Is Stress Good?

By Simmran Sharma

In current times, everyone is all too familiar with stress. More stress can lead to more conflicts, which in turn increases our stress levels. Though this sounds like a self-repeating cycle of agony we might be wrongfully portraying stress and conflicts in a bad light.

To put it in simple words, stress is just our body’s reponse towards changes, this response can physical, mental or emotional. Similarly, conflicts are disagreements, these disagreements can be with someone else, an organisation or even within us! (known as self-conflicts). Now, changes and disagreements are bound to happen aren’t they? In fact, they are the only way we learn and grow.

So, let us see it this way, if we deal with stress and conflicts in a constructive manner they might actually be our friendly companion, checking-in now and then to help us stay alert, motivated and gain new perspective. It is only when they become too much to handle that they become a trouble.

The key is to not let stress control you. So, to turn the tables, when you feel stress focus on what might be causing it, if you can’t avoid it address it. Never let it affect your productivity negatively. Instead, set realistic goals and limits for yourself, split your work up in sections and do a little everyday. This way you don’t end up overdoing it to the verge of giving up.

Manage conflicts in an understanding manner, address them carefully and always make sure they are leading you to a solution. Try learning about stress management techniques. Also, learn about nutritious comfort foods and stress releasing simple exercises, see how you can equip them into your weekly routine. After all, a lot of our mental health is connected to our physical health and wellbeing.

Needless to say, anytime stress seems to be taking hold of you, it is always okay to consult a mental health care practitioner or primary care physician and take help of counseling and stress management techniques. Because no one else can give you a more professional, tailor made counselling based on your needs. Not the internet, not even me.

p.s. to help understand the exact causes of stress and conflict here is a survey to fill :

Sun 5:49 p.m.

Who is an outlaw anyway? and if no-one adheres to the law, does the law even exist. Some are supposed to enforce the law and some create but all choose to defy the process. Such betrayal gives birth to the rebel, who sought justice through bent ways. Both claim righteousness none possess, no matter how much they intend to do so. Then there is the indifferent individual, on neither side at war, but who paralyses limbs of justice and law by not doing anything. It is very hard to be right and do right…at least at length ; very hard to not give up or eventually be silenced. Broken values more than broken laws are engulfing justice, society and all those who are in it.

The Curtains to Mind

– By Simmran Sharma

eyes are like curtains to mind
sometimes when I see them I wonder
what might be happening behind

when you watch what do you see
is it the same as that I do
or are you not here and that is just a stare, are you busy building something beyond

eyes speak but only what you show
what you do not it is all behind
behind those little curtains that do not show, the infinite universe they hold.

Sun 12:24 a.m.

We as citizens, have been stripped of truth. Betrayed and beguiled so many times that we no further have a concept of what to trust anymore. We question, all that is said…all that is intended. So confused, dazed and tangled in what is going on and what might be happening, but still come to terms on what has happened only after it has been done.

Most, we cannot understand; rest, we cannot control. We sense the scent of freedom and sight the possible source only to discover that the possible saviour came with strings attached, another disposable of system reeking hierarchical oppression. We live in a ‘civilisation’ where human rights have become blunt mockery, not for the lack of rights but for the absence of human. So what remains? Smiles are affordable in sheer simplicity and with sheer ignorance; for it pains to not care, but it pains so much more if you do.

The Lethal Cure

–By Simmran Sharma

On December 31st 2019, the WHO China Country Office was informed of cases of “pneumonia of unknown etiology” in the central Chinese metropolis Wuhan– a major transport hub. This outbreak came as a bad news amidst the approaching Lunar New Year, marking the start of busy travel season–even overseas–for the masses celebrating. On January 20th 2020, China’s top medical authority announced that this vicious virus can spread person to person and WHO convened an emergency meeting on January 22nd to determine the required international response. Ever since, this “viral pneumonia of unknown origin” has morphed into a world wide pandemic crossing 7 million confirmed cases on 8 June, 2020 claiming lives of over 4 lakh people globally.

In Retrospect, China may have missed out on golden period to control the spread of virus. It was considered that learning from its failures of 2003 SARS epidemic, China could deal with health emergencies in the present times. However, surprisingly enough the health authorities downplayed the outbreak and called it unlikely to repeat the 2003’s deadly Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. Despite early warnings from visionaries such as Bill Gates, who considered a deadly epidemic as one of World’s three biggest threats next to climate change and nuclear war, we failed to gear up for a calamity of such scope.

On 11 February 2020, this hitherto nameless virus was named COVID-19 in an attempt to make no reference to places, animals or people to avoid stigma. CO stood for corona, VI for virus, D for disease and, 19 for the year it was identified – December 31 2019 – hence, COVID19 was born. The world has since been facing shortage of income, economic slowdown, inadequacy in medical aid, reverse migration and what not. In this state of panic we are reminded that health is not valued until sickness comes. Whilst this illness can be contained with most basic measures such as washing hands it will remain until a vaccine is developed. And though it has been pushed that development of vaccines should take less than 90 days to avoid major loss, the time and resources are largely failing to do so and a complete cure remains to be a far cry.

But, even as the dark clouds hover over the sole existence of mankind we are forced to perceive the silver lining they are accompanied by. The focal point of world’s leading authorities and government has been drawn to some of the most important hot topics like making healthcare equitable. Once again we are reminded how important it is for treatment to be affordable and accessible to the multitude. People are compelled to pause and reflect, take a break from the mad rush of life. Everyone is finally realising the futility of money against the resources it cannot buy. The only wealth is well being and time is the only currency.

It feels like after an eternity, the over pressured environment is being allowed to breathe again and as it is happening we are forced to question our daily life routines. Did we really need to overburden the natural world to such an extent or was it just something we believed we needed. Since the lockdown, world is seeing an immense diminution in carbon footprints and the country has witnessed a sharp fall in air pollution in past weeks. And thus a pandemic ruled out another silent killer that had been taking toll on millions of lives each year –the very air we breathe. Isn’t it ironical, it took the world a virus that attacks respiratory system to actually have access to a cleaner and fresh air.

An immense amount of gratitude and appreciation is being showered over doctors, nurses, police, cleanliness staff and the entire medical staff. Daniel Kraft once said, “as a cancer doctor, I am looking forward to being out of job”. In times like these we realise who are the real heroes of this battle. The amount of sacrifice and hard work they put into building a better world is insurmountable. And yet, what they long for in such testing times– their family, kids, a moment of leisure and a good night’s sleep– we possess but do not care for.

Needless to mention, as people harmonize just like in any other crisis, this too has introduced new heights to generosity and integration. Millions are joining hands— figuratively of course– to feed, donate and provide shelter to homeless people and stray animals. People are striving to help the elderly and re-organising their priorities because they know now, how much their simple decisions can affect other people’s lives. People are crossing their comfort levels to jaunt beyond the sheer insignificance of “me”, “myself” and “I”. This is somewhere restoring faith in humanity and reclaiming some very wise words once said by Bruce Lee, “Under the sky under the heavens there is but one family.

This isn’t an attempt to celebrate the outbreak or ridicule it’s fatal nature, because it isn’t an occurrence to be celebrated. But if the world as one doesn’t sought after what there is to learn from this fateful series of events that is where the real defeat will become inevitable. There are thousands more to be fed, thousands more to be sheltered . More prominent and evermore unfortunate issues highlighted but not created by this event, like xenophobia and discrimination are waiting for some action to be taken. Education, healthcare and sanitation are waiting still to no longer be privilege to mankind. How lovely would it be to actually live in the world once hypothetical now a reality; a world free of malice? Together we can not only overcome but prevail. So let us unite to defeat all evil and lead humanity towards a better tomorrow. In near future the pandemic might end but the war has just begun. Who knows maybe all the world needed was a push and what we are so afraid of now, in hindsight might prove to be the much needed lethal cure.

What is a good way to get started?

– By Simmran Sharma

I feel like people just put too much pressure on being ‘futuristic’. Now that I have come to think of it, the most beneficial of all is neither to live in past nor future but being present. Presently working on yourself is the best way to achieve goals without being drowned in anxiety or nostalgia. Form near future plans and achieve smaller goals first.

Good planning skills are helpful. Plans are not the enemy of achieving goals, actually quite on contrary they can help in achievement of goals by helping you keep a track of things. But, they start behaving like an enemy to progress when they are too rigid or too detailed. Crossing off items from to-do list can be satisfying but not everything can go just as planned and what if the list seems never-ending, this can frustrate and demotivate us. Thus plans should be flexible and concise.

Also, too much time spent on planning isn’t right, as it is just the time we waste thinking rather than doing. A better way to go around goals is to quickly prioritise them, “what do I need to finish first?” and move forward in the same manner.

Having a positive attitude while trying out new things is highly essential when working on something. Failure is a part of taking risks and risks are part of success. Here is when commitment comes in, we need to overcome the de-motivational setbacks whenever we can. After all, “normality is a paved road; it’s comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow.”

Always trying to make work fun is definitely a fuelling element. Mundane and repetitive tasks can kill the will to carry on. Time is all that our life is made of, so why not spend it on something that makes us happy. Here being imaginative and creative with your goals is important. Curiosity and creativity are mother of invention. Like it is perfectly quoted in a Disney classic, “ In every job that has to be done, there is an element of fun. Find the fun and snap! The job’s a game.”