This is the time of the year there is a sudden hype in the environment related to “Stress”. From the Prime Minister to the chief Ministers, principals, educationists, media, to the whatsApp groups all seem to wake up to the stress in children’s life due to examinations.
There would be stress management techniques being shared – eat well, sleep well, share, relax a bit, play a bit and everyone would have a suggestion or two for students on how to manage their stress.
But aren’t we trying to fix the symptoms of something which is far deeper and far more dangerous than just what we see as a peaking of stress in these 2 months. It’s like trying to fix the fever being caused by cancer rather than acknowledging and addressing the cause of the fever.
More often than not everyone is blaming the parents to ease out and release the stress, making the parents the culprits. Schools, teachers, children themselves start looking at parents as the devils behind this. Every parent knows the negative impact of stress on their children and even the extent of the damage it can cause, and even in their wildest of dreams parents can’t even think of damaging their children. So why is it that the parents end up doing what they really do not want to?
I invite you to examine these in two parts.
1. How can parents be empowered to ease it out for their children.
2. What can students do themselves to not get impacted by the pressure cooker situation
In this article let’s look at point 2, the environment may not just shift with only the parents shifting and it would take time for the impact of the environment to seep into the children. Stress due to examinations is NOT just an end of the year phenomenon, IT IS A BUILD UP OF YEARS OF RAISING THEM that we will address in the upcoming article.
Empowering students and they getting the ability to manage it despite of the environmental conditions would be the best gift we could give to our children.
Take Charge: My life my responsibility.
From a very early age we are inadvertently taught that there are environmental factors that are very critical for our survival and they can make or break our vision, ambition etc. However one thing we miss out telling our children is that the human spirit is bigger than any challenge the environment may throw at us. In all adversities Human’s have had the power – the physical, mental, emotional strength to beat the odds and make it happen. And that’s true for every human not just for a chosen few. You are a born winner and….
A few simple steps…
1. Self belief
a. I HAVE THE POWER TO MANGE IT
b. I AM BIGGER THAN ANY ENVIRONMENTAL FORCE
Each one of you irrespective of your environment or upbringing is actually bigger than the situation and you have the capability of managing any life situation.
So say these two affirmations to yourself every day. This is not positive self talk – IT’S A FACT
2. The body signs of stress i.e. headache, going blank, feeling lost, palpitations, sweating etc. are the ways your body is getting prepared to manage the difficult situation. Our body has built-in mechanism to protect. E.g. the body raises the temperature to kill the bacteria /viruses. Similarly the body is preparing itself to deal with the stress situation. Take these changes as the body’s normal way of preparing itself. Combine this with the ‘self belief’; don’t fight this self managing mechanism of your body, just be with it.
3. Creating a new context of the situation: THERE IS ENOUGH FOR EVERYONE
What we normally hear is
a. There is a lot of stress
b. “It’s a competitive world out there!”
c. “You need to be the best” else you will be left behind
There is not enough for everyone and therefore if someone else gets it I will not! It’s a context of scarcity. Let’s do a reality check. Actually there is enough. In the last 20 years the economy of the country / world has gone up. More avenues, more jobs, more industries have come up. There are more Vice presidents in the corporate world than they were 20 years back. There is room for everyone to grow and succeed.
Shifting the context from ‘scarcity’ to ‘abundance’ and I need to find my niche’/ my space; create a space of innovation, creativity, uniqueness and exploration.
THERE IS ENOUGH FOR EVERYONE
When we start approaching life and all the elements of life from the context of ‘my life my responsibility’ the entire focus shifts from being a victim to being in charge gives you the power of managing all that life has to give you.
This is not going to shift overnight and be permanently changed. Its transformation and it’s a slow process (the butterfly emerges from the caterpillar and it’s a slow and arduous process). Practice the above the shift happens and YOU TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR LIFE.