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Is stress taking you down?
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January 29, 2007

Think your life is spinning out of control? Take heart. Most of us have felt stressed out at some point in our lives.

The Oxford Dictionary defines stress as "a state of affair involving demand on physical or mental energy". Whether it is due to losing a loved one, meeting a deadline, a difficult commute, failing an exam or dealing with illness, stress is unhealthy and can disrupt the healthy working of both body and mind.

During a chat on stress and related issues, on January 16, clinical psychologist Prachi Vaish was on hand to help readers deal with this modern day malady.

For those of you who missed the chat, here's the transcript:


Sushma asked, I am feeling very much tensed and feeling completely helpless due to sudden death of my mother
Mrs. Prachi Vaish answers, Hi Sushma. I am very sorry for your loss. A mother cannot be replaced, but I suggest you focus on the happy memories and the joy she gave you. Also think on how she would have wanted you to go on with your life and not wallow in grief. You can try meditation or penning your feelings in a diary.



Krishna asked, I am working in an organisation where my colleagues are 12-15 years older than me and I have to guide them to deliver their responsibilities every body is moving friendly with me but no one is co-operating with me to deliver their duties and also I failed to keep up my word with management. Please guide me
Mrs. Prachi Vaish answers, Hi Krishna. First, try to find out the reason why you failed to keep your word, and then make sure it does not happen again. Remember, you have to do your best job. As for your colleagues, it is natural for some ego issues to crop up, as they are older than you. Try to get them involved by asking for their advice (even if u don't follow it later). By doing this you're acknowledging their experience and also showing that you have no problem asking them for help.



Ipshita asked,  I am in research field. I get tensed easily due to a bad environment in office. Kindly suggest.
Mrs. Prachi Vaish answers, Ipshita, what exactly do you mean by "bad environment"? Is it your colleagues, working conditions or job profile? If it is colleagues then try to understand them and establish a rapport. You can discreetly approach your superiors to report any abuse. If its working conditions, try to see if everybody feels the same way. If not, try to adjust. Have patience. It will all work out.


Mann asked,  Hi, I'm 23, unmarried. I've lot of inferior complex in me. I want to stand first in all the fields but unable to stand first. My parents have lot of expectations from me but every time I disappoint them ...Pls suggest me for this probs...
Mrs. Prachi Vaish answers, Dear Mann, first understand that nobody is perfect. Parents have their expectations, but do not feel guilty if you cannot fulfil all of them. Write down all your positive points on paper and compare it with your parents' expectations. You could keep abreast on the latest technology and events to boost your confidence.



RAJ asked, Hi...there is a lot of stress around. I cannot concentrate on anything. Work demands more time and so do the family. I want to start my business but scared of failure. I don't know how to focus on one thing and cannot work out the details. What should I do?
Mrs. Prachi Vaish answers, Hi Raj. Failures are bound to happen. In fact, failure gives you the opportunity to learn from your mistakes. You cannot shy away from trying something because you fear failure. Just treat each failure as an opportunity to learn. Also, practice time management and try organising your activities so that you can attend to both work and family.



Sudha asked, When we were doing college we were outgoing and busy in work but after marriage staying at home as housewife decreases the outgoing personality and courage to explore the things out. Why this happens to most of the women?...They feel dependent on others to do the outside (travelling to other city etc...) work alone.
Mrs. Prachi Vaish answers, Dear Sudha, I completely agree with you. The blame goes to the way we bring up the girl child in our society. Gradually, however, the trend is changing and we now see more and more independent women doing their own thing. You can work from home, as there are a lot of opportunities these days. Read the local newspapers and try picking up new hobbies. This will help build up your confidence.



Yamini asked, Hi I'm Yamini working in software firm. Due to office pressure, I get tensed very easily..........Please suggest how to overcome!!!
Mrs. Prachi Vaish answers, Dear Yamini, whenever you feel pressure building up, close your eyes, take deep breaths and count to ten. You can also listen to soothing music on your cell phone, MP3 player or walkman. Take a short walk once every hour. Also try some stretching exercises. Munch on dry fruits for instant energy.


Kaps asked, Hi, I changed my job to overcome the internal politics in my last job. I tried to get all information of the new company that I can, but the scenario is completely different than what I had assumed from my research. Now I think my earlier job was ok. I cannot go back to my last job and fear about the new companies if I had to join any. It's really frustrating when things go out of your hands. Because of this, my personal life is becoming a big problem as I keep on getting disturbed by even small things. Please advice.
Mrs. Prachi Vaish answers, Hi Kaps. Well, you failed to mention why the new company is not good. But let me tell you that every company has its own politics. You cannot keep running away from jobs like this. Try making a goal for yourself. For example, decide on a company and give it eight months to see if it works out. Refrain from office politics and try to befriend colleagues who are more like you. Concentrate on doing your job well, and the praises would be incentive enough for you to stay on!



Sbt asked, Hi, I am 47, married with a son and a daughter. My wife is 37 and diagnosed with OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). She is refusing to take any treatment. This is causing lot of tension at home for me as well as kids. How to handle this situation? Thanks for your feedback in advance.
Mrs. Prachi Vaish answers, Dear Sbt, you must convince your wife that OCD is a fairly common problem and encourage her to see a psychiatrist. If she does not want to be treated, you must record all her activities, rituals and hours, and present your findings to a psychiatrist. Any prescribed medicines should be dissolved in food or juices and given to her.



Kumar asked, Hi, I am Kumar, working in s/w company. I get angry and frustrated quite often when any of my team members do not complete the work. This will affect my personal life too. Can u suggest me on this?
Mrs. Prachi Vaish answers, Hi Kumar, it's is natural to get angry or frustrated when someone fails to complete their task. However, remember that they are also human. . Try to find out the reason for the delay and if it's a genuine problem, then sort it out by having a discussion with the concerned person.



Shyam asked, I have many types of work at the same time. What should I do?
Mrs. Prachi Vaish answers, Hi Shyam. You will have to learn techniques of multi-tasking. First organise your space and time by prioritising all tasks. Then tackle them accordingly. Try to keep some time aside for relaxation. Alternatively, you can update yourself with the latest techniques, software and gadgets to simplify your tasks. Further, delegate tasks among your colleagues.



Rupinder asked, Ways to do away with anxiety
Mrs. Prachi Vaish answers, Dear Rupinder, first identify what causes you anxiety. Knowing the reason will make it easier to deal with them. Try meditation and calming exercises. Also take up sports like table tennis, badminton or tennis to deal with frustration. You can also listen to music or pick up a new hobby.


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