In the yogic way of life, one learns to face both the pleasurable and the un-pleasurable events with the same detachment. While the pleasurable event or happening is not allowed to create a sense of euphoria, and thereby induce elation, the unhappy or painful events are not allowed to dampen one's positive attitude towards life. On the contrary, painful events are utilised to develop greater inner strength.
If you find that you are getting into a stressful situation, do not panic. Use this opportunity to make your body healthy and strong, also to develop a healthy attitude of mind. You will find that with the change in your perspective, you work more efficiently in whatever you do, your decision making is better and the prospects of all-round growth are beginning to look brighter in your working life.
You can make stress either a problem or a challenge. If you look at stress as a problem, the solution may necessarily have to come from outside. If you face stress as a challenge, then you are able to handle it through yoga and your changed perspective on life. The yogic attitude is "I am responsible for the situation I am in. So I can handle it". And so can you!
Witness yourself in every situation, both agreeable and non-agreeable. Also, watch your mind. How do you react in a particular situation? How do you get your ideas, concepts, experiences, conditioning, attitudes, etc.? Ask yourself "Why do I think like this?" Examine each of your attitudes, ideas and concepts. Throw out what is old, useless, negative or unhealthy. Practise antar mouna for this mental 'spring cleaning'!
Through the practice of meditation, you can change your attitude, emotions and mental concepts at any time. You can learn to smile at circumstances, you can learn to see every stressful situation as a challenge, or an opportunity to learn, give, serve, and love. Meditation allows you to realise your own true beautiful nature.
If your plane or train is late, what would be your reaction or response to it? Many different reactions are possible. As soon as you realise you have a choice, you can stop for a moment, witness, and choose the way you would really like to react. This leads to mental control.
Don't become fussy about food. It doesn't matter if you eat vegetarian or non-vegetarian food. But eat less (never overeat), eat when hungry, eat at the right time, eat the current combinations, and most important of all, eat with a relaxed mind. Keep the food simple, light and pure. Less sugar and less fat is better. White eating, practise antar mouna. After food, sit in vajrasana for a few minutes.
The road to good health is not a long one. All you need is just 20 to 30 minutes, twice a day. Through asana, pranayama and yogic relaxation techniques you can slowly readjust your lifestyle. You will also be able to generate more energy, conserve more energy and would be in a position to redirect more energy.
The five keys to good health are (a) Be active; (b) Eat less; (c) Sleep well; (d) Keep a relaxed mind; (e) Enjoy yourself. Yoga helps to promote activity, digestion, sleep, rest, relaxation, makes life enjoyable to yourself, and through you, to the others in the family. The time that you will be devoting to the practice of yoga does not mean that you will be 'snatching' good time away from your life. On the contrary, you will be adding hours of blissful health and enjoyment to your life every day.
Yoga transforms us subtly through greater awareness of of our day to day activities, adding a new dimension to even mundane things like eating, talking, fighting, listening, sleeping, working, walking, pain, pleasure, everything!
With greater awareness developing within us we are able to know ourselves better, understand others, better, understand life, to see situations as they really are, to solve problems, to become intelligent in every sense of the word, to see our mindset, our fixed pattern of habitual responses and neurotic behaviour, to recognise and eliminate disharmony, conflicts, negativity and knots in our mind.............and too evolve into real humans.
Even the most intelligent of us operates with ordinary intelligence without using buddhi. Buddhi the highest faculty of our mind in association with conscience and viveka (discrimination). Thus an immense, infinite intelligence remains untapped, just because we are too stressed to be able to switch on our buddhi!
When there is no buddhi to lead them, the lower faculties of the mind create chaos, imbalance and mismanagement. When buddhi is awakened, it brings order and harmony into the lower faculties; manas (emotions/feelings); chitta (thoughts/logic); and ahamkara (ego principle). It should become our aim to reassert the dominance of buddhi. And buddhi exists for one who has found the state of equilibrium, free from highs and lows, from distress and distress.
In traditional 'encounters', observation is equated to experience, and experience remains objective. With the awakening of buddhi, every encounter becomes a subjective experience, resulting in greater understanding and broader view point.
Is the mistake in my thinking/action or in the other person? Stand back from your thoughts and actions and those of others. Check your bearings in all situations. Take an objective view.
By integrating this type of awareness into your life, you will automatically remove 99% of all stressors because stressful situations will no longer affect you. They will roll off you like water on a duck's back. Learn to walk through life with an attitude of relaxed attention, observing all, yet attached or identified with none. This is the secret to living a stress-free life.