A step forward towards a stress free life

Like any of us I too have been through life’s ups and downs. For most part of my service career I was busy handling challenges as they came. Stress or Depression to me was like any other word in the dictionary, a bitoverhyped and a sign of softness. I was oblivious of its mechanics; how the triggers revealed, in what ways the affected individuals suffered, its different manifestations etc. etc.But COVID-19 period was the watershed. I, now a retired person and leading a relaxed life suddenly started getting upset on minor issues (relative term). And this timeI experienced the debilitating effects of stress andI have come to realise the toll stress takes on a person and, therefore, took upon myself the challenge to come out of it. Dr. Michael D Yapko, clinical psychologist and author states, “What we have come to learn is that it isn’t what happens to people that increases their risk for depression so much as how they interpret and respond to what happens to them.” He further highlights the three components of depression viz Biological, Psychological and Social which not only affect mood but also physical health,giving rise to cardio vascular diseases, hampering ability to think and decide, job performance and concentration, and if not handled properly leads to ruined relationships. I knew time was running out. Before my tamed stress started affecting me seriously I had to overpower it. Being a spiritual person and a regular meditator (with Focused meditation techniques), I knew there had to be a way out because I believed in the prophetic words, ‘no one makes a lock without a key, and that’s why God won’t give you problems without solutions’. It was then that I hit upon David Lynch’s video wherein he is seen explaining Transcendental Meditation (TM) and its effects. I joineda regular TM course and started practicing meditation.‘It is a miracle’, Ican state with conviction when it comes to describing how TM has helped me cope up with stresses. But I believe that there are other factors as well that supplement TM and make the experience wholesome. Here, I am penning down my experience of fight against stress in a few steps; this may help someone who is facing similar mental catastrophe. There is a couplet in Hindi language which goes like this ‘Jyun jyun doobe Shaam rang, tyun tyun ujjwal hoe’, meaning ‘As we dive deeper into realms of knowledge, we are blessed with light’. I started listening to and readingthe works of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and othereminent TM practitioners such as Dr. Tony Nader, David Lynch, Bob Roth and Raja Peter, and followed their guidelines for living a stress free life. There are many gems hidden in the words of great masters; a peak into these is sure to help. Daily physical exercises have helped meremain in good health.I also added pranayamin my daily routine which facilitated settling ofmy Pranayama Kosha. The nature of human mind is such that it always seeks greater happiness. Even if you change your surroundings, the mind carries its weather along with it;Therefore, whether I was home or out to a social function, I couldn’t help but carry my mental state with me. Often, the idle mind – a destructive force and moves towards negative thoughts. However, since I was now aware of the havoc the stress causes, I deliberately diverted thoughts towards accepting a bigger role for myself. I started to learn more about TM, pranayama and yoga, and started preparing to pass on this knowledge in order to help others.In doing so, I felt connected with others and this higher purpose occupied my mind all the time. Transcendental Meditation helps in addressing the Anandamaya Kosha and is utmost significant in pursuit toward restoration of original self. I learnt TM program at the Noida centre and started to practise TM under astute trainer’s guidance. Each of experiences added to my stress reduction and led towards widening of my consciousness. It enhances aspects towards everything in our daily lives and helps in broadening the cosmic consciousness with practice. Through my personal experience, I would recommend that anyone who has learnt TM should never shy away from being regular in their practice. I have moved on. I have regained my composure and once again, temperamentally,I am the same individual that I once was. Steadily, with regular TM practice I am inching towards greater stability and happiness. But there is a serious dilemma – what about those who are living with stress, anxiety, fear and depression every single day. Stress, the number one cause of human suffering is fast spreading its tentacles deep into our society; one in every five individual living on this planet is suffering from it. Human beings, the supreme creation of God were destined to live a blissful life but are suffering miseries. People affected by it cannot enjoy good relations and basic comforts the modern science has provided nor can they concentrate or think clearly. They are suffering mentally and physically and their medical bills are sky rocketing just because they are unable to find their own true potential which can settle them. Addressing all layers of mind and body and getting absorbed in TM is the way forward. Once we start living our own true selves with an expanded consciousness, there will be happiness, peace, prosperity and goodness flowing all across. Col. Kul Bhushan (Retd. Defence Personnel)