Pandemic got you stressed? EQ consultant suggests radical adaptability to cope with anxiety
posted August 02, 2021 at 07:10 pm
By Thea Andrea C. Magueriano
To say that people are stressed these days would be an understatement.
Being locked down for the past 15 months, Shayamal Vallabhjee says, “A lot of people are suffering from anxiety. There’s an overwhelming feeling of anxiety, frustration.”
Vallabhjee, a South African TEDx speaker and Men’s Health “Trainer of the Year 2014” explains simply why many, if all, are feeling anxious and frustrated: “No one’s lived in pandemic so no one’s got any vital guidance on what we need to do.”
“Everyone’s testing the waters in some shape and form,” he adds.
Using his experience living as a monk for three years, the performance coach and EQ consultant recommends cultivating the right mindset and the three conditions “to be radically adaptable in any single ecosystem”.
With the new environment brought by COVID-19, Vallabhjee identifies the three Cs to continue thriving in any environment: composure, competence, confidence.
Look within yourself
Composure, according to Vallabhjee, can be achieved by training the mind to focus on your internal perspective.
“When you look externally, you make yourself a victim of that situation and you render yourself completely powerless. In an internal perspective, the mind is able to calm itself down. The mind is able to perceive a situation rationally,” he says.
Vallabhjee emphasizes the importance of breath with composure.
“Your breath can neurobiologically and neurophysically switch the mind from being stressed about what’s happening on the outside to having a state of calm on the inside. And when the body’s calm and composed and when you’re thinking clearly, there’s a stillness that is in your mind. That stillness opens up the gateway to the options available to you,” he explains.
He continues, “For you to bring radical adaptability to any situation, for you to thrive, you need options to be available to you. These options only become available to you when your mind is thinking clearly.”
Be good at something
The motivational speaker and Herbalife Global Fitness Advisory board member defines competence as being good at something.
“In the world of professional sport, I find strength as a skill that gives you a competitive advantage in a high-performing environment.”
“It means that if it is a strength, it needs to be easily executable, it needs to bring a level of enjoyment, and it needs to bring a level of success,” adds Vallabhjee.
Where does confidence come from? They can come from two sources: motivation and habit cultivation.
“[For instance,] you have a good motivational leader who gives you some amazing words of inspiration. But rarely and truly, that level of confidence only brings about what is called a chemical change in your brain,” says Vallabhjee.
And that chemical change, he says, “is very short-lived, it can last anywhere from a couple of hours to about 40 to 70 hours at max”.
“The confidence you need to succeed comes from competence,” he emphasizes.
Being good at something and recognizing that strength breeds that confidence to thrive. The three Cs work together in a way that practicing something repeatedly brings success.
In addition to Vallabhjee’s three Cs, Dr. David Heber, chairman of Herbalife Nutrition Institute, underscores the value of healthy eating during times of stress.
“[People who are stressed tend to] turn to foods that are quick and comforting, but often loaded with fat, salt, and sugar,” he points out. “Being mindful of what you eat especially during stressful circumstances can help you manage stress levels and change the way you respond to it.”
Dr. Heber advises against mindless snacking, and suggests reaching for nutritious, hard and crunchy food that can help relieve stress by putting jaw muscles to work. He is also against skipping meals as, according to him, it might adversely affect mood and energy levels.
“If stress is an appetite-killer, try eating smaller amounts of food more often during the day,” he says.
COMMENT DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted on this Web site are not in any way endorsed by The Standard. Comments are views by thestandard.ph readers who exercise their right to free expression and they do not necessarily represent or reflect the position or viewpoint of thestandard.ph. While reserving this publication’s right to delete comments that are deemed offensive, indecent or inconsistent with The Standard editorial standards, The Standard may not be held liable for any false information posted by readers in this comments section.