Post By: Vishwanath Iyer Published on: December 21, 2016 Reading time: 4 minutes
This struggle to come back to normalcy is driven by a reflex built into the body called homeostasis. Homeostasis, may be defined as the tendency of the body to move towards a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements, especially as maintained by physiological processes. This means that the body works with a certain set of parameters for proper functioning, like body temperature etc. Consequently, when this parameter is disturbed, as in any stress situation, the body takes compensatory action to bring it back to equilibrium.
Example: The death of a close relative is more difficult to handle than an argument at a traffic signal. A natural calamity like war is more difficult to handle than temporary discomfort like missing a meal or not eating your favourite dish.
Stress is experiential and very personal. Obviously, only the person experiencing it knows the high and discomfort of anxiety. Time, place, situation and capability, all could trigger a stress reaction. Consequently, a situation that stresses one person need not stress another, even though the people may be related or in the situation together. Also, that which stresses one at any point in time need not affect the same person in the same manner at other times.
Finally, as propounded by Abraham Maslow, when, in any situation where safety and security are endangered, stress in these issues would take precedence over other issues.
In conclusion, there are two parts in the management of stress. The first is intervention which is to deal with anxiety as the experience unfolds and the second is to readjust the physical and psychological aspects of our self-worth (asmitā).
All solutions require testing the response against one’s conditioning before actualising the response. It is important to keep an open mind to learning and be sensitive to impact of one’s actions on others.
Both intervention and readjustment aspects of the solution can be found in the practice of Yoga.
Given below are a series of situations. Some are motivational situations, others distressing while some boring. Decide what you would experience in these situation and weigh between 0 and 5 on the impact; for example – on the day of marriage, most would experience a mix of motivation and anxiety. Let us assume that the stress experienced = 2.
Similarly, assess the stress you would experience in the following situations;
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