Dealing with stress

Published August 3, 2021, 6:00 AM

by George S. Chua

We are currently living in a very stressful time and we all know that stress results in many negative effects to our physical and mental well-being.  There are a number of things and events that stresses us out but on a distilled basis it can be broken down into just a handful.  These would be financial, physical, emotional, government, family/friends.

Financial stress is brought about by things like losing your job, not having enough money, investments that went bad, being a victim of theft or fraud and so on.  Physical stress is brought about by pain from an injury, lack of mobility, being sick, terminal illness and so on. Emotional stress is due to rejection, failure, being treated poorly, isolation, being sued and so on. Government stress comes from all your dealings with both the local and national government units like paying your taxes, securing your NBI Clearance, Driver’s License, Passport, getting your business permits, dealing with “traffic violations”, anytime you line up for anything and so on.  Family and friends can also cause stress anytime there is friction in the relationship, disagreement, misunderstanding, sickness, death and so on.

Our evolutionary process has taught us how to deal with conflicts and challenges by either flight or fight.  In our case, these are also our available options in dealing with stress which we can either ignore or do something about it.   The key is knowing which ones to ignore and which ones need to be addressed.

Typically, the ones that can be ignored are those that do not have grave consequences for inaction.   Such an example would be not greeting a friend for his birthday may be something that can be ignored with minimal consequences.  On the other hand, not remembering your wife’s birthday will have severe and long lasting consequences.  On a more serious note, not being able to donate to the community pantry due to your own difficulties is perfectly understandable.  However, not paying your taxes and liabilities to the government regardless of your circumstance will result in penalties, loss of property and possibly criminal liability with a jail term.

Dealing with the problems that causes you stress, needs to be done effectively and efficiently.  A stop gap solution may give temporary relief but I never liked these short term solutions. The best alternative is really having a contingency plan to address any issues in the future that could stress you out.  Getting a fire insurance for your home or comprehensive insurance for your vehicle would be a great example of having peace of mind.  Avoiding lawsuits by not doing something illegal is another example.

In situations where it could not be avoided and you still have to face the problem, here are a couple of things that may prove useful.  You need to get the right tool for the job and timing is everything.  Sending a Happy Anniversary Flower arrangement to your wife during her birthday may not get you off the hook.  Neither will sending flowers for her birthday a month late work.  If you have a headache from a lawsuit, don’t go to the doctor, see a lawyer.  Ignoring a problem and hoping it will just go away is often a bad idea.  As in the case of a lawsuit, the court typically only gives you a certain amount of time to file your response or motion.  If you do not do it within the prescribed period, you will lose the case.

As a final word, try to make yourself more stress resilient.  How do you do this? Over time build up your financial capacity, network of friends, plan ahead, consult with the right people, take care of yourself, have no regrets in life, be a good person and stay out of trouble.  It would also help if you have the chance to regularly do something you like to relax and being with your family and friends.

(The views and comments of the author are his own and not of the newspaper or FINEX.  Comments may be sent to [email protected])