Yes, life is a bed of roses. Learn to take the thorns with the petals

`Kisi ko geet deta hun, kisi ko saaz deta hoon, bahut khush hota hun to har ek raaz deta hoon.'The audience applauded the poet in this man as he ended his presentation on a poetic note. `Multi-faceted' has become a cliché-adjective for this bureaucrat-turned-poet-turned-author-turned management-expert-turned-stress-management guru. At the India Habitat Centre on Tuesday, Dewakar Goel spoke about `Living a Stressful Life With Joy' - incidentally also the title of his book that elucidates on how to cope with stress-related pressures."Stress had been taken in the light of tension and anxiety, and there are many books on this topic in the market. But while teaching management students, working as a government servant, interacting with people in all walks of life, I realised stress cannot be a generalised term. It is relative." Propelled by this belief he went on to study the stress levels associated with different professions. He has devoted separate chapters to separate professionals, discussing the day-to-day issues faced by people in different callings. He offers differing remedial measures for teachers, doctors, businesspersons, industrialists and so on.

The mantra is...

Describing stress as both a positive and a negative force, Goel stated that adopting a positive attitude and keeping negative thoughts at bay could tackle negative stress. Loving oneself and living with passion is his mantra of adapting to a stressful life. "I avoided using the word stress-free life, because it is hardly a possibility. In fact stress also acts as a positive force; it makes us alert. It will help if you make stress a learning experience," he said.Asked whether he believed in yoga and meditation in dealing with stress, he spoke about diverting one's mind as the key remedy. In this context spoke of resorting to imagery as a way of diverting attention. Imagery is an art and very important in stress busting. "Revert to happy days in mind. Remember a beautiful holiday you had with your family. It will relieve your mind by diverting it," said he. There are some things we can hardly exercise control over, but we can always learn to respond in a better way. This learning process is the essence of all stress management techniques. If you are still on the learning curve, "Living a Stressful Life with Joy" can be a helping guide to you.