Stress is a part and partial of life. Yet increasingly people are succumbing to stress and stress related diseases. Astonishingly even school going children are afflicted by this urban malady. The recent suicide by a seemingly cheerful Indian executive in Dubai, due to depression came as a shocker. Often it all boils down to how one handles stress. Though external factors are cited as reason behind stress, it is the minds inability to deal with issues aptly. If we train and equip our mind, it is possible to transform stress to a productive energy. Dr Girish Patel, a psychotherapist (expert in treatment of Stress related diseases and health problems), international trainer and author has taken up a crusade against this ailment. He has been conducting seminars for the youth, doctors, managers, government and business personnel’s. On 20th of May, Odisha Samaj UAE is hosting a seminar presented by this esteemed Doctor.
According to Dr Girish, when we use the experience of past in the experiment of present our expectation of future becomes a reality. He further says active awareness of present and acceptance of it can bring relief from stress. Action oriented towards elevating stress should include activities that bring true happiness. Prime among the activities recommended by the doctor is free service or volunteering. He advises that the attitude of “service given fee taken” be replaced with “service given blessing taken” When we help others we find solutions to our own problems and do not see them as magnified demons.
Some quick tips to release stress:
Building self-image and confidence
Proper time management
Recognizing symptoms of stress(head ache, irritability, skin allergies, hair loss etc)
Discriminating between realistic and unrealistic goals
Recognizing what one can and cannot do
Meditate, stretch, relax
Engage in activities that bring pleasure
Keep the child in you alive
Engage in hobbies
Volunteer time or expertise
Recounted below is the amazing story of his life which began from humble roots.
Capture a single positive thought and nurture it, see it become a potent vessel for constructive change.
Aim for the sky and you will reach up to ceiling
Most often, it is difficult to understand the journey of life. Only thing in hand is try to live it in the best possible way. In the year 1993 On World AIDS Day, I was presented with an award for excellence for for my contribution to health and education. The Anti Narcotics Association of Singapore and Police Academy of Malaysia have presented me with Shields of Honor respectively. I felt honored to be the recipient of Rotary Service Award by Rotary Club of Kanpur. I am a fellow of Royal Society of Heath, London & Patron of the Society for the Preservation of Medical Ethics. On these and many other, occasion’s many people who asked me to recount the journey of my life were astonished by its implausibility. My father was a tailor, with no access to education and had very little for sustenance. Yet I dared to dream big, and worked hard to make the dream possible. Until grade 8, I was not serious about my studies. I squandered away my time and just floated through life, without realizing the opportunity God had given me in form of life itself. Then a thought struck me, and I asked my elder brother, one day. What is going to happen if I don’t study? He replied somberly, that like him I was destined to join the family business of tailoring. This was unacceptable for me, because I considered tailoring as a dull profession devoid of respect and money. In the mind of a grade 8 student from a very poor family, professions dependant on tailoring like factionist, designer, etc did not exist. This single thought drove me to study for 18hrs at a stretch each day. That single powerful thought was my impetus to carve out my destiny. If one can capture a single positive thought and nurture it, it becomes a very potent vessel for constructive change. Most people have knowledge of various things but I have noticed in my seminars, that by revisiting them they gain a new perspective.
Helping and healing others makes inner being healthy
As a practicing doctor in Mumbai, 70% of my time is spend on my profession while 30% is dedicated to travelling for the purpose of spreading the word around. When I became a doctor I had pledged that healing and helping others would be my primary goal. I give free treatment to people who are unable to afford it. By helping others I have healed and helped myself. The blessings received from them have been my staple for growth.
Recognition and Achievements
Today I am happy that many medical Institutions like Bombay Hospital & Research Centre; Doctors Hospital, Canada; National Mental Institute, Singapore; University Hospital, Malaysia National Institute of Mental Health & Neuroscience, Bangalore; All India Institute of Medical Science, New Delhi have benefited from the findings presented by me. I was a student in medical college when I became interested in yogic techniques and meditation. In the medical college, I was faced with an extremely competitive atmosphere. In order to survive I grabbled for ways to enhance my memory and concentration. That was the beginning of my interest in Yoga and meditation.
While doing my postgraduate studies for doctorate in psychotherapy I studied various techniques of meditation such as eight-fold yoga, transcendental meditation and easy Raja Yoga taught by Raja Yoga Meditation Center.
I am also glad that I became one of youngest authors when my book “Positive Health” was first published at the age of 21 years. My first book was a result of this fruitful research to provide a scientific base to my findings, where meditation and its benefits are explained from a scientific perspective. Following this, I have written six books and several booklets, which have been translated into various foreign languages. The Malaysian National TV has been kind enough to prepare a serial titled “Health in your Hand” from my lectures. Through several interviews in on important TV programs like ‘Good Morning Malaysia’ & ‘Good Morning Thailand’, and Radio interviews in Moscow and New York, have brought the people of these places closer to concepts of positive health.
From a man of science to scientific man empowered by positive though
As a student of psychiatry, we were taken on rounds where we were familiarized with how the patients were treated. I was often repelled by the treatment options (shock treatments), and how easily prescription would be written after 2 minutes of consultation. Not only did I find this kind of treatments inhuman, but also this quick fix approach did not produce sustained result. The relapse rate was very high, with patients returning for more such treatments. This drove me to research about options in a combination of psychiatry and psychotherapy.
My introduction to meditation had also opened many doors. I found that while psychiatry believed that the brain is the ultimate, mediation accepted the presence of a spiritual being that guides the brain. My challenge was to present my findings to rational and logical community of doctors and gain acceptance. Despite a very good academic and professional career, I wanted share the knowledge I had gained through my research. So ever since the age of 20 I started touring extensively to various parts of India(villages, cities and towns) as well as abroad, (USA, RUSSIA, UK, CANADA, GERMANY FRANCE, SWITZERLAND, HOLLAND, POLAND, SPAIN, ITALY, PORTUGAL, SINGAPORE, THAILAND, MALAYSIA, BRUNEI, VIETNAM, SRI LANKA,) etc, conducting seminars and giving lectures. As the Organizing Secretary of Medical Wing of Raja yoga Education & Research Foundation, I have organized four international and various national conferences on Holistic Health. I have also planned and prepared an innovative project for Health Education of the public known as Holistic Health Fair.
Spreading the word in Dubai
As an expert in treatment of Stress related diseases & health promotion, I have trained doctors, managers, business personnel and youths in areas such as Stress Management, Mind Motivation, Team Spirit, Personality Improvement, Presentation Skills, etc in various countries and cities. During the month of May 2011, I conducted seminars in Dubai at several places like BITS-Pilani, Indian School (Dibba & Fujirah), Land Mark group, ETA Ascon, Professional Practices Insurance Brokers, Dragon Off Shore. On 23rd of May 2011 at the General HQ of Dubai police I spoke on Success without stress.
Life is our teacher
Today I know that every profession has its own dignity, but my father’s occupation was not meant for me. My parents did not have education or money, but they were present as pillars of support, with their unconditional love and faith. My mother’s smile and open arms was always there to sooth me no matter what. Those were my graces and I am immensely thankful for that. Today most parents shower their children with gifts, pamper them, and adorn them in a bed of luxury and comfort. Unfortunately, most do not have time any more for their children, and instead aspire to spend only quality time.
Our life itself serves as our greatest teacher, only if we pay a little attention to it. My second brother was an excellent student in school. Our teachers used to give his example to me, to shame me to perform better. However, at some point in his student life he decided that while studying he can earn money and help my parents. This was indeed a noble thought, but sadly, his thought satisfied only a short-term goal. Because of this diversion, his performance suffered and in the end, he joined the family business. I learnt from this particular incident that, it is very vital to focus on long- term goals rather than short-term ones.
Transforming weakness to strength
Every individual has certain strength and weakness. However, when we convert our weakness into our strength then we become undefeatable. During my seminars, I recount the tale of a boy who had lost his right arm, and wanted to become the greatest wrestler. Every time he visited his guru, he was troubled to find that the guru would teach him a particular feat repeatedly. Though he was increasingly puzzled, he kept quite. One day his Guru enrolled him in a competition and he emerged victorious. He now understood that his Guru had taught him a feat where the opponent is grabbed in an inescapable grip, with his left hand. The opponent is left with only one option, i.e. to grab and pull his right arm. The opponents are urged by habit to do that, but they never found his right hand! Viola! His Guru had transformed his greatest weakness into his strength.
Empowering self with coping skills
One should never accept ordinary things in life. However, one should not mistake excellence for perfection. While perfection is paralyzing excellence is achievable. It is wise to remain happy and contented in present situation, aim for a higher goal, strive and work towards it. For a stress free life, it is pertinent to enjoy the journey as one surges towards excellence and learn from it at every step. Prepare for the height, and do not expect the road to to perfect, without pitfalls. It is this expectation that results in stress. When our expectations are not fulfilled, it results in stress. Although the causes of stress are varied it is mostly are inability to cope that gives rise to problems. Hence, we need to empower ourselves and develop our coping skills.
What are the stress management techniques?
Adopt the 5 C’s namely; challenge, control, communicate, co-operate, cope.
How the 5C’s are useful?
Challenge- Consider stress as a challenge rather than a threat. When we face it, fight it and finish it our capacity increases tenfold.
Control-Do things, which are under control rather than complain about those beyond ones control. This enables us to come out of stress and progress further.
Communicate- Do not suppress your feelings, vent them in an appropriate way. Our minds are like pressure cooker while communication is the safety valve. Negative feelings produce harmful chemicals that need release in some manner.
Co-operate- Helping others benefits us in various ways. It helps us to see our problems as less significant in comparison, it leaves us less time to worry and it provides a grace and satisfaction.
Cope- We need to develop our coping skills in areas of life where it is lacking.
Many people who are incapable of dealing with stress become a little depressed. However, it is premature and wrong to categorize them as being depressed. Stress doesn’t just lead to depression but a variety of other health problems. One of the techniques that I use for individuals to gain control of their situation is PEB. P stands for power; E stands for empowerment and B for bliss.
Apart from this awareness is an extremely powerful state, which enriches and empowers us. If we are aware as we walk, sit, eat and think many of our problems will become diluted. For example when we sit and work by the computer in a particular posture it may be uncomfortable, the contraction of several muscles produces a pain. Yet since our concentration is somewhere else, we are not aware of it. If we become aware we realize out neck is paining, we may stand up for a while, exercise our neck and relieve the pain, instead of letting it escalate into a bigger problem. Similarly, we may get several thoughts, like hatred, revenge, sadness anger etc. If we catch the thought early and become aware of it, we may be able to drive it away. The past is our experience, the present is an experiment and the future is our expectation. Instead of worrying and dwelling on the past and future we must use the experience of past, in the experiment of present to make it more beautiful, so that our expectation of future becomes a reality.
Stress is mostly considered as an urban phenomenon. However, stress is a part of our lives, be it in rural or urban area. The only difference is in the way urban and rural people react to stress. Due to the advantages one has in the urban areas (education, rational thinking), people is not cut off from reality easily but their reaction is that of anxiety and panic.