Stress is an Opportunity
One has to become more accepting of all the ups and downs in life. There is a rhythm: sometimes you feel that you are in tune, sometimes you feel that you are not in tune; that is all natural. It is like day and night, summer and winter. One has to learn the shadow part of everything. If you cannot accept the shadow part you become unnecessarily disturbed, and that disturbance will make things more complicated.
When something beautiful happens, accept it, feel grateful; when it doesn’t happen, accept that too and continue to feel grateful, knowing that this is just a resting period. For the whole day you have worked, and in the night you fall asleep - you don’t feel miserable because you are not able to work and earn money and do a thousand and one things, and there are so many things to do. You don’t worry about it!
There are people who start worrying. Then they start losing sleep. They are not benefited by it. The person who has not been able to sleep in the night feels exhausted in the morning. Next day he feels more tired than he was at previous night. The person who forgets the whole day and accepts night as a rest, and goes into deep relaxation, will be able to live again in the morning with new eyes and new being. He will be able to accept the new day and welcome it. He will be glad to breathe the air again and to see the sun and people.
Remember always that everything needs its rest period. It is to regain one’s self energy. This rest period is not against the nature nor against the activity, the rest period gives it liveliness, vitality.
Some psychologists have worked on only one problem—stress. And they came to some very profound conclusions. One is that stress is not always wrong. It can be used in meaningful ways. It is not necessarily always negative. Thinking stress as negative is always negative. If it is supposed to be bad then we create problems. Stress in itself can be used as a stepping stone; then in that case it becomes a creative force. But ordinarily we have been taught that stress is bad. So whenever you have any stress you become afraid. And your fear makes it even more stressful. The situation is not helped by it.
For example, there is some situation in the economy and that is creating stress. The moment you think that there is some tension or stress you become afraid. You make effort that this should not be so, and that "I have to relax." Now, trying to relax will not help, because you cannot relax; it will not allow you to relax. For “relaxing” you are making effort. A contradiction is created by you. In fact, trying to relax will create a new kind of stress. The stress is there and you are trying to relax and you cannot, so you are complicating the problem.
When stress is there, use it as creative energy. First, acknowledge it; there is no need to fight with it. Accept it, it is perfectly okay. Stress is simply an indication that the body is getting ready to fight with the situation. Now you try to relax or you take painkillers or you take tranquilizers; you are going against the body.
The body is getting ready to fight a certain situation, a certain challenge that is there before you. The body is accumulating its energy and spirit necessary to fight. You are making body not to accumulate. Something is wrong in your action.
Enjoy the challenge! Even if sometimes you can’t sleep in the night there is no need to be worried. Work it out, use the energy that is coming up: walk up and down, go for a run, and go for a long walk. Plan what you want to do, what the mind wants to do. Rather than trying to go to sleep, which is not possible, use the situation in a creative way. It simply says that the body is ready to fight with a problem; this is not a time to relax. You may relax later on.
In fact if you have lived your stress totally you will come to relaxation automatically; you can go on only so far, then the body automatically relaxes. If you want to relax in the middle you create trouble; the body cannot relax in the middle. It is almost as if an Olympic runner is getting ready, just waiting for the starting gun, the signal, and he will be off, he will go like the wind. He is full of stress; now that is no time to relax. If he takes a tranquilizer he will never be of any use in the race. He has to use his stress. The stress is boiling, it is gathering energy. He is becoming more and more vital and full of potential. Now he has to sit on this stress and use it as energy, as fuel.
So try this too: when there is a stressful situation don’t become afraid of it. Go into it, use it to fight with. A human being has tremendous energy, and the more you use it, the more you have of it. When it comes and there is a situation, fight - do all that you can do, really go madly into it. Allow it, accept it and welcome it. It is good, it prepares you to fight. And when you have worked it out, you will be surprised: great relaxation comes, and that relaxation is not created by you. Maybe for two or three days you cannot sleep and then for forty-eight hours you can’t wake up, and that is okay!
We go on carrying many wrong notions - for example, that every person has to sleep eight hours every day. It depends what the situation is. There are situations when no sleep is needed: your house is on fire, and you are trying to sleep. Now that is not possible and that should not be possible, otherwise who is going to put that fire out? And when the house is on fire, all other things are put aside; suddenly your body is ready to fight the fire. You will not feel sleepy. When the fire is gone and everything settled you may fall asleep for a long period, and that will do.
Everybody does not need the same length of sleep either. A few people can do with three hours, two hours, four hours, five hours; others need six, eight, ten, twelve. People differ, there is no norm. And about stress also people differ.
There are two kinds of people in the world: One can be called the hare type and the other is the turtle type. If the hare type is not allowed to go fast, to go into things with speed, there will be stress; he has to be given his pace. So if you are a hare, forget about relaxation and things like that; they are not for you. Those are for turtles! Just be a hare if that is natural to you, and don’t think of the joys that turtles are enjoying; that is not for you. You have a different kind of joy. If a turtle starts becoming a hare he will be in the same trouble!
So accept your nature. If you are a fighter, a warrior, you have to be that way and that’s your joy. Now, no need to be afraid; accept it unconditionally. Compete in the marketplace, do all that you really want to do. Don’t be afraid of the consequences and accept the stress. One has to understand one’s type. Once the type is understood there is no problem; then one can follow a clean-cut line.
About this article:
This article is about how the stress can be harnessed as a creative force to achieve objectives. The stress is full of potential.
become more accepting of all the ups and downs, stress, unnecessarily disturbed, start losing sleep, everything needs its rest period, it becomes a creative force, full of stress, more vital and full of potential, accept it unconditionally,