International Stress Management Association organises ‘Win Over Stress’ programme

It’s not stress that kills, it is our reaction to it. Feel stressed out? Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you.

But it is easier said than done. There was an interesting discussion on this socially accepted form of mental illness at the ‘Win Over Stress’ programme organised here on Saturday. There were valuable tips to be picked up at the day-long session organised by the International Stress Management Association (ISMA), India chapter.

How one perceives a situation and reacts to it is the basis of stress. In many cases, it is artificial anxieties and care that bothered one, experts felt. Dr. Gopinath Reddy, former director general, Prisons, called for social re-engineering and rebuilding of school and family units.

Not long ago, these institutions played a key role in providing support and shoring up morale. “Unfortunately, schools no longer inculcated values and family is more or less ruined,” Dr. Reddy remarked. Sharing one’s problems would automatically de-stress a situation. But today, one didn’t have friends, only acquaintances, Dr. Reddy said. He felt blind aping of the West was also the cause for tension. While marriage was an individual issue in US, it was a family affair in India. “Let’s not follow America. It is a made up country while ours is a natural one,” he remarked.

B. Janardhan Reddy, Commissioner, Municipal Administration, said one should not get judgemental and feel that he/she alone was under stress. The truth was everybody had some degree of stress and talking it out with others would relieve it to a great extent. Also, one should learn to love one’s job, environment and have realistic aspirations. “List out your strengths and weaknesses and be in the habit of giving away what you have,” he suggested. The Indian Administrative Service, he said, was nothing but Indian stress management service.

Dr. P. Geervani, former vice chancellor, Sri Padmavati Mahila University, said leading a disciplined life and following values inherited from Indian culture would itself relieve one of stress. The break up of joint family system and even nuclear families had left one without care and support. B. Udaya Kumar Reddy, board member, ISMA, said a stress awareness month was being held to create consciousness about this malady and to inform people how to cope with it.

Quoting survey reports, he said 32 per cent of students suffered from academic stress while 25,000 students in the age group of 18 to 20 committed suicide during examination season.

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