10 simple stress-busters

Life’s a roller-coaster ride and every one of us has their shares of ups and downs. There’s hardly a day which is stress-free. We shouldn’t get bogged down by stress instead we should take it in our stride. Let me play agony aunt and outline 10 simple stress busters.

1. Take a nature walk

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Head to a park or sylvan surroundings and walk at your own pace.  As you amble along have a good look at the trees and watch out for birds. Look up the internet and dig up information about any new tree or bird that you noticed on your walk. As an alternative you could also bust all the stress by having a long brisk walk through the glades.

2. Watch a cartoon strip

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Bring out the child in you! Tune in to one of the cartoon channels and watch Tom chase Jerry or Donald Duck in a quacking frenzy or Doraemon and his friends or whatever makes you laugh. Laughter as you know is the best medicine.

3. Read a book

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Pick up a book or comic preferably a short read and enjoy your journey to a totally new world. Go for something humorous like the Asterix or Tin Tin series, a good joke book or a collection of short stories which won’t take you long to finish.

4. Watch a movie

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Like a book, a movie is also like a journey to a different world. Opt for a laugh riot or a family entertainer. Stock up a good collection of such movie DVDs in your cabinet. When you are feeling low and down in the dumps they would serve as good stress doctors.

5. Talk to a friend

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In this man-eat-man world you can count yourself as lucky even if you just one good friend and doubly lucky if you have a 4am friend. Have a long chat.

6. Treat yourself to a round of retail therapy

If you can afford it retail therapy works wonders. Loosen your purse strings and pamper yourself with new clothes, accessories, gadgets or whatever suits you. But watch out! Do not blow all your money!

7. Spend some time with your pet

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Dogs and cats make great friends. Play a game of throw-a-ball with your furry buddy or just hug the cutie and watch TV or listen to music.

8. Indulge in a hobby

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It is a good idea to cultivate hobbies. Break the monotony of a hard day by indulging in a hobby be it painting, knitting, carpentry, photography, embroidery or anything that interests you.

9. Listen to music

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You needn’t be a music buff to appreciate great music. Listen to your favourite tunes or songs and relax. Music is indeed food for the soul and the mind especially a tired soul and mind.

10. Have an ice-cream

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Chill at home or your nearest ice-cream parlour with a tub of flavourful ice-cream. The bigger the tub the better!

An offbeat icon

We always turn to exemplary human achievers and religious gurus for inspiration. Sachin Tendulkar has a zillion fans, the Dalai Lama is revered all over the world, a talk by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar draws huge crowds. Everybody wants to be a Bill Gates or Richard Branson. There are also many who deify mythological and comic characters and have pictures and posters of them all over their rooms.

Let me take a detour from the usual and instead write about an offbeat icon who a majority of us don’t even give a second look to.

The Bullock


You will see these poor animals all over the roads. Their sad eyes speak of their terrible lives. They are flogged every now and then but have to endure the pain and continue working. They have no choice. They dare not complain. And they are never rewarded. A majority of them are not properly fed. Why can’t we learn from the bullock. Why can’t we derive inner strength from him and look to him for inspiration.

If he can continue slogging in spite of all the flogging, we too can continue with life unperturbed in spite of being flogged by life’s difficulties. Likewise, your road to attain knowledge will never be hassle free. It can sometimes drive you to despair or cause you to break down. Never stop. Carry on like the bullock. He never gets rewarded but one fine day you will.

It is high time we look at the beast of burden as a source of inspiration.

Nurture the Tree of Success

Some time back, I was asked to contribute a write-up for a Knowledge Newsletter. I was in a fix not knowing what to write. And then Eureka! I came up with this baby piece written especially for Bangaloreans:


Hi friends,

If you look around yourself you get to see only monstrous buildings. There are hardly any trees. All those of you from Bangalore would agree that this was not the case some years back. How about starting a Green Initiative? If you have space around your home how about planting a tree sapling or at least a plant.

Don’t just stop at planting a sapling:

1. Nurture the sapling, nurture yourself too

Just as the sapling needs water to grow, you need knowledge to grow. Water your brain with knowledge. Save some time in the weekend to learn something new. One fine day, your hard work will surely pay off.

2. Protect the sapling, protect yourself too

Your sapling needs protection from pest attacks. Keep away pests. Also build a hedge around her. Just as the sapling needs protection you need to protect yourself from pests too (read as negative thoughts and negative people).

3. Always monitor the sapling’s growth and yours too

Always keep track of your baby (the sapling). As your sapling grows up you need to grow up too. Accumulate knowledge and become a reservoir of knowledge.

4. Always share

Don’t just stop at accumulating knowledge, share it. As your little sapling grows into a tree, she will become a shade giver and you will become a knowledge giver.