The physical, mental and emotional reactions resulting from changes and demands in one’s life. The reaction can cause a mild to severe depressed mood or be a motivator. Long term stress can cause sleep disorders and lack of energy. Fatigue, depressed mood, poor sleep pattern, anxiety are the symptoms of stress.
Stress is not always wrong; it can be used in beautiful ways. It is not necessarily negative, but if we think that it is negative, that is not good, then we create problems. Stress in itself can be used as a stepping stone, it can become a creative form. But ordinarily we have been taught down the ages that stress is bad, that when you are in any kind of 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 market that is creating a stress. The moment you feel that there is some tension, some stress, you become afraid that this should not be so: “I have to relax.” Now, trying to relax will not help, because you cannot relax; 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, accept it; there is no need to fight with it. Accept it, it is perfectly okay. It simply says, “The market is not going well, something is going wrong,” “You may be a loser”…or something. Stress is simply an indication that the body is getting ready to fight with it. Now you try to relax or you take pain-killers 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: enjoy the challenge!
Even if sometimes you can’t sleep in the night there is no need to be worried. Work it out, use that energy that is coming up: walk up and down, go for a run, 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 the problem; this is no time to relax.
Relaxation can be done later on. In fact if you have lived your stress totally you will come to a 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 whistle, 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. Or if he relaxes there and tries to do TM he will lose all. He has to use his stress: the stress is boiling, it is gathering energy. He is becoming more and more vital and potential. Now he has to sit on this stress and use it as energy, as fuel.
Sehye has given a new name for this kind of stress: he calls it ‘eustressi , like euphoria; it is a positive stress. When the runner has run he will fall into deep sleep; the problem is solved. Now there is no problem, the stress disappears of its own accord.
So try this too: when there is a stressful situation don’t freak out, don’t become afraid of it. Go into it, use it to fight with. A man 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. May be for two, 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, 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 racehorse type and the other is the turtle type. If the racehorse type is not allowed to go fast, to go into things with speed, there will be stress; he has to be given his pace. And you are a racehorse! So forget about relaxation and things like that; they are not for you. Those are for turtles like me! So just be a racehorse, 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 racehorse he will be in the same trouble…!
So accept your nature. You are a fighter, a warrior; you have to be that way, and that’s your joy. Now, no need to be afraid; go into it whole-heartedly. Fight with the market, compete in the market, do all that you really want to do. Don’t be afraid of the consequences, accept the stress. Once you accept the stress it will disappear. And not only that, you will feel very happy because you have started using it; it is a kind of energy.
Don’t listen to people who say to relax; that is not for you. Your relaxation will come only after you have earned it by hard labour. One has to understand one’s type. Once the type is understood there is no problem; then one can follow a clean-cut line.