WHAT HAPPENS IN GREECE ON WORLD STRESS AWARENESS DAY?
When it comes to medicine, psychiatry and mental health, the Greeks taught us many things. One doesn’t need to look too far to see a vast number of terms and words used to describe medical and mental conditions today, come from the Greek language. Psyche, psychotic, dyslexia, megalomania, hypochondria, hysteria, psychosis, anorexic to name but a few.
Yet one of the potent images of modern-day Greece is the use of worry beads or Komboli – as a stress buster or way to relax – a version of prevention is better than cure? Several large beads or many small ones held on a thread and swung back and forth over one’s hand often making a clicking sound. To be fair, it is used far more by an elder generation than young- but doing something with your hands often helps.
The key thing with stress – preventing your head being overloaded by using manual tasks such as gardening, ironing, ordering photos, and reorganising your desk, collecting rubbish from a beach, emptying and restacking dishwasher, taking rigorous exercise. I asked a leading psychiatrist once how did he cope while listening to so many sad or angry things from patents all day? He smiled and replied: ‘Every day, after leaving here at 5pm I drive to the nearby squash club and play six games. By the time I’ve had a shower, I’m ready to take on the world or have a nice evening.’
Whether you are a squash player or worry beads person…make sure you take some physical course of action!