I am always tense

Since childhood, my parents have instilled in me the value of punctuality. I have always been ahead of time for lectures, games, etc. My problem is that I am unable to relax and am always tense. My performance in studies is average because of this constant tension.
Amit (18)

Dear Amit,

Punctuality depends on the kind of event you need to be on time for. So, list the events where you need to be on time, e.g., appointments, or those that require your on-time presence, e.g., exams, lectures, team activities, etc. Then, list events where it doesn’t matter if you’re not exactly on time, (parties, shopping, etc.). Purposely be a bit late for one of these. Later, ask yourself: Did being late for these really matter? Why does “not being punctual” makes me uncomfortable? What is the worst that can happen if I’m late?

For the first list, outsource the alarm from your head to a mobile/clock. E.g., if you have to go for a party at 5:30 p.m. calculate backwards and set a reminder for each of the different tasks you need to do: the time you need to leave, when you need to start dressing. For 15 minutes before dressing, practise relaxation (e.g., music, light exercise, etc.) to help you get used to this method. After some days when you begin to relax, you can focus on other things without worrying about being on time because you have your reminder set. Learn yoga to help you learn to relax. If you feel too anxious, seek face-to-face support from a counsellor.

Nasreen Hashambhoy
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Nasreen Hashambhoy

Nasreen Hashambhoy is a Counsellor, Life Coach and a Facilitator of training programmes for schools and corporates. Through a combination of coaching, counselling and facilitation techniques based on cognitive science and positive psychology, she helps clients achieve their true potential. She is the author of the series Values In Action published by Better Yourself Books.