Fri, 19 Apr, 2019

Embrace mindfulness, live stress-free

The demands and pressure of meeting deadlines in marketing, advertising and media can take a toll on our health. Psychologist Parveen Shaikh shares her suggestions to avoid stress and live with mindfulness

14th April 2019, 03:10 Hrs

#TG Life


Life is a fast paced race for those living in today’s highly competitive world where everyone tries to dodge the other and go ahead. While some take it easy and make peace with life, there are others who fret and fume and get frustrated soon. And there are those who suffer low self-esteem and sink into depression. 

To avoid this from happening, such persons suffering from stress, depression and anxiety need psychological counselling to deal with their mental state. In her master class on ‘Mind Power and Mindfulness’ at Goafest 2019 at Grand Hyatt psychologist Parveen Shaikh, head of Outreach and Collaborations at Mpower - an initiative of Aditya Birla Education Trust (ABET) elaborated on various reasons that lead to stress and how one can fight it.  

ABET offers talks in schools, colleges and corporate world, aims at helping and guiding people to live a stress-free, anxiety-free mindful life. A trainer and a psychologist for 23 years, Parveen discussed on mindfulness at work. The demands and pressures in today’s competitive world are driving people mad, especially, if they are in the media and advertising field which has deadlines to meet and long working hours. Parveen suggests ways to combat stress.

“The body tells you, it shows symptoms but you don’t listen. Either we don’t get it, or we just ignore it; until the body crashes. This may lead to even heart attack,” she warns. Mental health in the media needs to be constantly reviewed, especially if they work for 55 hours or more per week. The statistics say that one in three suffers from chronic stress and 42 per cent of them change jobs and 75 per cent are stressed in 12 months. 

“Suppose you are one of them and feel that you need to talk to someone about how you are feeling. You may go to a doctor who may not take it seriously and prescribe some pills for the superficial symptoms. Popping up pills doesn’t work for long, as stress returns. This is a vicious circle,” deliberates Parveen. Sometimes stress comes from not meeting the self-expectation level. “When you feel you are not rising to your own expectation, you feel like giving up. But having balance is extremely important,” she advises.

Parveen suggests to take a break. “Take a power nap, every two hours. It takes only a minute - just close your eyes and breathe deeply. Concentrate on the breath. Feel it moving along your body. Then slowly open your eyes. You will feel relaxed,” she says. The benefits are many. It improves memory, attention, focus and problem solving ability. Acceptance of criticism increases along with self-esteem and confidence. One can manage chronic pain. It boosts immune system and prevents mindless activity. The glucose levels are controlled in diabetes and other physical concerns. So just do it! Mindfulness helps. 

What is mindfulness? Parveen observes, “There is chaos outside. When it is so, you can’t listen to your inner voice. So, let the chaos die, let it vanish. Only then you can have a dialogue with yourself. When you live mindfully, you are concerned, conscious and aware. Being mindful is to focus on what’s happening right now. Live in the moment, live in the present. Past is no more, it does not exist anywhere, except in your mind. And future is yet to come. We do not know how it would be, so worrying about it has no meaning because it does not exist.” 

Parveen gives these simple tips - “Do a five minute walking exercise. Walk with mindfulness. Practice a three minute body scan. Relax. Let each of the organ in your body tighten and loosen simultaneously. It will relax your body and your mind. Do worry surfing. Bring all the worries in your mind and then let all go. Empty your mind before you start your work. These are simple techniques, but they work. One has to learn to manage emotions. Mindfulness brings gratitude and calmness. It’s okay to be angry. But manage it in a better way, so that your body is not harmed by the toxins that your anger releases. Give time to yourself as with time, anger sublimes. Or just sleep it over. Next day you will feel differently. Reaction will come but with a positive response. Negativity will be curtailed.” 

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