May 2015 issue: The illusion of stress

In this month’s cover story, author Michael Olpin, who has more been teaching the science of stress management and mind/body wellness for over 30 years, tells you how can be free from stress.

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There was a man who worked in a hi-tech science laboratory. One day, late evening, he accidentally locked himself in the walk-in freezer room. He screamed and banged on the door but no one heard him since his colleagues had all left the office by then. He attempted to break the door but it was made of heavy metal and there was no way he could’ve broken it. Soon, he began to feel cold, and weak. He started thinking that by the time people arrived the next morning, he would freeze to death. Sure enough the next morning his co-workers found him dead in the freezer room. He had all the signs of hypothermia—a severe drop in body temperature caused by prolonged exposure to cold temperatures. It perplexed everyone, including the physicians who performed the autopsy on him because the freezing apparatus in the room had broken down a few days ago. The poor man didn’t know this and had believed that the freezer was on. He literally believed himself to death.

While this extreme story seems apocryphal, the conclusion is all too common: Too often, the dangers in our lives are mere imagination. Most of the troubles we worry about never transpire. But in our mind, we tend to not only anticipate the worst, but also exaggerate it. As a result, we are in constant fear of imminent dangers. In short, we live highly stressful lives—unnecessarily!

When stressed, we make poor decisions, our immunity falls and we fall sick easily, and we spread negativity around us. In spite of its pitfalls, stress has become so much a part of our psyche, we have come to accept it as the norm.

But, what if you could banish the daily stress that you experience which is mind-made and has little to do with reality? What if you could eliminate the unnecessary worry and anxiety that steals away your peace of mind? And what if you could do this by learning to use a gift you were born with but have rarely ever used?

In this month’s cover story, author Michael Olpin, who has been teaching the science of stress management and mind/body wellness for over 30 years, tells you how can be free from stress. “Stress happens when your thoughts project into your future or past, and those thoughts include pain of any kind. It is rarely, if ever, the current experience or event that causes the threat,” he writes as he offers five principles of the mind to help you understand why and how you create stress. He also suggests an easy yet fail-proof guide that will help you dissolve your stress instantly, every time.

I think you will find, as I did, his elaborate and meticulous elucidation quite valuable. You will also discover that almost always your stress is a ‘false positive’. Byron Katie said, “I have never experienced a stressful feeling that wasn’t caused by attaching to an untrue thought. Behind every uncomfortable feeling, there’s a thought that isn’t true for us.” This realisation is freedom from stress.

Read the full story here.

Manoj Khatri
Manoj Khatri has spent the last two decades learning, teaching and writing about wellbeing and mindful living. He has contributed over 1500 articles for several newspapers and magazines including The Times of India, The Economic Times, The Statesman, Mid-Day, Bombay Times, Femina, and more. He is a counseling therapist and the author of What a thought!, a critically acclaimed best-selling book on self-transformation. An award-winning editor, Manoj runs Complete Wellbeing and believes that "peace begins with me".


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