Coping with Stress

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Today’s reality is that everyone feels some pressure/anxiety/tension or is unhappy for some reason or the other because of some stress.

Let me explain the meaning of Stress and Depression before further discussion.

What is Mental Stress?

A form of stress that accrues because of how events in one’s external and internal environment are perceived, resulting in psychological experiences of distress and anxiety.

What is depression?

 When a person is in stress and feeling miserable for quite some time, he can go under depression.

Now, what is depression:-

  • Feeling low
  • Not enjoying anything
  • Mood disorder.
  • Feeling of emptiness.
  • Change in behavior etc.
  • Feeling of sadness.

If we find such changes in anyone and it continues for weeks and months then we can say that the person is under depression.

Following are some of the stresses in day to day life:

  1. The stress of Competition

Children are miserable for not getting toys or mobile phones and good marks in the examination as per their expectations. Youngsters are the biggest chunks who are feeling miserable /unhappy and depressed because of multiple reasons. The first and foremost reason is the cut-throat competition in day to day life. This competition starts when the child enters class one as they are not able to meet the expectation or aspirations of their parents in respect of marks they get in the examination.

This is the starting point of feeling miserable and unhappy.  This feeling of unhappiness goes on increasing as one passes 10+2. One does not get admission in the college of choice for graduation in a professional/nonprofessional degree. Somehow one is able to get a degree, then the question of getting a job of choice is far more difficult because of competition in the market. There is no end to frustration/ unhappiness and miserable condition as well as even depression.

  1. The stress of Failures

Another reason for tension /unhappiness and frustration is failures in life. Life is just as we play snake and ladder LUDO. Some people take all these negative instances or things not happening as per their expectations to heart and they feel miserable/unhappy and frustrated. Such people go in depression and some times even commit suicide.

  1. The stress of Loneliness

 As you prosper/ grow and get into the high slot, you feel you are unique. You will feel different from the people around you. This can create conflict in your mind as your goals may not match with others and you may drop some of them, it may be vice-versa and as such you start feeling lonely. This may be probably the reason for committing suicide by film star Shushant Singh Rajput.

  1. Emotional Stress

You all must have heard/read the story of our old epic MAHABHARAT. When the battle took place between KAURVAS AND PANDAVAS at the battlefield of Kurukshetra, Arjuna refused to fight against his own cousins KAURVAS and their Guru Dhronacharya and great Grandfather Bhishm Pitamah. He was feeling miserable/ unhappy and depressed. He kept his bow and arrow aside and sat down on his chariot. Lord Krishna inspired and motivated Arjuna to fight by pearls of wisdom which are available in 18 chapters which is called Bhagwat Gita. If you happen to read this book, Lord Krishna has explained the role of KARMA, Soul, Heart, and Mind in our body. Let us try to understand the role of each in our lives briefly.

  1. Materialist Stress

This type of stress is taking a predominant slot in our society these days. Let us try to understand this with the help of an example. If X has got a luxury car why not me, to get luxurious I use ethical and unethical methods to fulfill my desire. The use of unethical methods creates stress in our life.

The word depression has been used a number of times above. Let us try to understand the meaning of depression.

Let us discuss each one by one

SOUL: This is the light of God in our bodies. So long as this light is there in our body we are able to breathe, our heart is pumping and all other functions work and we are alive. When this light goes out, we are declared dead.  As per Bhagavad Gita – Soul is immortal. Soul also provides us SANSKARAS i.e. WHAT IS GOOD AND WHAT IS BAD.

HEART: Heart represents the emotional part of life. We may also call it as felt concept of life, e.g. I love you from the core of my heart or on the death of someone you send condolence letter. You say “I offer my heartfelt condolences on the death of so and so”

MIND: Mind which is a thought producing machine is basically a propelling hand behind every action. The action taken by us in this world is based on desires and thoughts springing forth in our minds.

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Thoughts produced in the mind are the result of our sanskaras and emotions.  Sometimes our mind pays little or no heed to sanskaras but is carried away by our perception and, of course, on our past experiences, as well our own vision and the information gathered from the environment around us.

When we act /behave against our basic nature i.e. Sanskaras we hurt our soul that creates a disturbance in our body system. For example, if one tells a lie that is against the natural system of the soul, one starts fearing & worrying to cover up the guilt. This creates stress in our bodies.  So, any act of unnatural behavior results in worry, fear or guilt occupies rent-free accommodation. More so when so, ever anything which does not happen as per our expectation creates stress/disturbance in our body system.

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The mind controls Body System

All our body systems are interconnected and the mind is the controller. The mind stimulates various biochemical reactions, incites various physiological diseases and biological disorders.

A Yogi has rightly said, “That virus does not act from outside, but the greatest virus is sitting inside — THE MIND. It can create more damage to us than outside viruses.”

The greatest virus is the MIND which controls our body system. Let us take an example. If we are under stress/ depressed first attack is on our digestive system. When our digestive system is upset all other body systems get affected since all our body systems are interconnected and we get into a negative spiral as given below:

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How to get out of stress/ depression?

Let us first understand the role of thoughts

The mind produces two types of thoughts

  1. Positive Thoughts
  2. Negative Thoughts

Positive Thoughts: Positive thoughts provide positive energy to us. With positive energy FEELING OF GREATNESS COMES IN US. Feeling great means operating at our best i.e. full of life, full of enthusiasm, optimizing, and contentment.

Negative thoughts: They are just reverse of positive thoughts. We feel miserable, stressed, or depressed and get into a negative spiral.

First and foremost rule is to be positive within you

When you are surrounded by negative thoughts, take the following steps:

  • Count the blessing of GOD

If you sit with paper and pen and start making the list, it will be never-ending. If you look to the body, God has provided us organs worth millions. This helps you to forget the misery for which you are feeling stressed.

  •  Self Acceptance

Consider yourself a unique personality. You have all the creative powers, have self-respect as well as self-esteem. Feel satisfied with the good work done by you. Pat yourself, never indulge in self-criticism and at the same time never bother about criticism by others. Accept if someone provides constructive criticism. Be a confident personality

  • Avoid Loneliness

When you feel sad/ depressed, visit some old friends. Laugh with them recollecting old memories. Enjoy their company.

  • Be a Karam Yogi

I shall explain it with my own example. These are the days of Coronavirus. There was a total lockdown for about two months. One could not go out. I thought of doing something creative. Otherwise, sitting at home without doing anything will result in depression. I took a challenge to write this book which is in your hand now. The meaning is, keep your mind occupied with some work or the other. Otherwise, negativity will engulf. The mind has the capacity to work 24×7. It keeps working even when one is in sleep.

  • Plan some trip to go out

Go out on a trip with your family or friends to get out of routine and enjoy new environments, never think better to forget about your work or business. Only enjoy and enjoy it.

  • Be a Child

Laugh like a child, smile like a child, play like a child, and behave like a child, and the same be innocent like a child. Your worries will vanish.  You will be a changed person for sure.

  • Practice Yoga and Meditation

Practice yoga, meditation, and pranayam daily. This will help you to relax the mind and slow your breathing process. With the practice of these three exercises, one can cure any type of physical or mental ailment.

  • Listen or read Bhagwat Gita

Our most-read book Bhagwat Gita has the answer to all our physical and mental problems. One can read or listen to some audios which are easily available in the market. One should not only listen but ponder on what Lord Krishna has given us in the form of pearls of wisdom.

  • Be the same within inside and from outside

Make our inner world e. our thoughts, feeling, and attitudes in harmony with the outside world. No dual personality. When you have a dual personality i.e. something inside and something outside, it creates mental pressure. This can also lead to mental stress.

  • JIO JINDEGE KHUL KE

Ups and downs are parts of our life. Every dark night is followed by a bright sunny day. Nothing is permanent in this life. Laugh, laugh, and laugh in all situations, this is the only way to live this life.

Steps to Change your thought process

Step- I

Recognition: You must recognize that you have the problem of negativity

Step- II

Accept the need for change

Pinpoint: You have to change something.

  • Identify – What is it?
  • What is the flaw that stops you to be positive?

Step-III

Start the change  

As real change starts within oneself only

Step-IV

  • Inner beauty with the make-up of outer beauty.
  • Replace negative thoughts with positive.

Let our life be as pure as a child so that we are free of tensions and worries so as to remain healthy.

Author – A K GOSWAMI I.O.F.S (Retired)

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