Survival Strategies: A Dummys Guide to Handling Stress

Hello, ladies and gentlemen!

Today I have decided to share with you my entirely self-developed, patented tricks for surviving whatever mental malady is it that ails your heart. Trust me, these are worth 5 Ramdev Baba's breathing technique's weight in gold. I have personally hand-crafted (err..mind-crafted?) each one from my vast experiences with handling 'difficult' situations. 

Do try them, I'm sure you'll be pleased with the results.

1. Sing loudly to self – this one works best when you're having a 'healthy discussion' with your other halves. (Read – your significant other shouting his/her head off about some obviously trivial matter. Or at least the matter is trivial to you..and you're the one that counts, right? Or He/She deciding to enlighten you with an endless stream of gyaan from their never-depleting repository of the same. And you're going "Can-I-please-get-a-5-minute-break-from-this-to-Google-the-most-effective-ways-to-strangle-the-living-daylights-off-someone?" in your mind).

This exercise has multiple benefits -

  • It'll effectively shut off the relentless mind-numbing, soul-destroying soliloquy. (I can't hear you... tra la la la la!)
  • Singing anything with a perky smile plastered to your face will immediately start releasing the happy-hormones in your brain. (It totally works! Promise.)
  • You might discover an 'India's got talent' level singing sensation in you. How cool is that!

2. Do a surreptitious jig – this is for those moments when you're in a relatively uncrowded public place and in dire need of a pick-me-up for whatever reason. A not-so-busy street or a secluded corner in a bustling party are examples of ideal places for these performances. Do a fast, 5 seconds Macarena or Thumka and then quickly resume your previous posture and expression. And if anybody catches you in the act, make a "What?? Dude, what are you giving me that look for?" like nonchalant, mildly surprised face. The poor guy's confusion will only add to your enjoyment and gratification.

3. Throw something unbreakable that makes a soul-shattering, rattling noise – this will immediately jar you out of your pitiful state of mind, or put a sock in someone's relentless cackle if that's the effect that you're trying to achieve. Keep in mind that the important word here is 'unbreakable'. Please don't use your china or cut-glasses for this purpose. You will hate yourself later for having to clean up the mess. A simple steel pot or some similar utensil will do excellently to accomplish the goal. You can also let out a banshee-like scream to achieve the same objective, but it has the slight disadvantage of neighbors suspecting that you might be mental. If you're throwing a pan instead, you can always blame your cat in case someone wonders or complains about the noise.

4. Go for a walk – Seriously, just do it. Some eggheads have done this confuzling research on mice and apparently, the upshot of that whole rigmarole is that when these critters are active, their brains trigger the soothing neurons. These neurons create a calming effect when they're exposed to stressful conditions. (I implore you to imagine a mouse going "Man, I got to meet that sales target! This pressure is KILLING!!" or "Was that a lipstick mark I noticed on my husband's whiskers last night? Gah! The scumbags cheating on me!!"... but I digress.)

If the exercise can grant Nirvana to some pesky vermins, surely it will do its magic on you? And while you're at it, chat up a storm with some random strangers like the neighborhood 'cha-wala' or 'dokandar'. The mindless conversation will have a somnambulist effect on your frazzled nerves.

5. And lastly, when everything else fails, try 'Faith and trust, and a little pixie-dust' – even if you've chosen to ignore all my earlier priceless tips, please, please don't ignore this one. Dust yourself with a dash of the magic powder, close your eyes, put a secret smile on your face, take a deep breath and transport yourself to your own, special Neverland that resides in your head. It can be a sunny beach where white sand sparkles brilliantly like diamond dust and the blue sea takes away all your pains, washes them, and returns minutes later with the pure joy of living to put under your feet. It can be the silent, lofty mountains that kiss the sky and makes your angsts look tiny and insignificant beside their majesty. It can be the sun-kissed emerald glow of a rainforest that touches your soul with its wild beauty and makes you feel whole again.

I don't know where your happy place is, but I know this for sure, that it's tucked somewhere deep in your heart. Retire to that place, and don't come out till all the hurt in the universe cannot affect you anymore. Then, when the storm has subsided, put on your best happy mask and come out again in the world.

After all, tomorrow is another day.