>Live a Stress-free Life: Tips

Posted on January 29, 2011

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It is possible to lead a stress free life, even in this day and age. But to do so, we need to look past the surface reasons of stress and identify the root causes. We need to adopt a new attitude towards life. Here are some tips to help you live a stress free and fulfilling life.
Get Out of the Rat Race :

Consider the following story:
The Stone Cutter

There was once a stone cutter who was not happy with himself and with his position in life. One day he was passing by a wealthy merchant's house. Through the open gateway, he saw many fine possessions and important people. "How powerful that merchant must be!" thought the stone cutter. He became very envious and wished that he could be like the merchant. To his amazement, he suddenly became the merchant, enjoying more luxuries and power than he had ever imagined, but envied and detested by those less wealthy than himself.
Soon a high official passed by, carried in a sedan chair, accompanied by attendants and escorted by soldiers beating gongs. Everyone, no matter how wealthy, had to bow low before the procession. "How powerful that official is!" he thought. "I wish that I could be a high official!"

Then he became the high official, carried everywhere in his embroidered sedan chair, feared and hated by the people all around. It was a hot summer day, so the official started to sweat and feel uncomfortable.He looked up at the sun. It shone proudly in the sky, unaffected by his presence. "How powerful the sun is!" he thought. "I wish that I could be the sun!"

Then he became the sun, shining fiercely down on everyone, scorching the fields, cursed by the farmers and laborers. But a huge black cloud moved between him and the earth, so that his light could no longer shine on everything below. "How powerful that storm cloud is!" he thought. "I wish that I could be a cloud!"

Then he became the cloud, flooding the fields and villages, feared at by everyone. But soon he found that he was being pushed away by some great force, and realized that it was the wind. "How powerful it is!" he thought. "I wish that I could be the wind!"

Then he became the wind, blowing roofs off the houses, uprooting trees, feared and hated by all below him. But after a while, he ran up against something that would not move, no matter how forcefully he blew against it . It was a huge, towering rock. "How powerful that rock is!" he thought. "I wish that I could be a rock!"

Then he became the rock, more powerful than anything else on earth. But as he stood there, he heard the sound of a hammer pounding a chisel into the hard surface, and felt himself being changed. "What could be more powerful than I, the rock?" he thought.

He looked down and saw far below him the figure of a stone cutter.
Most of us are like the stone cutter in the story. We are never satisfied. We are continuously trying to be like someone else or running after more wealth, status etc.
This creates stress within us, because there will always be someone who is better off. And material things lose their attraction as soon as we get them. John Rockefeller was once asked," How much is enough?" He replied, "Just one more."
The way to get relief is to consciously nurture a grateful attitude: to shift our attention to what we have instead of what we don't have.
When is the last time you counted your blessings? If you are still alive, you are luckier than the 1 million people who will die this weekend. If you have food, clothes and shelter, you are better off than 75% of the total population of the world. If you have some money in the bank or even in your wallet, you are one of the richest 8% of the world population.
These simple practices can help make thankfulness a habit.
Keep a thankfulness diary. Set some time aside regularly to think of what you have and write them down in your diary.
Or you can adopt the practice followed by the Quantum family. Every morning, when we wake up , before we get out of bed, even before we open our eyes, we thank God (or Allah, Bhagvan or the universe, depending on our beliefs). This thankfulness is simply for being alive, for having another day to enjoy and to serve.
You will feel a contentment you haven't felt in many years. And the interesting thing is, the calmness you will feel when you nurture a grateful attitude will also enable you to work more steadily and creatively. So in addition to saving yourself from a lot of stress, you will also get more success and wealth as a bonus!

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