COPING WITH STRESS
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”.
Here is a tip on coping with stress.
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 negative – all your stress-creators and stressful situations.
These stress-creators and stress facilitators can be a variety of things:
Toxic or incompatible persons, who irritate, annoy and hassle you,
Foods and beverages which don’t suit you and are physically detrimental,
Stressful activities, which initially may appear pleasurable, but actually drain you out, and many avoidable Stress Creating Situations,
Technology and gadgets, like your cell-phone, which disturb your peace of mind,
Strained relationships, which are a source of stress,and many more such things - just sit in a quiet place, close your eyes and think of all the things and entities that create or foster stree in you.
Make an exhaustive list of all the things 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.
When you spend most of your time doing "happiness-creating" activities and try to be in the company of persons who make you feel happy, things that make you feel "strong", you will be infused with positive feelings of joy and there will be no place for stress to enter your life, at least in those joyful moments.
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.