Who was the first one to set a foot on the Moon’s surface? Neil Armstrong. Do you know who set his foot second? Or the third? No. In a world that remembers only winners, the one who comes first, there is certain amount of pressure to be the best. While we are taught to enjoy the success, dream higher, we tend to ignore to learn to accept our defeat and be okay with it. People give up, quit, kill themselves, trying to fit into the societal frame of excellence. Everybody wants to be on the top of the world, one reaches there, another wants to topple him off and be there and on and on the wheel goes, crushing those on the ground- the mediocre. Everyone is praying for the wheel to stop; except for the ones who control it. The blind ones.
Under the right pressure, coal turns into diamond. While a certain amount of pressure is necessary for performance, it is important to be able to recognize your individual limit. It is important for individuals to accept competition in a healthy fashion, without breaking down or under performing. Stress has different meaning to different individuals, at different stages of life. A teenager who fails in an examination, a toddler who loses his toy, a job failure, a obese person not able to lose weight, a heartbroken lover. There are signs that appear in your behavior and attitude of the person under stress- as muscle tension in various parts of the body, palpitation and high blood pressure, indigestion and hyper-acidity.
Ultimately, their changes affect your daily activities as well. You may sleep too much, or too less, eat a lot, probably even start drinking, relying on tranquilizers. When this stress crosses a particular level, it starts to affect the performance capabilities-nervousness, lack of concentration, loss of memory, low confidence, and under performing activities you otherwise were really good at.
How do you deal with stress? First of all, realize that no one is perfect. You are real, imperfect, flawed, quirky, weird, beautiful and yet a magical person. Everyone has a past, but holding on too tight to your past few bad experiences, can ruin everything new for you. Accept your faults, your mistakes, and move on.
Start with meditation, yoga, or just simple early morning walks. You can do some breathing exercises that will help you manage your energies. Throughout every minute of every day, you are presented with opportunities that will either deplete or replenish your energy. Learn to say ‘NO’ to people or opportunities that inflect you with negative energies.
Be optimistic. Make positive statements. Be confident, not too proud. Pride takes the fall, while self-esteem keeps you hanging in the time of a deadly storm.
Laugh. Surround yourself with people who keep you happy, support you in your tough times and guide you when you have to make important decisions.
Take a break, and shake it off a bit.
It is not the load that breaks you down, it is the way you carry it around. You are as flexible as a waterfall, if you are still trying, you haven’t failed.