Are You Listening to Your Life
The Story of Stress
By common experience, you’d know that stress is something we want to avoid. Whether we feel fear, frustration, physical pain, any form of stress is usually treated as an unwelcome guest. The most obvious approach is to find a quick fix and remove the stress. But I’d like you to think of stress in a new way. Instead of relating stress with something that is undesired, think of the cause of stress. Stress is an indication to something that needs attention. (Overcome Stress)
For example, you’re making a 100 mile journey in your new shiny car. After 20 miles, the car comes to a halt. You just ran out of gas. Now this event can be an immediate source of stress to you. But it is also a pointer to the fact that the car has run out of fuel and needs you to refill it. Once you do that, the car is more than happy to move on with the journey.
Bottomline is... “Stress may usually be related to unpleasantness but it is also a pointer to something that needs attention.”
As you begin to think of stress in this unique way, you’ll realize that each source of stress is actually life’s way of telling you that something needs attention. Using this knowledge, whenever you find some form of stress in your life, you can analyse the cause and take appropriate measure to improve the situation by making the required change. (Improve Your Life)
Here are some of the most common forms of stress. Are these present in your life? Do you understand what needs to be done?
1. Does your health deteriorate frequently?
Imagine that you have a car that has been sitting in your garage for years. In fact, you cannot remember the last time you used it. How likely are you to take this car for a 100 mile journey in this condition?
Perhaps the tyres are flat, fuel tank is low (if not empty) and there is no guarantee to the capacity of the engine. Would it not make more sense to first take the car to the mechanic so that he can do a proper analysis and make relevant repairs? You will surely take it to the mechanic. But do you do the same for your body? After all, it is the car your soul drives through various experiences in life.
If your health behaves regularly like the unused car, don’t you think you should be taking proper steps to change that? Instead, most people are more than happy to let the health take care of itself while they push rigorously in work and life.
What is the result?
After a few years, your health begins to breakdown regularly. Symptoms like headache, mild fever, feeling tired all the time etc become a normal part of your day. You don’t remember the last time you felt energized, excited and ready to take on the day. It is like taking the car on the 100 mile journey without make the necessary repairs.
2. Do Anger and Frustration form a normal part of your emotional status?
If you keep getting angry and frustrated easily, answer the following question. Do you have the power to control everything and everyone is this world?
You don’t. You cannot control how others behave. You cannot control the fateful events of life (for example, facing a flat tyre on your way to an important meeting) etc. Anger and frustration arise from dissatisfaction due to the unfavourable conditions of life.
So what can you do when you encounter an unpleasant situation? It can be anything from a rude boss, a misbehaving child, some work crisis etc. What can you do?
You cannot control the events of life, but you can “choose” how you respond to them. In fact, you can choose to respond to them in a positive way. Since you cannot control everything in life, it is best to practise dealing with situations as they arise. When I say dealing, I mean to accept the present as it is and not get affected by it in a negative way.
Here are a couple of things that can help you to stay calm in such situations. ( How to Navigate Around Difficult Situations )
Deep breathing. Meditation.
A. Whenever you catch yourself going red with anger, take a moment and guide your focus to your breathing. Focus consciously as your breathe in and breathe out. Do this for a couple of minutes. Disconnect from that situation.
B. If you can find five minutes to meditate each day, you can do wonders at managing your emotions. Sit down at a quiet place, switch your phone to flight mode and focus inwards. You can even combine this with conscious breathing.
3. Do you feel lonely?
The human body contains many organs like the heart, lungs, stomach, brain etc. Each of these organs needs resources to function effectively all the time. In order to have a healthy body, ALL the organs should be healthy. What would happen if the organs begin to fight among themselves for the resources? What if the brain takes up more oxygen than it should, leaving the other organs to struggle?
While the brain may have managed to forcefully meet its own requirement, some other organ will struggle. The result? The body as a whole, is no longer healthy. You may be relieved to know that our organs don’t fight. They always work in harmony. And that is why your natural physical state is a healthy body.
But here’s the shocking part.
We behave like this. Yes, we behave like the organs fighting each other for the resources. From childhood, we are taught to love and take care of our family and loved ones. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But the trouble is that we stop there. We perceive the rest of the world as a disconnected, alien world. We are taught that it is dangerous.
Even if you think of yourself as an individual, you’re really a part of the whole. You are what makes up the world. And everything you do directly affects the collective state of the world. If you identify the world as a foreign environment and consider yourself disconnected from the other beings (both human and animals), you’re going to feel lonely. You’ll depend largely on your family to make you feel that you belong. The key is to identify that everything was created from a single source, a single light. “Everything is One Thing.”
If you prefer scientific proof, I’d say that everything is made up of energy (this is an actual scientific fact.) If you prefer to be religious, I’d say that there is a single God. If you like to get spiritual, I’d say the Universal Spirit has created and binds everything together. Whatever mindset works best for you, do realize that you are one with this world.
You matter. You are not alone.