Stress Files

After her retirement, a lady found herself more frazzled than ever – community work, gardening, ballroom dancing, even her grand-children's visits rattled her. She told her husband she will get rid of the cause. And without missing a beat he replied, “But where will I go?” You can't escape stress – like taxes. From an abstract concept, serenity has ow become a precious commodity. You don't have to go to Tibet to achieve peace, but different strokes for different folks, so here are the personal techniques of stress-management gurus. The Five-Year Test. Even if you can't change your Type A personality, you can modify it. If faced with a stunning array of commitments, ask yourself: “Will I care about this 5 years from now?” The Scale of 1 to 10. Getting squished in the MRT won't ruin your weekend unless you let it. You're not obligated to sweat the small stuff. Rate your response on a scale of one to ten before declaring a state of emergency. Teamwork. Unless you're born in Krypton, stop acting like Superman – and Superwoman doesn't exist either. A wise housewife delegates chores to bond with her kids. And you learn more about a friend in an hour of work than in a year of talk. Sports. Stress is not a disease but it has symptoms – warning signals that certain issues need resolving. One is sleep disruption.“My solution is sports,” according to Vern Fischer, psychologist and lecturer specializing in corporate stress management and personal development in Hong Kong. Lending a hand. News headlines can make you paranoid if you forget that life is full of heroism. Volunteers for a good cause are masters of their fate and captains of their souls. Taking Control. There is no such thing as objective reality – everything is subjective. Running out of money can be a catastrophe or a learning experience, it depends on you. Either way, it's your life and you must take the initiative. The Big Picture. Pick up a pebble and examine it closely. It's easy to imagine it as the Rock of Gibraltar. But put it back on the ground – where it belongs – and you'll discover that you've been looking at a lot of things in life from the wrong angle.