Don’t Take Stress
December 18, 2020
All our stress comes from resisting the present moment- When we want the present moment to be different from what it actually is.
Our car can breakdown in the middle of heavy traffic, or someone could lose a job or the business results don’t come as expected. Many situations cause discomfort or deep pain in our lives. The pain is real and cannot be avoided in those moments when something bad happens or when something is not going the right way.
However, rather than accepting the situation and coming to terms with the pain, when you start resisting that reality with thoughts like “why me?”, “How can this happen to me?” it creates a cycle of stress inside you.
Instead, start with accepting the situation as it is. Acknowledge the pain, and do what you have to do to deal with the situation. If you can take any action that can get you out of the negative situation, focus on that. If there is nothing you can do, just step back and let the situation play out. Don’t get into blaming or victim mentality.
When you are able to accept your present reality without resistance, a greater intelligence arises within you. You will not feel stressed.
I often give this example to illustrate this.
Imagine you and your family to go on a long-overdue one week holiday to your favorite destination(say Japan). Just when you land at that place, there is a Tsunami warning, and the city goes into a state of lockdown. The local authorities put you up in a local hotel and tell you that you can’t move about and you will have to confine yourself to the hotel for the next seven days. How will you feel- miserable, angry, and upset, right?
Now reimagine the same situation differently. You accept the news with equanimity. “Ok, my holiday is screwed. I can’t do much about it. But, hey, I am with my family and safe. I’ll relax in the hotel and catch up with all the movies I have missed in the last ten years.” What happens? The pain and disappointment will still be there, but you are no longer resisting your present reality. In the serenity of your acceptance, your intelligence shows you how you can make the best use of your time. And the stress dissipates.