August, 10th 2017 – Once again, International Wellbeing Center (IWC) was invited by Wallstreet Indonesia (WSE) to do a talk show during their Social Club event in Central Park Mall, Jakarta. This time, our senior counsellor Santi Cornain discussed “Stress Management: Creating a Balance and Fulfilling Lives”. City life is always exciting, vibrant, life-affirming and full of opportunities. Having said that, Jakarta is huge, congested, oppressive, polluted, hot and sweaty-living here can push our minds and bodies to their very limits, with catastrophic results over time. Many of us have our own personal ways of dealing with the stresses of city life. However, our adaptability and innovative ways of dealing with urban areas are not always effective to reduce stress and create a balance fulfilling lives. As a clinical psychologist, Santi assisted the social club audience to assess their lives and recognize their stressors, so each of them could found the best way of coping with stress.
Before the talk began, Santi handed out self-assessment papers. She asked each person in the audience to answer a list of simple questions that would measure their stress levels. She then started her talk by explaining what is stress-how the bodies reacted to harmful situations whether it was real or perceived. Santi continued with her explanations of stressors and symptoms of stress. Different people will have different interpretation of what is stress for them and how to handle them. Any events that cause a change in a person’s life can lead to stress, positive or negative events. Such as, traffic, work, wedding, the birth of a child, moving, promotion, economic problems, etc. We then discussed the symptoms of stress that can bring negative effects to people’s emotions, physical, over thinking and behaviour issues. If prolonged stress is not handled carefully and effectively, it can cause long-term negative consequences, such as mental health problems, cardiovascular disease, obesity and eating disorder, menstrual problems, sexual dysfunction, skin and hair problem and gastrointestinal problems.
Santi continued to explain that a little bit of stress is actually good for us. Stress in a right and controlled dosed would give us the motivation to achieve our goals in life. Our body is designed to handle small doses of stress, not chronic. So what can people do to managing stress and creating a more balanced happy life, especially for city dwellers who live in stressful conditions? Santi assisted the audience to practice several mindfulness exercises that can be done anytime, anywhere in between busy schedule of city life. Those exercises are deep breathing to relax the mind, grounding exercise to gain back focus and motivation, and knowing your stress-buster toolbox to help create a less stressful life (physical tools, relaxation tools, thinking tools, social tools and interest tools). She closed the talk show by explaining the importance of seeking professional help to understand the root of problems and find strategies to overcome it. Avoiding stress will only make your stress worse and bring significant impairment in daily function. Therefore seeing a professional counsellor will help to find effective ways of coping with severe stress.