Saturday, December 10, 2011

No more stressing from now on!

Throughout our lives, we are taught to handle stress. We are made to live with it. Seems like stress is as much of a part of our lives as the air we breathe. We use it as a tool, to get ourselves to work on something, to get others to work on something, and hell, even to just feel like we are making progress.

I do not know about others, but stress is was my constant companion since the age of 9-10, when I first prepared for the test for Sainik School. Then the four years I spent there, came back, had board exams, prepared (unsuccessfully) for IIT, got into college, messed the initial semesters and played catch-up for the rest of the degree and in the end, to top it all up, got my first job.

The amount of time I end up spending at the office (or outside of home, considering an hour's drive to the office) makes used to make me go mad. The worst thing is was no time to think! Add to it the fact that I had some other thoughts/plans which I could not cater to, I am was plainly unsatisfied. And being a naive fatass at work doesn't didn't help, either.

Then to about three weeks from today. About 8:30 pm. I am driving to home. And I have this amazing what-the-hell moment.

I thought, I am 21 right now. I've spent like somewhere between one-third to one-fourth of my life until now, and considering the fact that I will never get my adolescence/teenage/whatever back, I can either keep on worrying over everything or I can start enjoying life. Thankfully, I chose the second. Surprisingly, some people do not worry at all. Never. One such person, Vics, told me that I was way too late to realise this.
Since then, I've been thinking a lot on the issue of avoidable stress. Seems like we humans use our ability to think too much. When we are stuck while trying to get something done, we try simulating the end results in our minds, except that the things we simulate/imagine are nowhere near to what actually will/would happen. We realise this a bit too late for our own good, and by the time we do so, it is generally too late to give up on the simulation/imagination that has already been brewing in our think-able brains. And this clash of thoughts, of two completely different outcomes is the cause of stress.

"Stress is good. Tension is your friend! It gets things done!" This is what people everywhere in the world think, and preach to each other. Well, so many people saying the same thing can't all be wrong, but there is one basic difference between using stress and using some dream, ambition or some tangible reason as your motivator. The difference is:
With ambition, we play to win. With stress, we play to not lose.

Not actually playing, but I think its enough to get the idea. The playing to not lose part comes to even more prominence when there are reputations or track records to salvage.

What others think of me is not my problem. Not that it should be. Especially since I started this blog, and even more so since the great realisation! Some days tend to be more strenuous than others, but I am learning to handle it, thanks in no small part to some of my friends at the office.

MEMO TO MYSELF: Read this post whenever under too much stress. The world can suck its own dick.


  1. ha ha.. mote finally you are out with your post!!
    Great as always.. & Memo is just amazing!

    God Bless!

    Happy Blogging! :)

  2. Your article made me think...
    Seriously why are we stressed.?
    Is it really our work that's such a pain in the ass or we make it that way?
    What if we can control our emotions...not let them come in our work.
    Will there be stress then ?

  3. Keep writing more often Karunesh . If we do what we want to do, we are winning one way or the other.

  4. @Arpit Thanks for everything. My apologies I didn't make the title something like "You're falling behind..."

    @Manu Katyaayan Thanks.

    @Outsider Hey K####. IMO We are stressed because we take a feeling of being stressed as a sense of urgency, period. This makes us think that when stressed, we are making progress. A 'badder' corollary is the fact that after a while, we start thinking that if we are not stressed, we are not working hard enough.

    Our work is not a pain in the ass. It is made so, by us and by our environment. In defence of the second reason, I guess when some of your senior(s) want you to do something by Monday positively, there's not much you can do about it.

    More than controlling our emotions, controlling stress is about controlling your thoughts, rather the (anti-)patterns of thoughts that make you stressed. A bit of stress will always be there, but its upto us how much and how frequent we want it to be.

    @Ashish Will surely try writing more. Your second line won my heart!

  5. seriously tis blog of urs is my really super best friend....................................
    and when i m in anger thuis is my hangout

  6. Stress doesn't get things it causes is peptic ulcer and hypertension. I think the best stress buster is music and pets. And the ability to refuse to be Atlas, carrying the weight of the world. Maybe Atlas should shrug more often.

    1. You are right. I am improving but still learning how not to be an atlas.