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"Humans are the only species with the potential to become free of karma." ~ David"

Life is meant to be blissful
Learn how by reading; Inner Engineering - A Yogi's Guide to Joy

The Nature of Stress

A pact between you and your mind

The first level of stress is physical, it is the wear and tear on our bodies due to activity resulting in repetitive stress injuries. This is easy to treat with a change of occupation or lifestyle. Where occupation and lifestyle cannot be adapted, activities like yoga exercise will help to prevent and alleviate symptoms.

The second level of stress is psychological. This comes about because our entire life and worldly experience takes place inside our own minds. Remember that we perceive the world through our senses and that senses of sight, sound, taste, hearing and touch, involve sense receptors that convey information to the brain which then determines what we are experiencing.

With the information provided by our senses, the brain/ mind is applying values and determining the nature of all that sensory information. However the mind does this in accordance with its programming and every mind is different because no two are ever programmed exactly alike. We know that we all have slight differences from each other, different ways of seeing things and a different responsiveness to external phenomenon.

We must remember that the world is neither just nor fair yet to a certain extent some of us expect justice and fairness in life. People are programmed with different political and religious ideologies which leads them to have desired outcomes for their interaction in the world. So what people believe sets them up to succeed or fail, to avoid stress or to be stressed.

When the tree falls in the forest and there is no one to hear it, to all those who do not hear, it is as if the tree never fell. In other words, it is beyond sense perception and there is no ability to respond or react. In using the example of a tree, it could be a conversation or any interaction with fellow human beings, a car crash, a crime or any event that most people would normally react or respond to.  So if you are having a conversation with someone where you may disagree, your sense of morality may be offended or when the interaction has completed, you feel some residual anxious or upset, this is the origin of stress which is experienced within the mind. This stress is been self created because due to a slight difference in programming, you disagree with someone else sufficiently to feel a little annoyed, it or even downright mad.

The mind cannot store stress, it is simply a computer, a tool for doing calculation that helps us to navigate our way through life. So what is the mind to do with this stress?  Because the brain is not created to store stress, and because you have created it, the brain stores that stress somewhere within the body. The brain doesn’t have any value judgement of its own, but it is programmed to serve you therefore when you create stress in your mind, the brain is biologically programmed to consider that your stress is something valuable: this is your creation and so it carefully stores your stress in biological memory.

In our common language we sometimes refer to people as a pain in the neck or a pain in the butt. These phrases have come about by association that some people who are difficult to deal with create levels of stress in the mind and that stress is stored around the neck while others are literally a pain in the butt. Sometimes people say the world is getting them down and that load is carried across the shoulders. Another major stress factor that is rarely discussed comes from the sexualisation and confusion within society that is absorbed by individuals. This causes a great deal of stress relating to sexuality which is stored around the sex organs. This causes reproductive problems and cancers of the reproductive system.

The effects of stress in the body are the same be they environmental or mental factors. They impair the functionality of the body leading to various levels of physical, mental and emotional suffering, incapacitation and premature death. These stress factors debilitate all aspects of life and yet for the most part, they are entirely self created.

To a certain extent we have inherited some karmic limitations in the form of our social structure. In other words, many stress factors have been evolving over thousands of years, shaping the way we think and interact with life. Even the very fact that we were born into this environment guarantees that we will experience many levels of stress yet remaining stressed and suffering the consequences is a choice.

Since you are reading this, you are indeed fortunate to be living in an environment where you have a degree of economic and social freedom. Chances are you also have a reasonable level of education and knowledge of the world. Therefore if you are suffering from stress it is only because you have not taken any remedial action.

The only way to prevent stress and overcome its side-effects is to become a responsible human being. In other words you must learn to become responsible for your own thoughts and actions. You must also learn that only what you think matters to you, what anyone else thinks about you or says about you is none of your business. Of course it’s nice when people say nice things about you, but these things should also be taken with a grain of salt as should be negative things that people think or say because those are simply a reflection of who they are.

Because we live in a stressful Society, with most often adopt the bad habits displayed by our leaders, our families and peers. But there comes a point when you need to stop imitating other people and decide who you are. The only way to do this is to meditate, to take time out for you. Meditation is simply deep relaxation and within that space sensitivity to life increases as does the ability to become more responsible for yourself.

While meditation can enlighten us to our real nature, it is most helpful to practice some form of physical exercise such as yoga to ease accumulated stress out of the body, and massage can also relieve many of these stresses. While stress can provide an incentive to move, to learn and grow, there are less painful ways of being human.

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