reading. Sometimes, stress may simply get out of hand.
Here are some pointers on how you can conduct yourself gracefully in stressful times.
1. Identify the trigger: Try to pinpoint the exact situation or incident that's causing you stress. It could be the lockdown, loneliness, fear of the future, lifestyle alteration post lockdown - or anything at all.
2. Mindful breathing: Sit up straight with your posture erected and roll your shoulder a few times; relaxation and blood flow through shoulder and face are remarkable, especially during a rush of adrenaline. Do a 4-16-8 breathing exercise. Slowly breathe in to a count of 4, hold your breath for 16 counts and breathe out in 8 counts. Do it five times right after waking up to calm your mind. The timings are key here. Don't rush through them.
3. Challenge negative thoughts: Remember, negative thoughts lead to vulnerability. Sometimes, thinking errors lead to negative thoughts that are mostly 'evidence-less'. We predict things that may or may not happen. Thinking errors include mind reading, mistaking feelings for facts, and blowing things out of proportion. The challenging part is to stay put together during the adrenaline rush and avoid catastrophising a situation.
4. Master emotional intelligence: You want to be someone who never lets their temper get out of control, no matter what you are facing. You might think of someone you know who has ample emotional intelligence, the complete trust of their staff, who listens to them, is easy to talk to, and always makes careful and informed decisions. It's one of the most important skills to master in today's world. Aim to handle situations in a calm frame of mind - vigilantly, patiently and maturely.
Life never goes according to plan; it is a continuous quest of understanding a better meaning of existence. The sooner we know it, the easier it gets.
Till next week, #beextraordinary.
Konkana Bakshi, founder, Savoir Faire Academie and former Miss Elegance World