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Stress may be broadly defined as comprising of three components, namely a "known situation,interpretation of a situation and the physical and mental reaction to that interpretation of the situation"
.Stress is a situation: There cannot be a stress without a situation. One cannot be stressed aboutsome event occurring in USA without knowing the person or the situation. The situationrequires familiarity with the particular sensory object (known situation).
Stress is an interpretation of a situation: Without interpretation, stress is not possible. The samesituation can be interpreted differently by different people. A stimulus may be stressful to onebut not to another.
Stress is a physical and mental response to the interpretation of the situation: Stress manifestsbecause of a chemical imbalance resulting due to sympathetic overactivity, which manifests asmental and or physical symptoms.
Stress, therefore, is the body’s physical and mental response to the interpretation of a situation.Management of stress, therefore, involves either changing the situation, changing theinterpretation of the situation or making the body resistant to physical and mental changes in the situation.
Practicing Patanjali’s eight limbs of yoga via living a yogic lifestyle, adhering to the various Dosand Dont’s in life as taught in various religious teachings, and learning to meditate help our bodyto resist these sympathetic–activating changes and handle the stressful situation. These involveproper diet, exercise, meditation and relaxation exercises.
Changing the interpretation of a situation involves counseling. Cognitive behavior therapy usedin counseling is one such example. Change in interpretation requires deeper understanding of theproblem and removal of the obstacles. This can be done by using Ganesha’s principles of stressmanagement, Rosenburg’s Principle of Non–Violent Communication, or the principles ofcounseling from Bhagwad Gita.
Change of the situation is the final resort for solving the problem, even though this may not bealways possible. For example, in a dispute between husband and wife, divorce should be the lastchoice, after all counseling efforts have failed to resolve the issue.