Q. Swamiji, I have read your blog and so many posts are there on Stress Management, guiding on how to improve ourselves to handle stress, but the techniques which you have mentioned there, we use it for some time, for a few days, and feel some improvement, but after that, we are back to square one! So, it is not providing a permanent solution to how to handle stress in a larger perspective of life. What to do?
Ans. Right. So his question is, on my blog, I have talked about many techniques for stress management, thank you for apprising me, I wasn’t aware! (Laughter). Anyway, so there are many techniques on Stress Management, but, he says that we start them, but we fall back in the same rut, and we go back to square one, that I have not given any permanent solution. Please remember, only one person can give you a permanent solution – A Politician (Laughter). They always come in power, promising you a permanent solution. “Now, Good days will come!!”. Did they come? I am still waiting! Good days didn’t come.
So, they know that everybody is searching for a permanent solution, but there is no permanent solution to anything! “The only thing you can do is to master something to such a degree that it becomes your second nature”. That’s all you can do.
So, when there are certain methods or techniques mentioned there, and you do them only for a few days, then you go back to square one, then the fault is with you! You have to do them again. And that’s the hardest thing! That’s why most of us fail, not just in Spirituality, but in almost everything we do, because “We lack that persistence”.
“If you can learn the art of motivating yourself, you will succeed at EVERYTHING!”. And, nobody can teach you that art. “If you can learn how to keep yourself motivated in whatever you undertake, no power on this earth can stop you from succeeding!”.
So, there is no permanent solution. “The only permanent solution to all problems of life is Death!”. And that’s what Krishna said.
चिन्तामपरिमेयां च प्रलयान्तामुपाश्रिता: |
They are obsessed with endless anxieties that end only with death.
Until you are dead, you will be worried, He said. I am saying it very nicely. He was even more firm with Arjuna.
So, until you’re dead, problems will continue, stress will be there.
Have you ever tried noise cancellation headphones? Do you know how they work? It’s rhetorical, so I will tell you how they work. So, they have a little microphone, like what I am having, and that microphone listens to constant sound from the external environment. And then, all it does is, it takes a solid imprint of that sound (digital imprint of some kind), and issues an exact reverse signal, which then cancels that sound.
Remember Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayana? Two people shooting arrows, and ding ding ding ding… and just clashing each other!! You shot an arrow, the other one also shot and then ding, ding, ding, ding…. they clash and arrow would go mid-air and nobody would be hurt! Similarly this sound cancellation works. It cancels the sound.
Now, stress is also to be handled the same way. First is – To identify what is causing that stress? What is the stress like? Second is to issue a reverse signal of that stress, to cancel that stress. We cannot be stressed about getting stressed! Some people get stressed about, “Why I cannot sleep? I need to sleep! I need to sleep! I cannot sleep!”. You cannot sleep then, at all!
Sometimes, it is “Letting Go”, sometimes “You have to prepare towards what is causing you stress”. At times, “You have to just surrender”. Some other times, “You have to just face it”. At times, “You have to accept it”.
So, there is no “One Panacea” for handling stress in life on a permanent basis. It all depends on what your stress levels are, the cause of your stress, and your individual temperament to handle stress.
There was a movie, I don’t know the name, but I remember the dialogue : “You don’t have to take tension. You have to give it!” (Tension lene ka nhi, dene ka!!). (Laughter). So, sometimes just pass on stress. I always do that. It works! (Laughter). Delegate your stress, if you are going to delegate any work.
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