It's Monday again. Piles of files and a mountain of work welcome you at work. Too many tasks, too little time, and you start shifting priorities. Slowly, the line between what you think is achievable and what you know isn't - between what you can finish and what you can't - is blurring. You can't take it. An adrenalin rush and then...
And then you are history. They call it 'Cortisol' - the stress hormone. It's the reason behind those uninvited headaches and uncalled for temper tantrums - severing more than just working relationships - and it's destroying your health.
Research links stress to six causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis, and suicide.
Let's agree: stress isn't going anywhere. So, how you deal with it matters more than ever. Each person has his own way of coping with it. Twelve IT leaders share their stories.
Breathe In Work, Breathe Out Stress: V.Subramaniam, CIO, OTIS
In this fast pace world, the reality our lives is that we work in a professional, challenging, and performance-oriented environment. We are constantly under physical and mental stress as we are continually pushed to perform and succeed.
At the same time, I think it is necessary for us to remember that every company, every function, every team and every individual has strengths and limitations and that it is part of our job as CIOs to manage expectations mutually. Because it is when these expectations are not fulfilled that frustration, depression and agony are created. Naturally, these manifest as stress.
However, it's not the stress that kills us. It is our reaction to stress. It is our choice to be stressed or not. The reason for this stress is that we become slaves to desires and uncontrolled emotions such as hatred, jealousy, anger, etcetera. We feel powerless and limited in what we can do. But we should remember that one cannot control stress, but one can definitely manage it.
And in that lies the secret to staying healthy. Being healthy is necessity. Staying healthy is an art. Work-life effectiveness means being effective at work - as well as in life. Eating healthy food, following healthy diet and exercising all help to stay healthy and keep stress at bay.
I believe that if you are cool in stressful situation, you can turn around most situations and lead your team and your project to success. By being stressed, all that you are doing is adding more stress to the situation. How do you ensure a cool mind? Yoga. Yoga can help you to stay agile and meditation can elevate your soul to calmness. Combined, both can help tune your body, mind and soul and lend effectiveness to work and life.
Here is some food for thought from Patanjali. (Patanjali was the compiler of the Yoga Sutras, a major work containing aphorisms on the philosophical aspects of mind and consciousness):
When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds. Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.
On a more practical note, to continually be able to beat stress, I practice yoga. I also follow well-defined values and principles. I believe that life is a series of principles that need to be applied. If you practice these principles, you will profit from them. Principles are non-negotiable and they are a way of life for me. I practice yoga to stay fit mentally and physically, and meditate to stay spiritually fit.
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