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“If you can manage your own life and have complete power over what you wish to achieve, you can actually reduce stress. Separate and focus on your daily goals and set practical expectations for yourself”. – from Beyond the Quote
Stress is  part of our daily lives. Some people believe it is bad for our health.   But the truth of the matter is stress is only bad if it is not managed well.  When stress pushes a person to excel, it can be beneficial.   Recognizing when stress becomes detrimental is therefore of utmost importance.
Unfortunately, most people find it difficult to deal with stress.  People go through so much trouble in trying to relieve stress – to no avail.  From relaxation techniques, to doing some exercises, and sometimes even performing risky activities, most people COVER UP the stress, but it comes back to haunt them.  Fortunately, there are more effective ways to deal with stress.
In my clinical practice, I have come to the conclusion that stress is the main reason for most outpatient consultations.  When people are stressed out or anxious, they begin to think of going to a physician.  As long as they can manage the stress and anxiety on their own, patients will try to postpone a trip to a hospital or clinic.  Is this you?  If your answer is yes, you are not alone.  I guess it is more stressful for you to pay for professional fees.  So let me save you anxiety.  I will attempt to make you handle stress on your own – that is until you can no longer bear it.

Lack of time is a major cause of stress for everyone. To find balance between your family, career, and your personal needs, the first tip I have is this:  SLEEP AND REST WELL.  A tired person becomes sluggish and is unable to perform tasks.  He or she is also unable to plan activities well.  If you want to have quality time for work and play, never sacrifice your time to rest and sleep to perform more tasks.

Setting achievable goals is also essential.  MAKE SURE YOUR TARGETS ARE REALISTIC.  Break it down to smaller goals, and reward yourself a little for every accomplishment.

Know what your priorities are.  This will keep your schedule less hectic.  LIST DOWN YOUR MOST IMPORTANT TASKS.  My wife is very good at this.  I admire her resolve to accomplish things everyday.  Once her tasks are done, she feels relaxed knowing that she has crossed out tasks from her list.

HAVE TIME FOR YOURSELF.  Everyone needs a few moments alone. If you can’t get away from it all, why not go to the restroom?  Wash your face, groom yourself, and put on some perfume.  If  you can do this while humming a tune, that would be so much better.  In the afternoon, if it would be possible, why not spend part of your lunch hour just sitting in a quiet corner with eyes closed for 15 minutes? Better if you could take a short nap!

Never forget EXERCISE.  Do it for 30 minutes at least 3 or 4 times per week.  No excuses.  Brisk walking is enough.  Or take the stairs.  If you can incorporate stretching and weight-bearing exercises to your routine, then so much the better.  Studies have proven that the earliest manifestation of aging is muscle atrophy due to inactivity.  Sarcopenia, or muscle degeneration, plays a major role in functional impairment.  So if you want to age gracefully, exercise today.

Finally, there are only 2 ways to deal with  stress head on.  Either you decrease your load (less activity and responsibility), or increase your ability (by continuous learning).  If you cannot do one, then do the other.  Which is more feasible for you?  Only you can answer that.  But if I were you, I’d choose the latter.  Life is too short to spend just idling away without being productive.


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