It seems to be a foregone conclusion that stress is unavoidable. It’s as if we’ve decided that there is no way but to accept it as a part of life. Why is this so? Have you decided that a cold or a cough is unavoidable and incurable so you must keep on coughing and sneezing? No, because you know that you can come out of coughs and colds. They are temporary ailments. So why accept that stress is anything but a temporary phenomenon?
A mind that is scattered and filled with desires is one of the primary causes of stress. The Lord says that the greed to become somebody and the fear of being nobody is the biggest stress people are going through. Those people who have mano bhava, filled with desire, pleasure, name, power: they will never be peaceful. How can you be peaceful if you sell your soul for money and name?
We go out into the world in pursuit of pleasures and desires of a scattered and already miserable mind. And through our interactions with that world we get even more miserable. This is because we are very specific about how the world should behave towards us. We’re very clear about how our wives should treat us, how our husbands should behave. Our happiness depends on it. Yet we have as much control over the world as we do over the weather. How can we control what the boss will do? Or how the wife will behave? Can anyone ever really control another human being? Even God Himself gave us free will, so where is the question of one person controlling the other? Even the highest Supreme Intelligence is not doing it! We base the quality of our lives on factors over which we have no control. If our life is dependent on that over which we have no control, then our life is out-of-control. Please get this very clearly.
Those who are committed to pleasure and the fulfilment of dseire will give you flowery words by saying pleasure is the only reality. So long as your living, live happy. Incur debt and enjoy: you have only one life. They are only going to support a scattered mind. And with such a mind, a person will create stress wherever they go. Have you seen people whose mind is scattered and filled with desires? In their presence, you can feel your energy draining. Compare that with people who are filled with love and light. It is said that when Buddha walked, flowers that were out-of-season bloomed. His energy was so powerful that it could impact even flowers. It is said that when Mohammed walked, clouds gave shade.
Stress management is something we are all forced to do because we are going about life with the wrong program in our minds. If we replace this, with the right program and set of values, then there will be no need for stress management because there will be no stress at all. To create jo, ,you have to accept that there is joy within. There also has to be a discovery and experience that ‘I am joy’. The minute you have this, your stress will automatically be reduced or will disappear. Something else you could try, as you go about your work in the outer world, is to ask yourself: how am I handling my inner world? What kind of armour am I wearing when I interact with the outer world? We spend so much time on our clothes and the make-up we wear, but we have no idea of how to make sure that we have armoured ourselves properly. A true yogi, particularly a karma yogi, is one who is sensitive to the armour he or she wears. Bring about a way of life that is focused on spirituality not material desires. Spirituality means a discovery and uncovering of your true nature.
Spirituality is a wake-up call. And it has very thorough, time-tested methods to raise your energy levels and re-wire your mind in the right way. It tells you to stop going through lives in the slumber of your ignorance and focus on the right things. Change your life from stress and frustration to one of joy and abundance through the correct tools and techniques.
Swamiji’s upcoming workshop, Frustration to Fulfilment, is starting in Mumbai from Feb 29th and continuing to Hyderabad and Bangalore. In it, he touches on stress management and how to create peak experiences in spite of challenges. To know more, click here.