FAQs on how to deal with stress and its offsprings

Stress is an unavoidable companion in today’s modern day world. It can cause serious health issues, and make you lose your peace of mind, So, it is best nipped in the bud, isn’t it?  Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has suggested some insightful and humorous answers to those niggling doubts we have on dealing with stress and its offsprings.

What is stress?

Too much to do, too little time, and no energy!

Can stress help me perform better?

Occasionally, a little stress can push you to do more. However, it is not the primary motivating factor for people to be creative. The idea that necessity is the mother of invention is an outdated one!

If stress were really a motivating factor, strife-torn countries like Lebanon and Afghanistan would have been world leaders! However, they have not contributed any inventions to the world in the last 40 years.

For a person to be creative and inventive, his mind has to be stress-free, and his environment peaceful.

What is the solution to stress?

Your own experiences can teach you. You have spent moments believing the end of the world has arrived, haven’t you? Yet, you are still alive and kicking!

What else can help you? Practice meditation; the difference in your life will be palpable.

Offsprings of stress: Worry, negativity, sadness and frustration

How can I stop worrying?

1.   Recognize that you always worry, and the result of it has been nothing! You are still here. The world did not collapse on your head!
2. Do Bhastrika pranayama and Kriya. These practices can help you.
3.   Listen to people with more problems than you!
4.   Stay in a mental hospital for a day! Listen to the patients there, and observe their lives. It will teach you perspective.
5.   Visit a crematorium or cemetery, and remember that you will also be there one day!

Have you tried guided meditation to deal with anxiety?

Life is impermanent. Worrying about passing phases is futile. Being aware of this can help you get over your anxieties.

How can I save myself from negative thoughts? 

Negative thoughts routinely cloud our mind and create doubts within us.  It leads to unanswered questions, which torture us, and makes us violent.

Sometimes, people with such questions just need a soundboard. They need attention and understanding rather than solutions. This also applies to extremists, who need compassion rather than condemnation, because they are scarred individuals.

However, it is important not to sympathize with someone in a negative mode because you end up adding credibility to their illusory beliefs.

How can I get rid of sadness? 

Here’s a secret! Sadness is not given by others - it is a gift of your own mind! 
Here are four ways to get rid of your sadness:

1. Drop your desire. Treat it like a ball, and kick it far away from you. 
2. You need a lot of courage and self control to drop your desire. Invoke the valor within you. 
3. Take responsibility for your actions and try to understand your Self. 
4. Offer it to god, as god takes all offerings without question.

How can I overcome frustration? 

Frustration arises because we expect perfection from others. We expect people, organizations, and the nation to be perfect. We want things done on time, and life to go the way we envision it. When this does not happen, which is the case many times, we get frustrated.

As we go about looking for perfection all around us, we miss seeing the imperfection within our own selves. So, it is important to look within. When we try to improve ourselves and aim to achieve perfection within ourselves, we will stop noticing others’ imperfection. We can then even contribute towards transforming others. This will help get rid of frustration.

Practice Sudarshan Kriya to reduce stress

When you are stressed, a hormone called cortisol is released. This hinders the functioning of neuro-transmitters that brain cells use to communicate, which confuses the brain, and makes it inactive. Cortisols also cause chemical reactions that kill brain cells. 

Sudarshan Kriya (SKY) is a scientifically-proven stress management tool that utilizes the breath to control emotions. Numerous independent studies show that SKY increases focus and alertness.  India’s National Institute of Mental Health has found that SKY practitioners show lower levels of cortisol. It also increases prolactin - a well-being hormone. 

Swedish researchers have also found that this breathing technique reduces stress, anxiety, and depression, and increases optimism and well-being. It is free of side-effects and cheaper than antidepressants. 

If you would like to learn the Sudarshan Kriya, join the Art of Living’s Happiness Program