Friday, August 26, 2011
How to destress
We all have our stressful moments, the lucky ones among us simply get less of their fair share. Charlie Brown got Lucy, and by just looking at this iconic image, no matter after how many times, I can still feel the stress on Charlie Brown, echoing my suppressed memory of similar situations. Oscar Wilde had to to say about those, without we having any option, blood-related, "Relations are simply a tedious pack of people, who haven't got the remotest knowledge of how to live, nor the smallest instinct about when to die" (by the way it is a quote from the play "The Importance of Being Ernest"). And Oscar was not joking, at least not this time!
Some people went to meditate and failed to solve their problem. Some people went to see a shrink and failed to solve their problem. Like any condition causing discomfort or distress, the first line of attack shall always be physical, which in modern days shall include cognitive problem solving. If your boss is the cause of your stress, change him, change yourself, or leave the job. "I tried but I can't!". Well, after you've tried hard, at least you now know what you're up to: you choose to work under this stressful situation because there are other benefits (like perceived security, prestige, money, etc). If your cognitive approach can lead you up to this point, you can go ahead doing meditation with a clear objective (and conscience): I shall keep the benefits but will try my best to do meditation to REDUCE my pain (caused by stress) Period.
Going back a bit. Are you sure you can't manage your boss properly to reduce your stress? And to Oscar, are you sure you can't manage your relations properly to reduce your stress? Apparently Charlie Brown can handle his stressful situation better! The issue here is management. The old wisdom is "talk to the expert". In other words don't try to solve a management problem talking to a meditation teacher (he might be running his meditation business lousily), nor your shrink (he is no management guru either). Talk to a practical man (or woman) whom you can see handling his day-to-day problems in business effectively, a "callous" heart that can make tough discussion. No wishy-washy, no yes but, yes but. "But I won't be a kind person then". Go solve your problem of STRESS first, then learn to become a kind person. My advice.
"Yes, I can management my situation well, but I still can't put it down and do proper meditation, my stressful situation keep coming back when I try to meditate". Oftentimes even AFTER a situation is being management, the FEELING of stress still linger on. We have to erase it, lest it might grow by itself causing more trouble, or leading to possible neurosis or even to the possible onset of psychosis if such condition is latent in the person.
In such situation of lingering stressful memory, my advice will be doing some premeditation walking (if you're very stressful, walking faster, i.e. do what fitness industry called "fitness walking"). Then listen to some soft music during meditation. Standing meditation (zhan zhuang) that consume/generate more energy may also be helpful in calming one's restless mind.