How to become stress free for life?

First fundamental truth is that we are the soul and not the human body.  As the soul we are a tiny fragment of God who is an ocean of divine bliss.
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Date: 4th July 2015

Why are we stressed?  We are stressed because we want certain outcomes, situations and results in our lives.  Be it in our office, our household chores or other responsibilities, we always want things to happen our way.  And if situations and outcomes don’t align with our expectations, we very easily become stressed.

So how can we remain calm and composed when our efforts in the office don’t get us enough recognition or somebody does not behave favourably with us?  How can we learn to remain stress free amidst many more such situations throughout our life? Modern stress management techniques do provide temporary stress relief but they fail to provide long lasting solutions.  If we wish to become stress free for life we will require a more profound approach to the problem.  True stress management begins with the knowledge of some fundamental truths about human life.

First fundamental truth is that we are the soul and not the human body.  As the soul we are a tiny fragment of God who is an ocean of divine bliss.  The second fundamental truth is that being the soul, our inherent nature is to love and serve God alone.  However, due to the forgetfulness of our true nature we are under an illusion.  This material illusion makes us believe that we are the body and hence our goal is to serve the body. Whenever some situation or some person obstructs our efforts to serve the body we become stressed. If only we can discard our puny desires and accept our constitutional position as loving servants of God, we will become stress free for life.  How does that happen?

The soul is the servant of God.  A servant’s duty is to fulfill the wishes of his or her Master over one’s own personal desires.  Therefore, a true servant performs all his or her actions to serve the Lord and not for selfish reasons of comfort, recognition and prestige.  When we learn to emulate such an attitude in everything we do, we don’t have to be stressed about the results anymore.  How does it matter whether we get success or failure or fame or infamy?  Our duty is simply to serve the Lord with love; the results are for His pleasure.  This attitude also makes us realize that it is our attachment to the results that causes us stress and not the hard work. This is the science of Karm Yog mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita.

कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन |
मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्मणि ||

karmaṇy-evādhikāras te mā phaleṣhu kadāchana
mā karma-phala-hetur bhūr mā te saṅgo ’stvakarmaṇi

“You have a right to perform your prescribed duties, but you are not entitled to the fruits of your actions. Never consider yourself to be the cause of the results of your activities, nor be attached to inaction.”

As we strive to perfect our service attitude towards God, we naturally learn to face all kinds of stressful situations with calm and ease.  We will realize, our true nature is not to remain stressed; it is to love, serve and be blissful.

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Preeti Malhotra
Preeti Malhotra
04/07/2015 12:41 pm

Very true Swamiji! Stress is a creation of our mind, due to the wrong understanding of our true nature. Our true self is always blissful as it is an energy of God. When we understand that and make service and love for God our aim, we return to our original blissful state. Thank you for such wonderful articles.

Ms Sandhya Das
Ms Sandhya Das
04/07/2015 4:09 pm

As we strive to perfect our service attitude towards God, we naturally learn to face all kinds of stressful situations with calm and ease.Facing problems and working through them, that’s what makes us more strong.Very inspirational article by Swamiji..

Renjini Jyothishmathy
Renjini Jyothishmathy
17/11/2015 9:33 am
Reply to  Ms Sandhya Das

I agree to Sandhya ji. An attitude to serve god will change our perspective towards life and every situation appears to be a blessing. Thank you Swamiji.

Niraj
Niraj
20/11/2015 12:10 pm

I too agree with Sandhya Ji and Renjini Ji. As the blog suggests, we can try the various methods available in the market for stress management, but until we change our internal perspective towards our life experiences, we are only skimming the surface.

We need to get to the root of the problem. Thanks to Swamiji, we have a clear path to eliminating the problem of stress from its root.

I must strive harder to remember this knowledge presented by Swamiji, at all times, so that it would be of help to me when I come across stressful situations in life.

Sarada
Sarada
04/07/2015 8:23 pm

Thank you Swamiji for reminding me the true self as soul not the body. As soul is part of God and servant of Him and work for God’s pleasure. We can do our work in the world but leave the results to God which will relieve all our stress and lead a happy life.

Jayesh Patel
Jayesh Patel
15/07/2015 11:58 pm

Thanks Swamiji for enlightening us with the absolute truth about serving the soul i.e. a part of Lord and not the body , without expecting the fruits of action. Hence in this way we can live a stress-free life without expectation of any predetermined results to our day-today actions, in line with our benefits. Jai Ho !!

Raj Singh
Raj Singh
30/07/2015 5:51 am

Thanks Swamiji for teaching us the practical approach of reducing out stress. Very inspiring article!

Niraj
Niraj
17/08/2015 2:00 am

Very beautifully explained by Swamiji !

Whenever our senses convey sensations to our mind, it is Shree Krishna who floods the sensation with consciousness and becomes the ultimate enjoyer of our every thought.

Whether we know it or not, whether we accept it or not, Shree Krishna is the ultimate enjoyer in us and all. We should indeed offer all our actions and thoughts to Him alone, and not worry about results.

Renjini Jyothishmathy
Renjini Jyothishmathy
17/11/2015 12:00 pm
Reply to  Niraj

Thank you Niraj ji for your sincere and helpful insight.

Raj
Raj
18/10/2015 11:46 pm

In this blog, Swamiji states that we are stressed because we want the outcome of our actions to go our own way, and if it does not meet our expectations as desired, we become stressed. Swamiji explains that if we recognize our true identity as souls, not as a body, and our primary responsibility is to only serve God. Swamiji suggests that we should perform all our actions in the service of God without worrying about the result of our actions. This attitude will help us to live stress free life.

renjini jyothishmathy
renjini jyothishmathy
02/12/2015 12:01 pm
Reply to  Raj

Very true Raj ji. Swamiji explains the secret in a nut shell which helps us to change our lives forever.

Renjini Jyothishmathy
Renjini Jyothishmathy
17/11/2015 11:59 am

Thank you Swamiji for blessing us with such incredible advice. Offering the fruits of actions to the pleasure of god is the most easiest method to achieve peace and perfection in today’s world.

Niraj
Niraj
18/11/2015 6:07 pm

Thank you Swamiji, for this reminder. I am very glad that I read this article again, today. Even though I hear from your discourses that we are a servant of God, I tend it forget it at times of need. I should read this article often, so as to establish this truth in my mind, and so that this knowledge would remain with me at all times.

It really doesn’t matter what the outcome is, for our worldly desires. It is our devotion to God that counts. We should change our motive for doing all works and dovetail it towards the pleasure of God. It would be extremely beneficial, if we can do this. Best stress reliever in the world !

Debasmita Biswal
Debasmita Biswal
29/11/2015 11:52 pm
Reply to  Niraj

I totally agree! We need to daily revise the knowledge so that we do not forget it. Then only, we will be benefited.

Debasmita Biswal
Debasmita Biswal
01/12/2015 6:00 pm
Reply to  Niraj

I completely agree with what you said regarding the fact that we need to revise this precious knowledge over and over, and we will be supremely benefited !

Swapna
Swapna
09/12/2015 11:09 am
Reply to  Niraj

Well said Nirajji! I too read this beautiful article again and again and it definitely makes me feel light and deal with life’s stress in a much much better way!!!

Rohini Ramakrishnan
Rohini Ramakrishnan
21/11/2015 7:24 pm

Wonderful article, Swamiji. By realizing that we are loving servants of God, by doing every work for his pleasure, and by giving up attachment to the results, we will become stress free for life.

Niraj
Niraj
11/12/2015 9:49 pm

I absolutely agree, Rohini Ji. We are blessed to have Swamiji’s guidance. He has shown us a simple and effective way to reduce daily stress in our lives. Radhey Radhey.

Swapna
Swapna
29/11/2015 9:49 pm

Very beautifully explained!!! Expectations, attachment to outcomes are the reason for stress and the best way to let go of it is to put in one’s best efforts without getting attached to results. What a beautiful practical solution to let go of stress!!! Thank you so much for this wonderful pearl of wisdom!!!

Niraj
Niraj
11/12/2015 9:52 pm
Reply to  Swapna

I agree with your comment, Swapna Ji. If I did not have Swamiji’s guidance and did not read this blog article, I’d be living a stressful life and spending money on solutions to stress that are ultimately not so effective.

I am very grateful to Swamiji for showing such a simple and effective solution to managing stress, and for free too ! It is now up to us to strive to implement His advice in our daily lives. Radhey Radhey.

Debasmita Biswal
Debasmita Biswal
01/12/2015 6:29 pm

Most people in this day and age suffer from a variety of mental afflictions including depression, anxiety and stress etc. Stress is the most prevalent one among these. However, we have never really understood the root cause of these problem, let alone finding a remedy for these!. In fact, considering ourselves as independent entities or the ‘material body’ we live a truly miserable life full of ignorance.

Thank you so much for reminding me of this truth, the basis of my very existence in this world.

Niraj
Niraj
11/12/2015 9:59 pm

You are right Debasmita Ji. What is so wonderful about this blog article is, the solution to stress drills to the root of the problem. Nobody ever explained to me the root cause of stress, until I read Swamiji’s blog article.

This reminds me of the illustration that Swamiji often tells in His lectures: a bird is carrying a piece of flesh in its mouth and flying around, several other birds are constantly chasing it, if it can only drop that piece from its mouth, it will immediately attain peace.

We should strive to perform all our worldly works as service to God, then we will immediately attain peace.

Radhey Radhey.

Niraj
Niraj
11/12/2015 10:01 pm

It is Friday night, I have had a stressful week at work, I tried to remember Swamiji’s advice from this blog article throughout the week, but was not always successful in doing so !

Need to improve and work on this, more !

Radhey Radhey.

Rohini Ramakrishnan
Rohini Ramakrishnan
23/12/2015 10:48 pm
Reply to  Niraj

I can relate to your situation! I have to read this often and contemplate on Swamiji’s divine words of wisdom repeatedly to put his teachings into practice.

Santosh Taneja
Santosh Taneja
31/12/2015 7:17 pm

Stress comes when we have an expectation of getting rewards for our efforts. If we do our job without any expectations, stress doesn’t become stress so we enjoy our day-to-day life better.

Grace Smith
Grace Smith
24/01/2016 1:36 am
Reply to  Santosh Taneja

Stressful situations are a fact of life; Stressful situations are not bad, for they promote our growth. But the stress we feel is due to attachment. This can be avoided by giving up attachment.

Karuna sharma
Karuna sharma
12/01/2016 2:01 am

Great explaination,to understand the root cause of the stress. . Thank you Swamiji for giving us practical tips to see things from different prespective. .

Pragya Sinha
Pragya Sinha
20/01/2016 6:23 am

It reminds me of the famous shloka from Bhagvad Gita ‘Karmanyevadhikaraste ma phalesu kadachana…..’
We have the right to work but not to the fruits of our action.
The moment we remember our true self that we are the soul and not the body, we will stop getting hurt and disappointed with situations in everyday life which is the root cause of stress. We cannot control external situations in life but we can make a conscious choice, we can choose our response to that situation. With a consciousness in God we develop an objectivity in our approach which saves us from emotional rigmarole.

Santosh Taneja
Santosh Taneja
24/01/2016 12:35 am

Well,
​I agree that stress arises because things don’t always go our way. ​But living in this world we must also be practical. We need for things to go our way at work because we need a paycheck to survive and a promotion to earn more. With the ever rising cost of health-care and housing, inflation, kids college tuition, etc. living at the same income is just not practical. In a similar way, we need to discipline our kids so that they grow into well-rounded beings – capable of looking after their family while contributing to the society as well. So, yes, stress is real and necessary because it does drive our behavior as well.

Not everything can be left to God. After all, God helps those who help themselves.
​​

Pragya Sinha
Pragya Sinha
24/01/2016 3:21 am

Stress is definitely a matter of flawed perception of things. If we remember some basic fundamentals that we cannot control external situations, its not in our hand, what is in our hand is the response to that situation, which will greatly help us remain stress free. Attachment is the root cause of stress, Bhagwad Gita teaches us to practice objectivity in the world and do our duty without getting attached to the fruits of our action.
“Karmanyevadhikaraste ma pheleshu kadachana……”, we are only entitled to our efforts and not to the fruits of our action. This article gives such profound approach to a stress free life only if we realize the true nature of our self.

Murali Waro
Murali Waro
25/01/2016 9:24 pm

Very helpful article by Swami Mukundananda Ji. There are so many books and workshops out there to tell people how to relieve from stress, but Swamiji’s advice is very effective, practical, and easy to implement. We need to change our attitude towards life experiences. We should do all our works for the please of Shree Krishna, then the results won’t matter, so no stress ! Although, we now need to strive hard to implement Swamiji’s advice.

SF Satsangi
SF Satsangi
02/02/2016 12:56 am

What a profound insight into the nature of stress and its elimination. I hope God gives me the good sense to always realize that it’s not others, but my own mind, which is causing stress!

Meenakshi Goyal
Meenakshi Goyal
02/02/2016 12:46 pm

Thank you Swamiji for a wonderful explanation. I am trying to change my thinking as per you explained here and it definitely makes me a cooler person than what I was earlier. If we think that we are doing God’s duties and we have no concern to outputs, that makes it very easy to accept things as they are. God is the knower of everything, our present, past and future and he is extremely merciful too. Whatever the situation we are facing today, will definitely make us better in future.

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