Over the past two decades I have guided countless people about their job stress. Lawyers, teachers, businessmen, homemakers, and on and on. The amusing thing is that each person has said, “I have the most stressful job”. With the current economic situation, let us see how Ayurveda and spirituality can help eliminate unhealthy stress, and help us turn a lemon into lemonade – to prosper from the challenge.
The thing about stress is that it is not the job but also the way one handles the stress, manages their life and maintains inner balance that determines if one becomes stressed or not.
Challenges of the Century
Now as the world faces new economic challenges, dealing with stress is more challenging than ever. Spiritual Ayurveda’s ageless wisdom offers a true lifesaver and lighthouse for those sailing in turbulent waters.
Life Purpose (Dharma)
The first cause of job stress is not working in a career you ‘love’.
Yes, its that simple. Life gets tougher, and only a labor of love makes it worthwhile. Doing what you love, shares love with others – it is a way to help humanity. This is a secret of stress-reduction, inner peace and outer joy. Do what you love and you help others in real ways. If you are unhappy in your job, that is the single main cause of stress. Doing what you love means using your God-given or innate abilities. Wise bosses generally only hire people who love their work, because they are committed, and do the best job.
It is not the job that causes the stress at this point, but rather the way in which one handles the events that seem to be stressful. Properly handling events requires one to develop and maintain inner balance, health and peace of mind. There are two parts to this equation. First, you must become your own life-manager. Analyze and prioritize your life. How much time to you spend on your health, career, family, education, exercise, community service and spiritual life?
Do you spend the proper amount of time on each area of your life? Which is the most important life domain? Maybe you are spending too much time at work and ignoring your family. Maybe you are a bit too worried about your health and preventing yourself from developing your career and education. Work to achieve the proper weighted balance for each area of your life. How one develops and maintains one’s inner balance is the final key in life-management. This is where the final myth lies. People designate career events as either stressful or not stressful.
The truth is that how one reacts to an event determines whether or not it causes stress. Let’s take an example. Our clients who begin eating timely meals according to their dosha, take some brain tonics, meditate a little bit each day, and maybe receive a shiro dhara spa treatment once or twice a month, find they become much calmer, clearer The Lost Book of Herbal and sharper. They become quite centered. As a result, how they react to work situations dramatically changes for the better.
The same events that used to cause them stress no longer bother them. In fact, many situations that previously caused stress now become opportunities.
Herbal Brain Tonics: It is not the event that causes stress but how we are prepared internally/mentally to respond to these situations. Ayurvedic therapies help us in times of stress to return to or remain on our path of nature, our spiritual and life-purpose path. In terms of herbs Ayurveda suggest products that contain gotu kola (brahmi or centella asiatica), shank pushpi and ashwagandha.
For those with more severe mental and emotional stresses we suggest these same herbs in the form of medicated nose drop oils (nasya). Medicated herbal oils are more powerful than tablets. Further, taking them through the nose immediately puts the herbs in the bloodstream, and in the nearest vicinity of the brain.
Shiro dhara: or hot oil flow on the head is like taking a month’s vacation in just one hour. A person lies on a massage table on their back. Warm oil mixed with medicated herb oils appropriate for one’s mental dosha are poured in a stream on the forehead, mainly targeting the area between the eyebrows (third eye/ajna Chakra).
The reason for this is that all the nerves in the body meet between the eyebrows, so when the oil contacts this area, the entire nervous system gets massaged. This is such a profound state of relaxation that even the immune system becomes extremely relaxed. From this, the deepest life-stresses are released. Shiro dhara is so effective it is used to heal diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and other brain, nervous and immune-system disorders. We have had clients rid themselves of sciatica in just one session.
Another client had severe pain from spinal degeneration. While her pain medication was producing no effects, during their first shiro dhara session the pain left entirely for two full days. Others under great mental and emotional stress and worry, and those who are extremely fatigued have found even one shiro dhara session completely revive them.
Aromatherapy, music and color therapies and exercise also help balance ones mind, nervous and immune systems. Classical Indian ragas, the sound of a waterfall, or any soothing music eases mental tensions. Music can be played while commuting to work, before bed or as ambiance at the home or office. At home incense can be lit to affect the mind through the sense of smell. At the office, essential oils can be used.
Sandalwood brings peace. Rose, jasmine or lily reduces anger. Frankincense eases fears. Many of our clients keep a bottle of essential oil in their office desk and apply it any time things start becoming too stressful. Pleasant, uplifting colors in one’s office also help to keep the mind fresh and positive.
Color therapy: Sky blue is universally soothing. Bright, healing shades of white, pink and blue are very good to calm down the stressful, anxious, angry and impatient mind.Pictures, flowers, wall color, etc. all can be chosen with the proper colors for calming the mind.
Meditation: We now come to the free therapies. I don’t know how many times clients have come to me surprised to learn just how effective and powerful meditation is. Stress, digestion and disposition all are profoundly healed from simple, short periods of meditation. Whether you think about your life, God, family or career planning, quiet meditation is very calming and clearing. Other forms of meditation include taking nature walks or sitting in the woods or by the water.
Flower gardening helps remove anger and impatience (but don’t work outside in the hot sun). There are many simple forms of meditation, even if you just hear your thoughts without reacting to them will be useful. Meditation doesn’t mean sitting without any thoughts in the head-this is a myth promoted by commercial meditation businesses. Anything that helps one relax is meditation.
As I was completing this article someone has come.
Showing them the title of this article I asked, ‘So, who do you think has the most stressful job?’ Being an adept person they replied, ‘Anyone who does not take time to think of God.’ In universal terms, anyone who doesn’t take time to nourish their spiritual connection feels they have the most stressful job.
So after some time, if all people can balance themselves and work according to their dharma or life purpose, we may be able to write an article entitled, ‘Who has the best job.’ This is my wish for you.
Now, in 2009, job stress, or the stress from possibly losing a job, or working two jobs to make ends meet, or even if a job is lost, the reality is the economic situation is causing many to stress out. The principles of living in tune/living at natures pace, and walking on nature’s path, will still protect – you may need to take proactive steps to adjust to the changing climate, but action will definitely help you survive and thrive!
Now we have a rare opportunity to create the life of our dreams, to align with natural law and be ready to help others who are leaving this illusory economic usury model. The economy is crumbling because it is off nature’s path and it no longer can sustain itself. Even as the main economic leaders, the Federal Reserve, and the politicians ignored the wise warnings of a few true economic seers, they continue to delude themselves and the masses that this situation is going to be over in a few days or weeks.