Stress is an ignorant state. It believes that everything is an emergency. -Natalie Goldberg
In this enlightening interview with Oscar award winning film maker Shekar Kapur, Sadhguru explains how to get rid of stress. Its an interesting perspective how Sadhguru shares his thoughts on stress and the very notion of stress management. Stress management with a simple google search fetches ~38,500,000 results in less than 0.37 seconds, which possibly explains how much importance people associate it with. Thousands of books are available on stress management with many experts advising us on how best to manage stress. In this interview, Sadhguru shares how he does not understand the notion of stress management. He explains that normally one manages something which is precious to them like family, children, business or wealth so its hard for him to understand why manage stress, which should not be precious to anyone. Sadhguru goes on to put it very beautifully explaining how to get rid of stress by changing the context of our life. Since we do not have control over the circumstances or situations surrounding our life, its how we react to those situations in life, which helps us get rid of stress.
Stress is just an inability to manage the inner situation, not the outer situation. Inner situation could be your thoughts, your values or your beliefs conflicting with how you react with outer situations and thus creating stress. This reminds me of a story my mother shared once about a monk, who was passing through a town and in that town there was a notorious person tormenting the people. When he saw the monk, the person started abusing and throwing insults while the monk kept smiling. Surprised by the monk’s reaction, people asked why he was not reacting and feeling angry because of all those insults & abuses. To this, monk calmly responded with a smile that the insults & abuses belong to the person which he is trying to give me and by not reacting, I am just not taking in those insults & abuses.
Quote from William James best summarizes the essence of this post “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another"