Self-Transformation Series:
Issue No. 3

Relaxation, Tension and Stress

Table of Contents

  1. Why Important
  2. What are stress and tension?
  3. Effects of Stress
  4. How to Handle Tension and Stress

I. Why Important

Knowing how to handle stress is a necessary part of inner peace. One can never be happy if under chronic tension. Life becomes a problem.

II. What are stress and tension?

STRESS is chronic tension. Normally after we tense our muscles, we should be able to relax them again after the cause of tension passes. But when the tenseness becomes unduly prolonged, then it becomes a stress problem. Like a spring that is stretched all the time, it no longer returns to its original shape, and is no longer effective. Observe cat when relaxed -- soft. When tense -- arched and stiff back. Imagine if the cat normally walks with arched back all the time -- that's stress or chronic tension. This cat is neurotic.

III. Effects of Stress

It causes:

IV. How to Handle Tension and Stress

  1. Do Breathing Exercise to Decrease Tension. Be aware of the relaxation of muscles as you breathe rhythmically.

  2. Do Physical Exercise. This will allow your pent-up irritations and anger to get released, Remember that stress is due to energy that has not been allowed to flow and go its natural course.

  3. Learn to Increase Your Personal Effectiveness and Efficiency. Set your priorities and develop a technique of accomplishing them systematically. Develop a system of facing and handling your worries.

  4. Accept the Results of Your Best Effort. Then move on to the next task of the day or the week.

  5. Do Something for Others. It will take you off from too much self-pre-occupation, and it will give you a better feeling towards yourself.

  6. Avoid Being Critical of Others. We often get disappointed when others do not measure up to our expectations, such as our spouse, co-workers, etc.

  7. Plan Your Leisure and Recreation. Detach yourself for a while, read a book, see a movie, go to sleep, etc. Maintain some hobby that absorbs you. Plan some recreation with your family or friends.

  8. Practice Meditation and Develop a Broader and Deeper View of Life. Life is larger than the problems you face day to day; your problems will be completely forgotten five or fifty years from now. Meditation allows us to let our feelings and thoughts settle down and give us the opportunity to explore deeper dimensions of life and existence.

V. Tests of Better Stress Management (Adapted from "Managing Stress")

With acknowledgment to the following works on Stress: Managing Stress by Dr. E. Joseph Neidhardt, Dr. Malcolm Weinstein and Dr. Robert Conry; and Increase Your Life Score, a Reader's Digest Publication.

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Copyright 1995. Permission to reprint is granted provided acknowledgment is made to:
Peace Center
Theosophical Society in the Philippines, 1 Iba St., Quezon City, Philippines

"If five percent of the people work for peace, there will be peace."