Actress, fitness enthusiast Shilpa Shetty on reducing stress on an everyday basis
Nona Walia (TIMES LIFE; April 16, 2017)

How do you handle controversies and bullying?
We are living in times of great stress ­ life is completely chaotic. I have really lived for the experience even amid all the chaos. It's been a learning curve.

The constants and rules of the past have changed. We are in between a dynamic digital and social media revolution and there are new rules. As celebrities, we are learning them every day. It's not easy when people are watching, judging your every move, and trolling you. We need to learn to be centred amongst this fast-paced life.

How do you deal with this stress?
By breathing right. It calms my mind. I become an observer of all that's happening around me. My advice is to take 10 minutes out for yourself every day, and breathe. Your energy will improve. During the day, break up with your phone for some time and see how your anxiety levels recede. That's how I have learnt to cope.

Do the trolls bother you?
Not really. It's a part of being a celebrity. I believe if you don't like me, unfollow. Quite simple.

Describe yourself...
I am what you see. I don't try to put on a facade. What you saw of me in Big Brother is exactly who I am.

How has being a mom changed you?
I'm a hands-on mother. I look into all the small details of my son's day-to-day life personally. I want to be there for his big and small moments. Watching him grow warms my heart. I'm in a happy phase of my life. Even Raj is very involved in the process. We both have had a middle-class upbringing, so we are grounded and want our son to be brought up that way.

Have there been any challenges in the past few years?
I haven't done a film for the last nine years. I'm happy with the pace of my life. I've realised with time that you have to say more 'no' than 'yes' to be happy.

How easy or difficult is it to make a marriage work today?
There are no shortcuts to making a marriage work. Both partners have to be present and want it to work equally. Marriage starts with friendship, turns into romance and then you both have to work at it constantly to keep it alive.

How do you manage your work-life balance?
When I'm home, I try to relax ­ enjoy food, spend time with my son. When I'm at an event, I enjoy the hectic chaos there too. We are all great multi-taskers these days.

What are your personal goals for 2017?
Pushing health issues is my biggest challenge. I want everyone to realise what it means to be healthy. I feel I need to give back the knowledge that I have gained over the years. Everyone must become aware of their relationship with food. My learning curve this year is focused on learning, researching about good food and how it impacts, not just how we look, but how we feel. I want to discover the old, traditional way of eating ­ the way our grandmothers and great-grandmothers ate.

Your fitness regimen...
The way I eat, live, breathe, has changed the way I feel about myself. I have observed my diet and fitness habits and changed them accordingly. I love myself the way I am, I love the way I look. There's no gain without the pain. I have a disciplined way of eating. But I also have my cheat days, like Sunday. So, I Instagram all the desserts and great food I dig into on Sundays. We owe it to ourself to look after our mind and body. Today, I'm growing my own basil, tomatoes, I have my own amla tree. There was a time when I wasn't eating breakfast, eating a heavy dinner. It was so wrong. Now I eat at 7.30 in the morning and eat light at night. I used to be acidic, I've switched to an alkaline diet, which is lots of fruits, vegetables. I don't eat anything after 7.30 at night.

The life lessons you think are important?
After losing my father, I have realised nothing is more important than your family. I try to spend as much time as I can with them. I regret putting off so many things when he was alive. Now, I try not to keep things I think I need to talk about, even for a day. Also, live in the moment and learn to let go.

Do you forgive easily?
I forgive instantly. I want to go into the next day with a light heart. I don't want to clutter my brain with any negativity, so I keep eliminating and deleting. I'm an emotional and sensitive person. I like to move on.