Hey, awesome academicians, superstar students, powerful professionals and everyone else!
Hope you're slaying it!

If not, don't fret, as life isn't always about focusing on the results and what you could not achieve. It has more to do with your effort and what you learnt and realised. I open with this because, in today's fast-paced world, staying ahead of the game and gaining an edge almost always drives us up the wall. The pressure, stress, and frustration associated with managing our sanity is quite challenging.

I want to emphasise, iterate and reiterate that life isn't just about getting good marks or showing results. It's about optimizing your psychological, emotional and cognitive abilities and nurturing yourselves to cope well, boost productivity and optimise your efficiency as you navigate through a demanding environment.

At Kota, routine NEET and JEE tests have been halted because of the increasing rate of suicide cases. Kota is a high-pressure environment where competition is cut-throat, and that's why I decided to touch upon this topic today.

Well, buckle up, as we dive into the coolest tips to help you not just survive but thrive, but be ZEN in the most high-pressure environments! That's a promise (of course, nothing comes easy and all I need you to do is follow the tips, religiously).

A) The first step — KNOW THYSELF
We are each unique in our own way. This also means that we each respond to stressful situations differently. The two main aspects that we need to be aware of are:

1. How much can we take, our limit?
We need to be aware of what our limits are and need to either diffuse or remove ourselves from such a situation. The best indicator is being aware and conscious of the physiological/bodily and psychological/emotional symptoms.

Pay attention to signs like sweating, increased heart rate, breathing patterns going haywire, headaches, muscle tension, irritability, anxiety, fatigue, and changes in sleep patterns. When you notice even one of these symptoms intensifying, it may indicate that you're approaching your threshold or stress limit.

2. How do we respond to stressful situations?
Understanding and being aware of our limits is one, but, how we respond to them is a different ball game altogether as a variety of our skills play a role here. Critical thinking, problem-solving, decision making and situation-handling are some crucial skills. The best way to assess our response is to INTROSPECT, ANALYSE and REFLECT on our past experiences. Writing journals and maintaining a record helps us going forward.

Lazy to write? Mix it up and use your phone, send a voice note or make a video journal... Just ensure you get it done.

3. Who am I? What is best for me? Do I FIGHT or take FLIGHT?
Did we react and lose our cool? Did we react by just freezing and going into a shell? Did we just freeze? Were we able to perform well under pressure and remain calm or did we struggle? Though this feels similar to what I've mentioned above, the intent here is to figure out what has worked and what hasn't — to be clearer.

We need to figure out our coping mechanisms if we plan on surviving in a stressful environment. Walking, gymming, swimming, and boxing are some great physical activities that also serve as good coping mechanisms. Yoga, meditation, Tai Chi, breathing techniques are others.

Pro Tip: Remember to understand and take your personality traits into account. Some of us love the chase and find that challenging situations actually give us a rush whilst some of us just can't face such situations. We need to accept what we naturally are!

B) Don't get ILL, build that SKILL!
Knowledge is power, peeps! Don't you forget that. One of the main reasons for people to feel stressed and hopeless in situations is the lack of skills. Goal setting and time management are two skills that are almost always important. Skill can also be about getting upskilled which shall make it possible to seek greener pastures. Get certified, take up a course or just read if it makes a difference!

C) Seek support
This is one universal mantra that we have to follow, period! Seek a professional to help you out if you feel that you have trouble coping, are unable to handle situations or keep your emotions in check. One-sixe-fits-all just doesn't work in this aspect and we definitely need specific and tailor-made strategies that match our requirements. If you're not able to get the required level of support at the right time then just trust your gut and vent out to the first person who comes to mind. Remember, you need to just feel a little lighter, pull yourself together and then plan ahead. Do what's necessary to get this done when you need it.

D) Sleep
There's absolutely nothing that is worth losing sleep over. Make it a priority to plan your day (and night) in such a manner that you get  ENOUGH SLEEP. Erratic sleeping patterns and lack of sleep have been linked to an increase in stress and a plethora of other issues. We have to match the Circadian rhythm and reset our biological clock. Remember, sleep is the best recharge and restart that your brain requires and deserves!

E) Establish clear boundaries and say NO
It's pretty common to try and be the best. But in most cases, we unknowingly embark on a journey that spells doom — a journey of people-pleasing. This not only makes any environment we're in to become highly stressful but also makes us realise much later that we've allowed ourselves to get exploited and manipulated. Hence establishing clear boundaries and learning to say NO is an important skill that we need to develop to remain sane in an environment that already puts a lot of things on our plate.

F) Finally, if nothing works, F is for FAREWELL
There's a limit to which we can try our best to make lemonade when life gives us lemons. We need to draw the line somewhere. It's not quitting, it's winning! Winning in the long run. Irrespective of what others around you say, don't bother or allow it to bother you. They will never understand until they're in your shoes and hence, seek those who have been in your shoes to support you during these times and seek help to get better opportunities.

As I sign off, I want to remind you all that in the high-pressure arena of life, you're not just surviving — you're thriving! So, use these tools to your advantage and trust me your future self will thank you for it.

With Regards,
Adarsh Benakappa Basavaraj
Your Zen Master


Source link