Of Habit tendencies and Stress

Of Habit tendencies and Stress

Recent annual Gallup poll suggests that 55% of Americans are subject to stress, anger, and worry, compared to the global average of 35%, following negative experiences they undergo on various counts. In another study, Cigna a wellness organisation suggests that 82% of Indians suffer from stress. These figures, based on a very small sample size, may not present a true picture. Be they as they may, but there is no denying the fact that general stress level is quite high deserving attention. And this mental malaise is growing day by day. In America, I observed that those suffering from stress and anxiety unhesitatingly seek expert’s help. In India, on the contrary, majority of people try to evade any medical help, as if that would be a social stigma. People feel that once mental imbalance in a person, temporary though, becomes public, they will not be taken kindly. Instead, they prefer going for belief driven puja.

Stress as it stands, is a mental predicament. Can a pundit’s prayers enter victim’s mind for necessary correction? It is really difficult to digest. Fact remains that once a person comes under stress, the first casualty is hormonal imbalance, which in turn further compounds the stress. This way, a person gets caught up in a circuitous web, when the victim often loses sense of reason and direction. Under such a situation, counselling doesn’t work, as any fresh educative input doesn’t get registered in their mind. But, when hormonal balance gets restored through medication, the person becomes receptive, and therefore could respond to counselling.

But why stress? Given a situation, real or assumed, when a person is not able to cope up, he/she comes under pressure. It could be because of not being able to meet aspirational urges; when met with unforeseen circumstances and challenges for which one may not be prepared; unpalatable societal atmosphere; or even assumed negative thoughts. For someone with inflated ego, it becomes difficult to digest things happenings beyond their predefined parameters. Such situation could lead to tremendous emotional upsurge, in turn leading to acute stress.

The question now is: How to lead a stress-free life? That, however, is simply inconceivable.   The Universe is in continued motion. Human life too, is always in action. And no movement is possible without being met with resistance.  Even while apparently idling, a person’s mind keeps flirting with uninterrupted streams of thoughts (some of them assumed).  The mind in itself is potent enough to successively breed contrarian thoughts.  Not to mention being confronted with challenges thrown by competing interests and unforeseen circumstantial constraints, while pursuing the tasks in hand.

What, however, really matters is how we deal with the challenges?   Some of us may take it in stride and deal with them intelligently.  Those unable to cope may stretch the problems beyond their due. Caught up in its melee, such people fail to perceive issues in hand in perspective. They often come under mental, emotional or physical pressure leading to mental fatigue, exhaustion, and a sense of incapacitation.  This may result in a sense of fear and insecurity.    If left uncared for long, stress may assume serious proportions, calling for medical intervention.

The question now is: In a given situation, why do individuals respond varied ways? The unique character of a being according as one’s mind is preconditioned –virtues & attributes, likes & dislikes, prejudices & obsessions; habits and attitudes – hold the key to how one responds to a situation. A positively oriented mind can handle the usual trials and tribulations of life logically. A negatively charged person, on the other hand, may unmindfully fall into stress-trap and start playing the victim card. What’s the way out?

The Answer lies in – ‘Awareness’.  First, look within – the core strengths and weaknesses.  Identify, acknowledge and address the fault lines and optimize the strengths.  Explore the hard realities of life and accordingly equip oneself through suitable educative inputs.   Many a times, one’s egotistical mind fails to acknowledge one’s fault lines. In such a situation, astrology may prove handy, as it knows no bias.

Here is a case study. Lagna and Moon signs are both owned by Mercury, which is conjunct headless Ketu and also opposite Mars. That, in the first place implies that he wishes to live on his own exclusive terms. He expects from those around to prove true to his expectations. Second, if ever faced with contrarian views, he becomes overcritical, and in state of anger passes caustic remarks, often offending those around. Stress, thus, has become a regular feature of his life

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