Psychology

Learn how to manage stress

LIFE BECOMES MAGICAL ONCE YOU STOP TRYING TO MAKE IT PERFECT (Slavko Karavidic PhD)

“We are a part of the problem, but also a very important part of the solution. If can’t solve a problem, it means it’s not actually our problem any more…”

Do you know how to say no or do you let others run your life for you? Does your business serve as a means to a better life, or is it the other way around? Do you talk to yourself at least ten minutes every day? Unfortunately, the answers to these questions aren’t very optimistic, and with every day there are more disoriented, aggrieved, helpless, indifferent, disappointed people who are constantly stressed out. Slavko Karavidic (PhD), a professor at the Faculty of Business Economics and Entrepreneurship as well as the Vienna Academy of Business Education and Consulting (1BC), states that while there are various ways of relieving and letting go of stress, it is also possible to learn how to manage stress. This renowned professor, who is also an established member of The Russian Academy of Sciences, educator of future coaches as well as a coach of numerous social and business skills, says that the mind is a very powerful thing and can create ‘heaven from hell’, as well as ‘hell from heaven’.

What are the most common symptoms of stress and how do people usually deal with them?
-Stress is a state in which we feel like we’re losing control over events. The most common symptoms of stress are: irritability, impotence, solitude, depression, discontentment, the feeling of being a victim… When stressed, people feel hopeless, they bottle up their issues instead of dealing with them, their minds are flooded with negative thoughts and the feeling of guilt turns into pain. Many people carry a dose of uncertainty within themselves, infect one another with misleading thoughts, attempt to fight fire with fire or regretfully look back to the past without seeing the present. The common problems are: feeling helpless, afraid and unable to change things, avoiding responsibility for their own lives, choosing the lesser of two evils. They never think before they speak, and their thoughts spin out of control and are difficult to ‘switch off’.

Revenge of the bad students

What does a wise man do when he fails?
He picks himself up and moves on, aware of the price he had to pay to gain insight into some key knowledge: that the truth is what we make it and that it brings a lot of pain, but much more joy and success. Therefore, a constant quest for truth is necessary in defeating the need for self-deception. The winner is the person who’s aware of what they could lose. Win or lose, succeed or fail are all one big concoction of challenges and opportunities. Is there a guarantee? No! Life becomes magical when you stop trying to make it perfect.
Why are people today much more stressed out compared to a few decades ago?
-We can’t choose the time we’re born in, or the circumstances we live in. It’s not up to us. The catastrophic aftermath of war and sanctions on social and economic developments, as well as transitional processes and corrupt privatization, have not only affected social and economic currents but have also nullified all social values and the economic and legal safety of Serbian citizens, making hundreds of thousands of people emigrants in their own country, unemployed and existentially compromised, living below the poverty line. Because of this, we now have a sudden surge of disoriented, aggrieved, helpless, indifferent, disappointed people who are constantly stressed out. Young, educated people don’t stand a chance in this age of the ‘revenge’ of bad students… Many people have something like a built-in mechanism in their heads, and they reproduce what has seduced their consciousness without being ashamed of their actions in this wasteland of moral platforms. Shame is our heritage and it should not be taken out of every day use. It’s easy for the virtual reality we live in to change our self-perception. We all have our own visions, our views on reality, our expectations and desires. We’re surrounded by ‘the easy way out’, and technology and parallel information have created new means of deception. Our distorted views of others are habitually adopted as absolute truths, lies and manipulation are everyday occurrences, whispers are met with shouts, pressure is met with more pressure, important decisions are made out of spite and the amount of confidence is inversely proportional to the amount of knowledge. People seem to endorse what they know instead of learning what they do not. The brain is simply a reflective organ that reacts to all of this and suffers from enormous amounts of stress.
What valuable techniques can we use to get rid of stress and all its consequences?
-While we live, we learn, and this applies to managing stress as well. At my coaching sessions, we focus on discovering the limit of your abilities through getting to know yourself, feeling good in your own skin, realising you have the power to choose how you feel. We deal with letting go of the haunting mistakes of your past and your fear of the future. We are a part of the problem, but also a very important part of the solution. If we don’t have the power to solve a problem, it is no longer ours to solve. You must learn how to say NO and take your life into your own hands instead of letting others run it. You have to decide whether you want your business to help improve your life, or your life to help improve your business. Have a talk with yourself for at least ten minutes every day. Here are some healthy ways of relieving stress: spending time with your family, going for a walk, working in the garden, working out, playing with pets, getting a relaxing massage, listening to music, curling up with a good book… And in the end, the most important thing, what all the prayers of the world are asking for: love.

Open up your heart, you might like what you find

Why should we be ‘happy in advance’ and why doesn’t happiness work ‘backwards’?
-Happiness boils down to your decision, your own choice. Life energy leads us forwards, not backwards, which is why we need to encourage and nurture it. It’s looking into the future and accepting yourself that will give you the healthy energy and motivation to adopt and establish rational behavioural patterns which make us happy in advance. Feeling down only makes old memories resurface and we start looking back. It’s up to you to decide what you value more: being safe and secure in your beliefs or being happy. And you can’t have both.
What keeps people from being happy?
-Many people seek permission from others to feel well and happy. They’re only as happy as their thoughts allow them. You’ll often hear them say they’re just ‘being realistic’, but that’s the pessimist talking. Energy goes to the focus of our attention. And the mind itself can create heaven from hell, or hell from heaven.
How can the course of life be altered?
-The truth is quite simple, there’s no such thing as an ordinary moment. Make your years full of life, not your life full of years. Let us go back to the essence of divine harmony: let’s connect our minds, souls and bodies with the beauty of nature and exchange the most wonderful traces of energy with the elements and our loved ones. Let’s give ourselves over to absolute values: truth, hope, faith, love… Open up your heart, you might like what you see. It’s never too late to change course and head towards real and attainable goals with the words: there has to be more to life than this? Maybe now is the time.

Branka Gajic
Photo: Jelena Vlatkovic

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