When stress comes knocking


Saleh Al Shaibany

I always find that taking a step back when nothing works out your way gives you a better view of your problems. A battle is a battle and you need time to analyse your enemy, work out a strategy and then strike back. In this day and age, mounting bills, criticism, work pressures and family problems can be considered as one big battlefield. It is not what they are but how you deal with each. You can never conquer them because we are all under their permanent occupation. How could you defeat them all in one blow? Bills come monthly, critics don't choose the time of the day, office pressures just drop in unexpectedly and family problems are permanent guests of your home.

They gang up against you, threatening to swallow you up alive. I am sure you know the feeling. You wish you could run the opposite way when they come charging down. Their long legs have bigger strides. Collectively, they pack enough force to send you to an early grave. So what do you do? Tackle them one at a time, but take a break after solving each problem.

Give yourself a breather before moving to another one. What we must understand is that different problems need different remedies. Bills can be settled by money, but your cheque book is useless against domestic stress. People who forever pick faults are worse but they are easily manageable. Unlike bills, you can afford to ignore them. They will never make a positive difference in your life. So why bother?
Bad days in the office can take away a large chunk of your happiness. They rattle your very existence since your wages pay for the basmati rice. Well, you can brown-nose or kiss the feet of your boss to smooth things out. If you are not that timid, you may wait for the storm to pass or hope the boss will get a transfer or simply drops dead. But the tricky part is that, while you can walk away from your job or ignore unfair criticism, you cannot turn your back on your family.

Here is a test on what I am talking about. Would you rather have all the money to pay all the bills in the world but have your family turn their back on you? Or struggle with the payments, have stressful office days but come back home to a supportive wife and kids? The answer is obvious for most normal people. The conclusion is that the burden of your entire existing predicaments will be much lighter if you could only make your peace at home.

So you see, sitting back and taking a different look only works better with your family rallying around you. Take one day at a time and solve each problem according to its priority. We usually reach a crisis point when we treat all the glitches as one entity instead of separating them. Divide and break them down so they can be manageable. For example, the roof of the world is not going to fall on you just because your son dropped out of college when your car needs a new gearbox. The two things are not connected. Death in the family can only be traumatic if it is not accepted as a Will of God. Acceptance clears the mind, so you can move on to the next challenge. But you can never accept what has been handed to you if you don't take a step back and get the much needed domestic help.

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