How to handle pressure?

Vijaykumar Jayaram.

Chennai: No one can escape from socio-environmental pressures. This is not just a social group pressure on a peer at office or that of a resident in the neighbourhood which depicts disturbances on an individual’s mind, says management expert professor Vijaykumar Jayaram.

Speaking to News Today, he says, “These pressures are a grand total of all the pressures that can arise from an external environment which further move on to affect an individual’s inner environment or mind-body wellness. The socio-environmental pressures relate to an impact of all forces at work in a given environment. This may be upon a group of people or a family or even an individual leader.”

Vijaykumar Jayaram says further, “Sometimes the group may even be an entire village or society pertaining to a particular culture or its subsets. By forces at work we mean all those decisions or activities that just keep continuing or those that bring a change in particular rhythm of life. The inter-related areas from where these forces could arise can be listed as – economical, political, legal, socio-cultural, technological, geo-climate and the international relations area”.

To put it very simply in layman terms, the above title can also be called external pressure, he says and adds, “External pressures can be felt or seen as feelings or emotional reactions towards losing a job, losing your prestige or esteem, losing goodwill, decrease or delay in salary, inability to do a social task, custodial or other violent deaths in the neighbourhood, an emerging war like situation, non-availability of medicines, non-availability of daily essentials, non-availability of transport, increase in a disease rate, non-availability of information, sudden realisation of having processed a wrong information, getting webqoofed, educational discriminations or de-recognitions, foolishness shown by elected political members, a delayed legal system, corruption, sudden price hikes, unexpected changes in technology, climatic changes, pollution, increase in crime or a new modus in a ghastly crime, mistrust among people, lack of friends, lack of understanding among family members and this list can go on and on”.

When questioned whether it can be called as stress and whether this further develops is it called frustration, he says yes. This pressure arises due to a mismatch or a gap between what is normally expected to happen and what actually happens. The larger the gap or mismatch, the larger is the pressure. This simply means the more number of forces creating the mismatch or the more number of forces active within the gap, the larger is the socio-environmental pressure model. This definitely calls for an individual to develop skills in tackling unexpected things, he adds.

Asked what are the models and tools to develop such skills, VKJ suggests the AKS open-model, pronounced as Axe to cut or chop off the difficulties. A- an Attitude to accept whatever is happening as the first step. Secondly, sharpening the acceptance to combine with the development of an awareness on what is going to happen next. Meditation, music or sports are good tools for developing awareness.
K – a thirst towards ‘Knowledge. The abilities to kindle a fire within oneself towards learning new things or seeking ways to improvise on the existing things we already know. One should have desire for good things in life and strive to becoming a deserving candidate for those desires. And finally S – For skills to sharpen by standardizing our goals, by sorting our activities based on importance and urgencies. AKS being an open-model we can adopt ‘S’ as skills for Self-discipline with right habits to form. One can also form atomic habits or automatic habits such as a habit to do deep breathing while one is waiting for the mixer to blend your morning health drink. Thereby making the best use of waiting time. AKS open-model can be fine tuned to suit one’s own life style and goals.’

“When suddenly challenged with such stress or pressures in the middle of our daily routine”, VKJ says the most effective tools are, “Attitude to get busy with the next set of tasks, take deep breaths for 2 to 5 five minutes depending on the impact. Deep breath calm the sudden flow of panic thoughts, listen to your favorite music, eat well. Indulge in a food item that you love to eat, go for window shopping, sleep well and meet and talk to your mentor or friend.”