Thursday, September 10, 2009





In my opinion the term “Stress Management” is an oxymoron.

First you create stress within yourself, and then try to “manage” it.

Funny, isn’t it?

Why not prevent stress in the first place?

Focus on “stress prevention” rather than “stress management”.

Let’s try one way how to do this.

Long back, sometime in the 1960’s, when I was a small boy, my father took me to visit Belur Math, and there I acquired a tiny pocket book called “Thus Spake Vivekananda”.

Whenever the chips were down, or I felt dejected, I referred to the inspiring gems of wisdom, distilled from the complete works of Swami Vivekanada, for instant motivation and strength.

Here’s one of those gems of wisdom, a phrase from the sayings of Swami Vivekananda:

Anything that makes you weak physically, intellectually, and spiritually, reject as poison.

I feel that the word “weak” is all encompassing and embraces anything that creates in you a stressful situation like all negative emotions and feelings including anger, irritation, infuriation, frustration, despondency, depression, demoralization, unhappiness – anything that disturbs your inner tranquility and equanimity, drains you emotionally and intellectually, besides literal physical weakness.

Oh yes, Stress is weakness, Stress is Poison!

Now sit down in a quiet tranquil place, close your eyes, introspect, and try to think of all the things that make you feel negativeall your stress-creators and stressful situations.

These can be anything – toxic or incompatible persons, who irritate, annoy and hassle you, allergic or irritating foods and beverages (especially alcoholic drinks) which don’t suit you and are physically detrimental to your health, certain activities and events, which may appear pleasurable at the first instance, but actually drain you out and make you feel fatigued, depleted and depressed, modern technology and gadgets, like your cell-phone, which disturb your peace of mind, and strained relationships, which are a source of stress.

Make an exhaustive list of all the things, activities and entities, that make you “weak” and try to reject them as “poison”.

At first you may be a bit skeptical about this approach, but when you start implementing, you’ll be surprised how much it is in your own control to prevent stress.

While you reject the things that make you weak, you must also reinforce the things that make you feel "strong" and positive.

So simultaneously, reflect and contemplate, and make a list of things which give you strength and joy, make you happy and productive – all the things and people that create positive feelings in you – and try to devote as much time and energy to these positive things that give you strength and make you feel good.

This technique of stress prevention works for me, and I’m sure it’ll work for you too.

You will realise that this way of conquering stress and banishing it from your life is so effective probably because it is so breathtaking in its simplicity.

And once stress disappears from your life, you will feel good -- you can take my word for it.


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