PP Penny Taringting
Stress is the body’s response to a challenge or demand. Everyone, including Rotarians, experiences stress, which can be triggered by a range of events, from small daily hassles to major changes like a project implementation challenges or a project proposal not granted. The stress response includes physical components such an elevated heart rate and blood pressure, thoughts and personal beliefs about stressful event, and emotions, including fear and danger. Although, we often think of it as being negative, however, stress can also come from positive changes in life, like getting a promotion at work or having a new assignment.
Stress serves an important purpose – it enables us to respond quickly to threats and avoid danger. However, lengthy exposure to stress may lead to mental health difficulties (for example anxiety and depression) or increased physical health problems. A large body of research suggests that increased stress levels interfere with the ability to deal with physical illness. While no one can avoid all stress, one can work to handle it in healthy ways that increase his potential to recover.
How do we do we manage stress then? Firstly, by consuming a healthy, balanced diet can help to combat stress. Secondly, exercise regularly. Thirdly, by curtailing smoking and nicotine intake. Fourth, taking time to relax everyday helps manage stress and protect the body from the harmful effects by increasing physical arousal and reducing blood flow and breathing. Fifth, study and practice relaxation techniques. Taking time to relax everyday helps manage stress. One can choose from a variety of techniques such as deep breathing, imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, and mindfulness meditation and have enough time to sleep. Sixth, reduce triggers of stress. Life may be filled with too many demands, but by practicing time management skills like asking for help when it is appropriate, setting priorities, pacing oneself, and reserving time to take care of himself. It is okay to say “no” to demands on one’s time and energy that will place too much stress on him. One does not have always to meet the expectations of others. Seventh, set realistic goals and expectations. It is healthy to realize that one cannot always have a 100% success in all activities. Be mindful of the things you can control and work on accepting things that you cannot control. Finally, when you are feeling overwhelmed, remind yourself of what you do well. Have a healthy sense of self-esteem.
Lastly, by religiously practicing the truths on stress management will surely help every Rotarian to enjoy a healthy and peaceful life as sine qua non to an extra mile service to humanity in this uncertain period of the new normal. Serving to change lives is to instill in our hearts self-control and a prayerful life. By so doing, we, as Rotarians exude an image that indeed, we walk the talk as a leadership principle based on leadership by example.