The quality of our daily life depends on the quality and texture of our mind. “Mind alone is the cause of our bondage and liberation.” Existence of mind itself is a disease and a disease can never be healthy. There are only two conditions of mind: normally unhealthy and abnormally unhealthy. Very few in this world have transcended the mind itself and attained perfection. A vast majority of us have a normally unhealthy mind.
The true potential of human beings is not in the power of the mind. The purpose of human life is to transcend the mind and reach a higher state of consciousness. In that state we are truly in the divinity that we descended from. Till we reach that state of unity with what we truly are, we are in turmoil. This turmoil between our true nature and what we pretend and strive to be is what we call stress or tension.
Tension is who you think you should be. Infinite bliss is who you are and have always been in Reality.
Apart from other causes, stress is also caused by being “here” but wanting to be “there” or being in the present but wanting to be in the future. It’s a split that tears us apart inside. To create and live with such an inner split is insane. If the stress resulting from underlying emotional problems continues for long time, various physical symptoms may be produced, such as high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, diarrhea, constipation etc. Apart from the repressed and unresolved mental conflicts of the individual, social attitudes add their own stress. Let bygones be bygones. Dwelling on the past inflicts unnecessary stress. Be the boss of your own self. Letting others push you around produces stress. Certain nutritional deficiencies also cause stress, which needs to be rectified. The basic factor in treating stress is the uncovering of hidden emotional conflicts.
We should have a holistic approach to stress elimination and making ourselves stress-proof, which should include lifestyle and dietary changes, rectifying nutritional deficiencies, herbal medicine, yoga therapy and most importantly attitudinal change.
Meditation helps us reach the restful state of mind from which we can actively participate in this world and yet be untouched by the events around us. Meditation involves focusing the mind on the present, which improves mood and decreases stress. Do not worry about health and death. Just get on with life and enjoy. You really have nothing to lose by trying, except your stress!
Laughing activates positive emotions in the brain. It is an expression of pure deliverance and total tension release. Laughter is considered one of the best muscle relaxants. It reduces the level of stress hormones like epinephrine and cortisol. Laughing effectively breaks down stress hormones and builds up hormones associated with happiness. One should have a hearty laugh without any inhibition for at least half an hour daily. Laugh and have fun.
“When diet is wrong medicine is of no use. When diet is correct medicine is of no need.” — Ayurvedic Proverb
We need to change our outlook and attitude towards the world around us to make ourselves stress-proof. Drop your judgment about yourself, about people around you and about situations. You will see that suddenly you have become stress-free! That is all it takes to be liberated from stress.
All our problems originate in the mind. We carry in our minds the fears and phobias, insecurities, anxieties, false concepts and notions, etc., according to the data that has been fed to us right from our birth. We get thoroughly conditioned by these and then find it very difficult to break out of it. Unless we have an open mind and a discriminative intellect we cannot transcend the mental conditioning.
Our mind is cluttered with millions of unwanted thoughts. As long as we are a witness to it, it is not a problem. Our problem starts when we start identifying with it. As long as a boat is in the water there is no problem, but when the water starts getting into the boat then it becomes a catastrophe. When the world enters the mind our miseries start.
Stress is the bane of the 21st century life. It seems to be an inevitable part of life. There can be no life without what we term ‘stress’. However, we can make ourselves stress-proof, by simply choosing not to be affected by what happens outside us. We need to convert our milk mind into butter mind and move around in the constantly changing world without being affected by it. Our mind is like milk and this world is like water. When the milk-mind enters the water-world what will happen? All the worldly water will get in and pollute the milk-mind. So what is the solution? We curdle the milk and churn butter out of it. When a lump of butter is put in water it will float all over without allowing a single drop of water to enter it.
It is our mental conditioning that makes us get affected by what happens to us through events that are beyond our control. Our minds get affected by what we see around us and experiences that are beyond our control. Our mind is conditioned by a number of factors. Each individual has a different mental conditioning and responds to a given situation differently. Nothing is inherently good or bad except what we judge them to be according to our own mental conditioning. We need to de-condition our mind to be stress free and stress-proof. Then our interactions with the world around us will be such that there will be no impressions left on our minds.
How to prevent the world from entering the mind? How to convert the milk mind into butter mind? We need to follow the codes for de-conditioning the mind.
Codes for De-Conditioning the Mind
1) Have the courage to change what you can, serenity to accept what you cannot change and the wisdom to know the difference. Common sense in an uncommon degree is wisdom. We must learn to endure cheerfully what cannot be cured.
2) Make the effort to begin to accept other people fully as they are. The tragedy is that our own mind is not in our control. And what is the comedy? Our own mind which is not in our control, with that uncontrolled mind we want to control other people’s mind which is not even in their control — an impossible task!!! This is the comedy! Liberation is when we intelligently accept people and circumstances as they come.
3) Accept yourself. It is our inability to accept ourselves fully, with all our weaknesses and shortcomings that causes so much anguish in our lives. Laugh at yourself, at your behavior and at your antics. Don’t take yourself too seriously. No one else does!!
4) Don’t compare yourself with anyone. If you do so, you are insulting yourself. You have no idea what their journey is all about. Don’t let your neighbors set your standards. Be yourself. Don’t imitate others. Instead of being a poor imitation, be hundred percent original.
5) Do not blame others for your sorrows and problems. Remember everybody’s life is shaped by his / her destiny, which has now become his / her, reality. Nothing will be gained by blaming others for our misfortune, except adding further unnecessary stress.
6) Be more open with people. Most conflicts around the world is due to poor communication.
7) Do not worry about what others will think. They don’t do it (i.e. think) very often anyway! The so called ‘others’ are equally worried about what ‘others’ will think!! If you think you are what your friends and enemies say you are, you obviously do not know yourself. What others think of us is none of our business. We can’t please everybody. Don’t let criticism worry you. The faculty of imagination is for creativity. It should not be misused for worrying.
8) Watch your habitual reactions to the people around you and to your environment. Reduce being dependent on any particular place, time, object, people, relationship, environment, condition, situation and circumstance for happiness. Any kind of dependency is a cause of bondage and any kind of bondage is a cause of misery.
9) Do not interfere in others’ affairs unless asked to do so. Most of us create our own problems and subsequent stress by interfering too often in others’ affairs.
10) What is given to you will be taken away. It includes the instruments called the body, mind and intellect through which we function in this world. That means nothing belongs to us in the entire existence. So do not be attached to or do not hold on to things that do not belong to you. We never really possess things. We merely hold them for a while. If we are unable to give them away we are held by them. Don’t possess nor be possessed.
11) Have no hatred for any thing or being, even for a fraction of a moment — even in a dream. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Since hate poison’s the soul, do not cherish hatred. Forgive everyone for everything. Always forgive your enemies — nothing annoys them as much. Likewise we also need to ask for forgiveness from those whom we may have hurt knowingly or unknowingly. Apologizing Doesn’t mean that we are wrong and the other person is right. It simply means that we value the relationship much more than our ego.
12) Don’t avoid difficult situations. Very few of us are really aware of programming and conditioning of things and beings. When we recognize it then we start to deal with it in a balanced manner. However good or bad a situation is, it will change. Don’t spend time brooding over sorrows or mistakes. Frame every so called disaster with these words “In 5 years will this matter?” Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
13) Instead of doing what you like start liking what you do, because in life we get what we deserve, not what we desire. So we may not always get to do what we like.
14) Unhappiness is not knowing what we want and killing ourselves to get it. Happiness is a conscious choice, not an automatic response. Avoid people who make you unhappy. Keep yourself busy. A busy person never has time to be unhappy. You simply cannot be unhappy unless you have decided to be unhappy.Make up your mind to be happy. Learn to find pleasure in simple things.
15) Live in the now and enjoy the present moment. Make peace with your past so that it doesn’t mess-up the present.You cannot change the past, but you can ruin the present by worrying about the future. Living in the present means conscious action, not mechanical movement.