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Sunday, December 18, 2011

The curse of stress

Dinkar Shukla, Hindustan Times

One can say stress is a boon as long as it is in manageable proportion. It delivers results. But if it grows out of proportion, it could lead to serious problems. Prolonged stress shatters the immune system of the body. 
'Jeevan Sadhana - A Noble Art of Living', has articles that 

identify the causes and effects of stress. In substance, they point to haphazard way of living, declining culture of cooperation and camaraderie, cut-throat competition and, most importantly, unbridled ambition. All this add up to aggravate the intensity of stress.
If left unmanaged, stress becomes a source of psycho-somatic maladies. It could lead to diseases of the heart, stomach, skin, respiratory system and even to mental breakdown. The mind could be the first victim. School-going children easily fall prey to stress-related ailments. Stressful urban life too results in the growing incidence of diabetes and other complications.

It also discourses on the way to lead a healthy, vibrant, enlightened, happy and balanced life. At one point, it says that stress is just a messenger, a warning signal or an alarm bell. It cautions us to set things right before it is too late. What is, therefore, called for is to have the right attitude. It also reminds one to direct one's energy towards positive thinking, pursuit of a healthy life-style and meditation on problems that are overpowering.

Unbridled ambition too has been diagnosed as one of the main causes of stress. It is agreed that one must dream and set his sights high so far as life's goals are concerned, but the key word is compatibility. 

The 5th Century philosopher, Democritus, had observed that a wise person limits his ambition according to his ability.  H.W. Longfellow had said that most people would succeed in small things if they are not troubled with great ambitions. In his classic, 'Les Miserables', Victor Hugo had noted that many great deeds were done in the small struggles of life. Similarly, the protagonist in Harold Robbin's novel, 'The Lonely Lady', rues that people don't get frustrated by systems alone but by their dreams as well.

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