On a scale of 10, with ten as the highest stress and one as the least, rate you do you feel after losing your mobile phone?
Terrible, isn’t? Awful, frustrated, denial, scared, lonely and suicidal were some of the other recorded emotions. Yes, you read it right, suicidal!
The Family Vacation
Stress is every where – in homes, at schools, parking space, on roads, at market place, and even at our prayer houses. Let me narrate a story that might be similar in bits and pieces to your own.
Arun decided that he and his family needed a much deserved break. He booked a day out with his lovely wife and two excited kids on a yacht. As they were enjoying their day out, Arun realized his mobile lost the signal from the tower. Now without the connection, he would miss the all important phone call from a client. Arun went on an overdrive, blaming the service provider to the poor cell phone and ultimately his family for an unnecessary break from his work schedule. Without saying much, it is understood that the day stood ruined for both Arun and his family, especially his wife.
Have you been on a similar family vacation? Or perhaps a road rage incident? May be the unexpected guest at home? In classrooms? We all experience stress, most of the time, when unexpected things happen.
British Airways once decided to offer free WiFi on air. At 40,000 ft on air, it was a steal. And unexpected surprises are the ones most relished. However, as soon as the announcement was made, turbulence hit the airline and unfortunately the free Wii had to be cancelled.
A man flying the airline, got a rude shock and cursed everyone, vowing never to fly BA again! An offer that you never knew, and then lost, was it worth so much of cribbing?
What is Stress?
What is Stress then? Stress is the gap between expected and actually happening. We expect the world to be rosy, to be fair and then it turns out to be exactly the opposite.
Researchers found out some of the greatest tragedies that could affect us would count for an actual situation of stress. Let us plot them on the earlier scale of ten and them compare them to the mundane part of losing a mobile or getting a parking ticket.
On a scale of 1 – 10
10 – War [being affected by war, or dislocated or in a Civil war like situation]
9 – Cancer [affected by the disease to self or to someone we love dearly]
8 – Accident [a life threatening accident or losing a limb, major surgery etc]
7 – Losing the job [layoffs, retrenchments, terminations]
Now, where does losing your mobile fit in on this scale of ten – where is it?
At best it should be no more than a one. May be two, if pressed hard enough.
1 – No parking space
2 – Lost mobile
Now not getting the parking space at the mall on a scale, would not quality for a 9. Rather, if we do our math well, it should actually be a 10 – 9 = 1. So next time, you lose the mobile signal or the WiFi takes too long to download, relax, and count till ten.
Here are three quick lessons we can learn from a situation which stresses us:
– Acknowledge the situation [denial will only increase the stress]
– Rate your stress! [on a scale of ten, where would you place it]
– De-stress [walk, spin, punch: only the stress ball, not people]