The objective of the workshop was to train police officials on stress management techniques to help them live happier lives and provide safer environment to urban dwellers
MUMBAI: Mumbai, a metropolitan city, has a youthful and vibrant economy. The City has an urban population of over 22 million. On the one hand the city is a hub of glamour and rich people, while on the other it houses the largest slum in the country. Such urban divide in the megacities often leads to increased crime rate, but Mumbai Police has done a phenomenal job in making Mumbai one of the safest cities in India.However, with the time constraints and increased terror threats, work load on the Police personnel has increased immensely. Having a diverse religious and cultural milieu, the number of festivals has increased resulting in an acute shortage of policemen to ensure safety during the events. They are overburdened and unable to find adequate time for rest. Police personnel rarely get time for leisure or for meeting their family which creates a stressful environment for them. Medical issues like diabetes and hypertension have become common among them. Addictive habits and mental health issues are also on the rise. The present working conditions illustrate high level of stress and strain that is negatively impacting their efficiency at work.
Realizing the significance of de-stressing police officials, Sunil Velankar, Project Manager of AIILSG, conceptualized a program for the police on Stress Management. The workshop was designed in a way so as to regulate their stress positively and improve their work efficiency. Since AIILSG is an organisation working closely with various government systems and having a strong social commitment, Capt. Anant Modi, the Director General of AIILSG, rendered his complete support for the initiative. Velankar with Joint Commissioner of Police Anup Singh chalked out the program for imparting stress management techniques to a group of police officials. The workshop was organised on June 22, 2016 at Police Club Auditorium, Mumbai. Well known psychiatrist Dr Harish Shetty, corporate trainer Anand Ghurye, actress and writer Sonali Kulkarni were among the speakers. State Home Minister Dr Ranjit Patil sent his best wishes and expressed the need for more such events.
The first session for the batch of 75 participants was conducted by Psychiatrist Dr Harish Shetty. Through sharing of his daily life experiences and asking them a few questions, Dr Shetty created an interactive atmosphere.
This was followed by a Question- Answer session. The participants could also avail the facility of personal counselling session with the panellists. As a souvenir of the workshop, a booklet ‘Kiran: Suyog Niyojanacha’ compiled by Mridula Sawant was given to the participants. It is a handy reference book for tips and tricks on stress management.
“Beat the stress, or it will beat you”
Stress is the ‘wear and tear’ our bodies experience as we adjust to our continually changing environment. In other words, it refers to the effect on a person when he does not have adequate resources to meet the challenges of life. It is the way your mind and body respond to the various demands made by life. Different people can tolerate different levels of stress.
Symptoms of stress
♦♦ Feeling anxious, scared, irritable or moody.
♦♦ Experiencing low self-esteem, fear of failure, inability to concentrate, worrying about the future, preoccupation with thoughts/tasks or forgetfulness.
♦♦ Grinding your teeth, increased smoking/drugs/alcohol, losing your appetite or overeating.
♦♦ Having butterflies in the stomach, headaches, pain in the neck and or lower back, susceptibility to illness and so forth.
How can I manage stress better?
Identifying unrelieved stress and being aware of its effect on our lives is not sufficient for reducing its harmful effects. However, all require work toward change; changing the source of stress and/or changing your reaction to it.
Learn to relax
Throughout the day, take mini-breaks. Sit down and get comfortable. Slowly take a deep breath in, hold it, and then exhale slowly. At the same time, let your shoulder muscles droop and relax your body.
Many people get distressed over things they won’t let themselves accept. Often these are things that can’t be changed, like someone else’s feelings or beliefs. If you act in a responsible way, the chances are you will manage stress effectively.
Use your head to talk rationally to yourself
Ask yourself what real impact the stressful situation will have on you in a day or a week and see if you can let the negative thoughts go. Think through whether the situation is your problem or is in your control. If so, approach it calmly and firmly.
Try physical activity
Physical activity has always provided relief from stress. In the past, daily work was largely physical. Now that physical exertion is no longer a requirement to earn a living, stress can accumulate. Try walking, aerobics, jogging, dancing, swimming, etc.
Reduce time urgency
If you frequently check your watch or worry about what you do with your time, learn to take things a bit slower. Allow plenty of time to get things done. Plan your schedule ahead of time. Recognize that you can only do so much in a given period. Practice the notion of ‘pace, not race’.
Don’t dwell upon contrasts
You can learn to notice the similarities between yourself and others rather than the differences.
Balance work and fun
Balance school and work demands with some fun and private time. Hobbies are good antidotes for daily pressures. Unwind by taking a quiet stroll, watching a sunset, enjoying your friends or a hobby.
Watch your habits
Eat sensibly – a balanced diet will provide all the necessary energy you will need during the day. Avoid nonprescription drugs and minimize your alcohol use – you need to be mentally and physically alert to deal with stress. Be mindful of the effects of excessive caffeine on nervousness.
Talk to friends
Friends can be good medicine. Daily doses of conversation, regular social engagements, and occasional sharing of deep feelings and thoughts can reduce stress quite nicely.
Know when you need help and get it
Seeking help is not a sign of weakness. There are many resources available to help people deal with stress and problems, so take advantage of them.
Learn to say NO
Don’t feel guilty when you have to tell others NO.