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Handling Stress - the Gita way :
The Problem of Stress :
The problem of Stress is one the greatest problem of our modern times. The Times magazine called it the ‘Epidemic of Eighties’. The slow and steady built-up of stress results not only in bringing about various physical, psychological and behavioral irregularities and problems. The well known symptoms under these categories are :
A. Physical symptoms : Headache, Neckache, Stomachache, Backache, Fatigue, Increased palpitations, Increased blood pressure, Indigestion, Allergy, Sweaty hands etc.
B. Psychological symptoms : Anxiety, Frustration, Impatience, Hostility, Dejection, Insomnia, Emotional imbalance, Lack of concentration, Reduced efficiency etc.
C. Behavioral symptoms : Escapism, Strained relationships, Resorting to intoxicants, Dependence on medications, Sexual difficulties, Constant change in work etc.
If the above symptoms are not checked and sorted out well in time then it could well lead to what is called as the ‘burnout’, which for all practical purpose is the end of an active human life. So this problem needs to be checked at the earliest.
The Causes of Stress :
The cause of stress is basically because of built up of emotions. This is because the emotions could not get an outlet to get released or resolved. The person who has all the responsibilities in the world and is not getting any help gets crushed in the process. Even though it is the same world for everyone, yet subjective perceptions differ and so do its consequences. The important causes of Stress are :
- Keeping goals without taking into consideration ones capacities & interests ~~~~~~~~~~~~ - Imagining that without the ‘imagined fruit’ life wont be worth living. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ - Imagining ourselves to be the only one responsible to attain our goals. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ - Entertaining values & life-styles which do not help us relax and see other facets of life. ~~~~~ - Having self-centered, calculative and loveless relationships. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ - Faulty perceptions about ourselves, life and also the world at large. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The message of Gita :
The way of life as revealed by Gita suggests that :
- Everyone has an intrinsic tendency and capacity to act in a particular field. Everyone has been made for excellence for a particular work. This is not to be imposed by anyone from outside but has to be discerned by the individual himself after a deep and objective look at ones tendencies. The best comes out of a person when one acts right from the core of ones heart.
- You are never alone. Look at the cosmos, the world, the seasons, your body, everything is working so beautifully. There is a great intelligence operating in & through everything. One should learn the art of performing actions while holding the hands of this power called God.
- Everyone in the world seeks anand, but it is strange to see that majority have never cared to go into this secret of life. Happiness is never in any object, achievement or person in life. It is the subjective essence of all. It is extremely important to open the inner gates of joy, thereafter there will be a subjective revolution in life.
- The essence of one is the essence of all. Atma is Paramatma. Know that and be free from all sense of limitations. The experience of knowing one’s self is the an experience beyond description. It is verily total contentment. The cancer of selfishness and ego-centric existence if rooted out completely thereafter.
Any person who sees the above facts of life, and also assimilates this knowledge, shall certainly will root out the very cause of stress. Any other methodology is a compromise, it is only a temporary cure, first aid. The thrust of most the Stress Workshops is only in facilitating release of 'pent-up-emotions' and do not provide any plan of action to guarantee that the emotions will not be repressed in the first place. Gita provides a Holistic approach.
Back to Vedanta Sandesh - Nov 98 (NF)
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