Seasons come and go. Leaves shed and get renewed. Day follows night, rest follows activity. This is the law of Nature. It has balance and harmony. We, human beings, are probably the only ones who ignore these laws. As a consequence, the balance gets disturbed and there is disharmony, leading to stress and disease. In any activity, when there is no time to relax, it gives rise to fatigue. The internal organs are all working constantly. Nature has devised a way for the heart to rest, even while it is working. The heart never stops pumping blood during our lifetime yet it can continue to do so because of the in-built periods of rest or relaxation.
Sleep is the means of rest and recovery for the body. During sleep, our respiratory rate slows down, the heart and blood pressure slow down, our muscles relax and we are ready to face the next day, renewed and refreshed. Normally, an adult requires six to eight hours of sleep. Our body organs relax and so does the mind. In fact, relaxation is very necessary for both body and mind. In order to work hard and perform well, we must have proper periods of relaxation and adequate rest.
Recently, the effects of stress have been highlighted as being the contributory cause of various diseases. Today, we have much information about how to cope with stress. The mind and body function as a whole. The anxiety of the mind reflects on the body, in the form of altered postures, clenched fists, faster breathing and pulse rate and so on. Rest and relaxation also reflect on the body, by slowing down the pulse rate and relaxing the muscles. Long-term stress, without relaxation, has a detrimental effect on the internal bodily functions and can lead to disease.
If one can manage time efficiently and perform daily tasks and chores as a matter of routine, it can save a lot of stress. On the other hand, one should not be so rigid, so as to become a slave of a set pattern. There should be some amount of flexibility and adaptability in the attitude, so that the routine can be adjusted when the need arises, without causing anxiety.
Similarly, the atmosphere in the workplace or in the home can contribute to stress. Here, one’s attitudes and manner makes a great deal of difference. For instance, adaptability or a friendly, humane, sympathetic approach can sometimes help the general atmosphere. In fact, it can increase efficiency and motivate people to bring out the best in them. It can also avoid unnecessary heartburn and stress.
We tend to expect a great deal from ourselves and others. Sometimes the goals that we set for ourselves and others are not realistic. In fact, this can even affect our children, who are put through much stress to meet up to the goals set by the parents. In the home situation too, children have to meet the expectations of their parents and vice versa. Sharing of tasks and a sympathetic attitude can help to build a better atmosphere and better relationships. We need to increase awareness about the way we behave and put in some effort to bring about changes consciously. There is also a need for better communication. In many cases, there is expectation without articulating what these expectations are. The other person may not be aware of the expectations and naturally, may not meet them. Once the expectations are known, the other person can at least try to meet them, or convey the inability to do so. In other words, relationships are on a better footing if there is communication.
It is much better to adopt a forgiving, sympathetic and understanding approach towards other people’s faults. This not only builds better relationships, but benefits you too. It leaves you feeling good about yourself and this goes a long way towards coping with stress.