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Tuesday, 16 August 2011

How to Minimize Stress and Tension


Stress and tension are synonymous. Stress is a state of mental or emotional strain or suspense; it causes anxiety, worry or emotional tension. Stress causes ill-health and can be fatal if not arrested. Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression. A sound heart is life to the body. A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.
If a person is tense, then his perception, observation and expression suffer. And you have only two ways to get rid of tension: either lessen your workload or increase the energy level. In today’s world, it is almost impossible to lessen the workload; it will keep on growing day by day. The alternative is to increase our energy. Let’s consider different sources of energy. Food is our first source of energy — proper food and right amount of food, neither too much, nor too little. Second is proper sleep. Third and the most important source of energy, is breath, which we have ignored or forgotten about. 90% of impurities in the system go out through the breath. With every breath we exhale, we are throwing out carbon dioxide, toxins are going out of the system and blood is getting purified. Breath is such an important source of energy but we have not done much to learn and study about it. Your breath is the link between body and mind. For every emotion there is a corresponding rhythm in the breath. You would have noticed that when one is depressed, unhappy, anxious or tense, the breath moves and flows differently. Notice how we breathe when we are tense; when we are angry we breathe differently. Breath is the key to eliminate these toxins, negative impressions, and harmonize the emotions.
We can be creative and productive, and at the same time not lose the humanness that we are all born with. Just material things or comfort alone do not really make a person comfortable. He may have a good bed to sleep on, but is unable to sleep due to insomnia or worry. He needs to get a broad understanding about himself and his priorities. Clarity in the mind makes things much easier -understanding his basic emotions like love, his interaction with people around him, knowing about his own ego or what his own intellect or mind is saying to him and introspection, will give him a few minutes of relaxation which is very vital. Then, of utmost importance is a smile. People who smile are givers and make the world habitable!

A Healthy Life!


Life has four characteristics: it exists (at birth), evolves (when growing up), expresses (when interacting with creatures) and extinguishes (at death). And for these, it depends, as Empedocles confirms, on five elements: air, earth, fire, water, and ether. These correspond to the five senses: sight, smell, taste, sound and touch. These 5 elements flow into one another. Each one of the elements contains the other four. The subtlest element in us is space (ether), which the mind is made up of, and the grossest element is the earth, which our bones, skin and body structure are made up of.
To bring good health to your system, first, attend to the ether element, that is, the mind element. A mind clogged with too many impressions and thoughts drains you of your resistance power and prepares your body for some illness. If the mind is clear, calm, meditative and pleasant, the resistance in the body increases; it would not allow an illness to come into the body. Thus, the first remedy is to calm down the mind, provided by the ether. Then proceed to the air element, the breathing. Aromatherapy depends on this element. And then light — the colour therapy. You can see an illness in the aura of a person before it manifests in the body. By energizing our system with the prana — life energy or breath — you can clear the aura and prevent the illness before it comes. That is what yoga does. Patanjali, in the Yoga Sutras, says that the purpose of yoga is, “Stopping the sorrow before it arises.” And then, come to the water element. Fasting with water, purifying the system with water can bring a balance in the system. And final recourse, of course, is different medicinal herbs, medicines and surgery. All these come when everything else fails or when we neglect these other steps; then it becomes inevitable.

Our breath has a lot of secrets to offer to us, because for every emotion in the mind, there is corresponding rhythm in the breath. And each rhythm affects certain part of the body physically. Observing the great correlation between these sensations, the level of body and moods of the mind is meditation. Breathing is the first act of life and this is also the last act of life. In between, though we are breathing in and out forever, we do not attend to the breath. If you attend to the breath, you'll find that in one minute we breathe nearly sixteen to seventeen times. If you are upset you may go up to twenty; if you are extremely tense and angry, maybe twenty-five breaths per minute. But if you are calm, pleasant and happy, you will breathe ten times; and if you are in deep meditation, then only two breaths or three. If you observe an infant and its breathing pattern, you will be amazed how balanced it breathes. Infants breathe from all the three sections of the body. Their breath goes very deep, and as they breathe in, their belly comes out; as they breathe out their belly moves in. But the more nervous and tense you are, the more you will do the reverse.

The Qualities of Good Leadership

I am a man of fixed and unbending principles, the first of which is to be flexible at all times. ---- Everett Dirksen


To lead people, walk beside them … As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence. The next best, the people honor and praise. The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate … When the best leader’s work is done the people say, ‘We did it ourselves! ----- Lao-Tsu

 How can you be a dynamic, confident and enthusiastic leader?

ü  The first quality of leadership is to set an example. A good leader doesn’t just order things; he does it so that others can do it.

ü  A leader takes good care of those whom he is leading (that is, the led).

ü  A true leader doesn’t create followers; he brews leaders. And then chain action happens. A leader should delegate responsibility.

ü  A leader doesn’t depend on authority. He just does a thing, whether authority is invested or not. It comes by itself.

ü  A good leader does not worry about position. The respect that you gain through virtue is very different from the respect you gain through the position. The respect you get through a position is short-lived and temporary. But the respect that you gain just because of your smile, your attitude, your virtues are there with you all the time. You may be a chairman of this committee, a president of that committee, or you are barrister here or governor of that state — these are all momentary, temporary. They come and they go. And the respect you get because of this position is not genuine, it is not from the heart, it is not true. But the respect you gain because you are a nice person, is genuine, it lasts long. It is spontaneous.

ü  A leader is alert and when challenges come, he is unperturbed. A good leader is one who does not drop things when challenges appear.


 The seventh quality of a good leader is one who does not care for comfort, but who stretches himself beyond the comfort zone. Anything creative, dynamic and great can happen only when you stretch beyond your comfort zone where we are often stuck. We think we cannot do something: just make an effort and put one step ahead, and you will find that you are expanding your comfort zone. Creativity transcends your comfort zone. Or, when you step out of the comfort zone, your creativity comes into play.

ü  A leader should not mix head and heart. If you mix head and heart, you are in a mess! When you have to work, you work with commitment and you live with your head. In life, in situations other than when you are working, listen to your heart.

ü  A good leader should be multidimensional and see from the other’s point of view. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes, look from the other person’s point of view.

ü  The leader doesn’t depend on one-sided information. When you get some news from one side, don’t take any decision or conclusion till you hear from the other side also. Leader should be a good communicator.

ü  A leader should have a direct approach. 


good leader is not to judge oneself. You have this tendency of judging yourself, “Am I good? I’m no good.” The self-judgment is an obstruction. Stop doing that. Don’t judge yourself. When you judge yourself, you are judging others also. Then you oscillate like a pendulum. If you feel you’re good, then you are saying that others are not so good. So when you find that others are good, and then you feel that you are no good, you blame yourself. Judgment is very similar to self-blame and blaming others. We have to get out of this vicious circle of self-judgment. That is also the state of surrender. When you have surrendered to the Divine that means that you no longer judge yourself. Self-judgment is not necessary. A child is so innocent, why? Because the child doesn’t judge itself.