Saturday, August 17, 2002

Fight stress with faith, family & friends
Prabhjot Singh

V. K. KapoorPEOPLE and products that fail to keep pace with change become obsolete. And many of us become obsolete without ever knowing it, says V.K. Kapoor, who has recently retired as Additional Director-General of Police and is now a stress management consultant.

There is good stress and there is bad stress, asserts Kapoor, maintaining that good stress gets the best out of a man and is essential for progress and excellence.

"An estimated 80 per cent of all diseases have their beginning in stress, the bad stress," he says, claiming that Americans take 5 billion doses of tranquillisers and consume 16,000 tonnes of aspirin every year. This gives an idea about the number of lives getting affected by stress.


"The middle class is the most stressed because it is a very upwardly mobile group. Children, especially those belonging to the middle class, are also highly stressed because of the high expectations their parents have from them. The stress among couples is of different nature. You find middle class couples exhibiting the TINS (twin income, no sex ) syndrome.

"Toxic worry is the disease of the imagination," says Kapoor, who has set up North India’s first Institute of Stress Management at Panchkula. He says growing stress in society prompted him to study the subject. " As I studied the subject in depth, I realised that it is stress which reduces the quantum of happiness, depletes your energies and makes you more prone to various psychotropic illnesses.

"My 3F mantra to fight stress is faith, family and friends. Interestingly, religious persons are far less prone to stress than those who are either atheists or not too religious. Visiting a place of worship for a few hours a day can keeps you free from stress and gives you inner strength to become mentally strong. Those who have a stable family life also do not get stressed easily. Equally important is your circle of friends. Friends, on whom you can rely and with whom you can vent out your frustrations, also help fight stress.

"We have introduced special courses for children as well as couples. We do not take more than 14 participants in each batch. The idea is to give a message and help people fight their way out of stress. In our centre, we have a seminar hall, a meditation room and a yoga room. The congenial environs offer relief and peace, which are essential ingredients for fighting stress.

"Equally important is one’s ability to exercise, relax and take a good diet. Yoga is the most scientific and non-toxic way of getting hyped. We at the Stress Management Centre oppose any drug therapy for fighting stress. One has to have control to create a control. Traditions also give you strength to fight stress," adds Kapoor, who has been giving lectures to professionals, policemen, journalists and others and helping them fight stress.