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Bailing into life

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HealthIf you are stressed out, the best thing to do is to pause, relax and revitalise before you get on your toes

His eyes are sunken so far into his head that you could balance a coin on them. At times his carotid artery bulges like a balloon and he even fears a coronary collapse, for such is the tightening in his chest.

Excessive stress is killing 33-year-old Lokesh, a marketing executive who runs an educational institution in Rajahmundry. Battling taut nerves, a jammed head and flagging interest, he files a report of the day-to-day developments at work while constantly thinking of ways to fulfil admissions ‘targets' by ensnaring parents for the coming academic year.

“It's very stressful. I am in a Catch 22 situation. Without job I cannot survive,” he says. “And the job I took up in the marketing field is stressing me to death.”

When he unloaded his sadness to a friend, the latter suggested running in fresh air every morning to relieve himself of the stress. “I have been running for almost 10 days now and I feel slightly relaxed,” says Lokesh.

Medical literature proves that stress is a silent killer—if it doesn't first make you a raving lunatic, that is.

Short of riding a camel in a desert, mouse hunting in a bush and trying to swat a scooting cockroach, there are innumerable ways to bust the stress in our system. The relaxation methods, however, don't involve watching an IPL match while lazing on a couch and munching junk food, nor do they involve working up a lather while watching primetime soaps on TV.

“A brisk walk for an hour every day helps me de-stress,” says Arun Kumar, an accountant with a private firm. “When you are working, you are so involved in the details of accounts that it automatically builds up some amount of tension and stress. To beat the stress, I took to walking and I am happy I did.”

Health experts say there are many outdoor activities that adults can engage in to keep stress at bay. Some of the popular activities are yoga, breathing exercises, walking, running, swimming, and trekking.

“I do yoga every morning,” says Venkateswara Rao, an RTC employee in Tanuku. “We have a yoga teacher who not only doles out tips on busting stress but teaches us how to derive peace from yogic postures.”

“Yoga exercises followed by meditation make your life vibrant and peaceful,” says Arvind Rao, a yoga teacher.

Yoga, or any exercise for that matter, he feels, trains the body to accommodate stress. He suggests starting from a small routine, say a 15-minute walk, jog or yoga session, rather than working out full-bore and collapsing like a punctured balloon.

“But for the exercises that rejuvenate my drooping spirits,” Lokesh says, “I would have been a wreck. Relaxation has bailed me into life.”

G.B.S.N.P. VARMA

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