Note: I have consciously used the word understand in this post. It requires special attention from the reader

Stress management is the biggest topic of heated discussion in modern times. It is recognized with due diligence and a whole industry has come up behind this problem where people are trying to sell you on how to eliminate stress, but keep the productivity.

My take on this is very simple, “I don’t know myself and that is the ONLY problem.” Solve that problem first and then talk about stress management. I’ll guarantee you that you won’t because there will be no stress to manage.

To explain better I’ll illustrate with two personal real examples,
Example 1: Desire to look good and desire to scroll on YouTube during gym time.
Example 2: Desire to have junk food and desire to save money

My understanding is that the conflict between your desire for an easier life and your desire for something beyond your immediate needs is the birthplace of all the stress. What we don’t understand is that by craving for comfort we automatically create an Aversion(negative desire) for anything remotely challenging.

So is there a solution? YES
Step 1: Contemplate and verify on what I have said until now and understand it to the core.

And that’s it, once you understand the problem, that itself is the solution.

Alcohol is bad for your liver we know it but we don’t understand. Recently one of my friends recovered from liver cirrhosis and now he doesn’t even think about alcohol he did not read Atomic Habits, nor did he practice any kaizen nor any self help affirmations. He understood the consequences of alcohol as he lived through it.

We live in a world where we don’t know the value of anything and only value instant gratification because we are made to be so. In these times what we really need is an internal struggle to understand — not know — but UNDERSTAND the cause and effect of our actions which can only come by knowing ourselves.

How to understand? Mind has a tendency of denying the averse consequences and you have to tame it with practice and detachment

Lord Krishna said: O mighty-armed son of Kunti, what you say is correct; the mind is indeed very difficult to restrain. But by practice and detachment, it can be controlled. – BG 6.33 

The word detachment is particularly significant here because you will experience many failures in your attempts which will hurt and demotivate you. But the outlook of detachment will keep you equanimous to the results, which will boost you to continue practicing. There is no other way around to this 

I am stressed now because I am not clear with myself. I look outside to know what’s right for me. But when I understand my flaw, I am transformed. What about you?

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Nihal Kulkarni

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