Bhaja Govindam - An effective Stress Management Technique


[This essay originally appeared in the August, 2007 issue of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams’ illustrated monthly ‘Sapthagiri’].
“Not so long ago, men and women suffered depression silently. But this appears to be changing, for instead of getting bogged down by low moods, people are combating it to continue with their demanding, stress-laden lives. Result: a spurt in the sale of anti-depressant drugs. One leading company which makes bulk anti-depressant drug recorded a stunning 258% increase in sales in 2005-06” - A headlines report in the “The Times of India” dated May 10, 2007.

The above quoted press report aptly epitomizes the present day gloomy situation which everybody claims it to be human progress.  It can be understood from the report that anti-depressant drugs are widely used to combat stress implying stress is the universal disease and depression is its most common symptom which ultimately leads to suicides, violence, drug-addiction, alcoholism, intolerance towards slightest disappointments and failures, marital disharmony, parent-children collision  etc.

Pathology of Stress
Stress is a condition our bodies experience in the process of adjusting to continually changing life situations. In so adjusting to different circumstances, stress will help or hinder us depending on how we react to it. It has physical and emotional effects on us and can create positive or negative feelings, more of the latter than the former. 

It is a situation where we perceive that demands on us exceed our personal and social resources that we are able to mobilize to meet such expectations.  Stress is not an inevitable consequence of any event; it is our perception of a given state of affairs and our real ability to cope with it.

As a positive influence, stress can stimulate and energize us to action. As a negative influence, it can result in feelings of distrust, rejection, anger, and depression, which in turn can lead to health problems such as headaches, upset stomach, rashes, insomnia, ulcers, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.

Causes of Stress
The causes of stress are many, some real and many imaginary. The main reasons for tension are:
•    Overload of demands - personal, social , official etc.,
•    Problem Jobs
•    Problem People
•    Performance Stress
•    Unreasonable and impractical expectations in life causing the failure of our in-built defense mechanism
      to cope up with disappointments

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