In our first meeting of 2021, we welcomed Dr. Ashok Rajan to kick off the new year with better stress management and resilience techniques. His presentation guided us in improving our understanding of stress and coping and evaluating our mental fitness to deal with stressors.

Our body experiences stress in various ways, including blood sugar, insulin, immune system and brain "damage" but not all stress is bad, and the effects can vary person-to-person.
Dr. Rajan explained, "We need a little stress to keep life spicy."
Managing stress is often difficult, so it's common for those who struggle to turn to drugs, alcohol and tobacco.
To improve our coping skills, Dr. Rajan says you to need:
Have good motivation for change
Be aware of the resources that will help you to change
Take a personal inventory of what's causing your stress
Why-now and its importance
Brainstorm on what options are available and possible

When you've decided to take action, practical steps are (STRESS):
Staying in shape
Think differently
Ease pressure
Social connections
Style of life (culture, spirituality)

When self-help fails, there are options to seek additional support. He recommends contacting our local CHMA, reaching out to your primary care physician and other healthcare providers for guidance.
Confucius: "True intelligence is knowing what you know what and know what you don't know."
Even the strongest person can go through weak moments.
In those who have strong resilience, we can observe:
Caring for self
Connections – socially well connected.
Commitment – committed to the thought process "This too shall pass."
Calmness – staying calm even during the storm – relaxation, yoga and meditation.
Dr. Rajan concluded his talk by saying, "Each time you get beat up [by stress], you get stronger." He says that our goal should be to become more resilient and embrace stress because it's a test to mould you into someone stronger. If you can understand the what, why, and how surrounding your stress, you can manage it and overcome it with a good strategy.