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Science of Stress and How to Manage It


									The Science of Stress And The Art of Managing it
Vice President and Head of Quality MindTree Consulting

By Vishu Hegde

Presented at Chennai SPIN On 11th May, 2007


Background about the speaker

   

Electronics & Communication, Computer Science Engineer 20 years experience in the IT industry Visited 18 different countries – gained some global insights Professional roles:
System Engineering & Project Management on LCA Avionics (Military fighter aircraft)) at ADA (aeronautical Development Agency)  Quality Professional at Motorola covering India, Singapore, Japan, Korea, China  Quality professional and part of senior leadership team at MindTree

 Interests outside the profession:
    

Homeopathic practitioner, Physiology (neuroscience, endocrine system, respiratory & circulatory mechanisms) Ancient Indian Wisdom: Yoga, Pranayama, Meditation, Vedantha Modern Physics, Quantum Physics, Electro Magnetism Trekking, Mountaineering, Nature study, Photography, Gymnastics Classical music, playing Tabala, singing, painting

What is Stress?

 Stress is a state of Mind

 Stress is a mind-body reaction/response to a situation

Fight or Flight instinct


Why Stress Happens?
     

When a situation/condition is not Acceptable to us When we want to do/get something but are unable When ego is hurt (feedback, comments, criticism…) When we loose something which we feel as important … Stress is mostly due to
Fear (of Future)  Worry (about Past)  And not so much due to Present Moment
 “The

Future depends on what is done to the Present” - Gandhi

 It is always due to the perception of Mind

Different people „feel‟ different stress levels for the same situations


What Happens when Stressed?
 Psychology of Stress: Emotional impact
     

Anxiety Fear Depression Anger Sadness …

 Physiology of Stress
    


Acidity Ulcers Heart ailments Blood Pressure Kidney problems Diabetes …


Chain Reaction of Stress: The Negative Spiral

Mind perceives threat

Triggers animal instinct of fight or flight

Adrenalin increases
to prepare the body

Breathing becomes fast & shallow

Blood pressure increases

Heart beat increases to supply more food & oxygen to body parts

Metabolism increases Stomach readies for processing more food Acidity* increases Overloaded Excretory Systems to clear the toxin

Imbalanced Emotions Fear, Anxiety, Anger, Depression*…

Imbalanced Endocrine Systems the chemical factories of hormones, enzymes

Some Impacts of Sustained and Unmanaged Stress
 Brain

Continues to operate in higher Beta state (15 to 26 cycles per second of electrical impulses (EEG))


Continues to trigger the rest of the body mechanism and create stress
High blood pressures can lead to Heart failure, paralysis (due to breakdown of blood vessels in brain)…

 Blood Pressure remains high

 Acidity, Ulcer and other digestive problems  Diabetes  Kidney problems due to overload on removing toxins from the body  Reduces immunity and makes body susceptible to diseases  ….


Some More Impacts

 Human body & mind are a highly complex and integrated


Each system impacts the other: either positively or negatively

 Stress and Mind induced effects on the body are far more

harmful than the external pollution
 Human

Internal Toxins are far more harmful than external chemical/industrial pollution
body has huge number of chemical factories – approximately 6600 different chemicals are produced (scientists/doctors are discovering more)


ISO 14000 needs significant change in the globalized knowledge era!


Why Allopathic Medicines and Stimulants are not good for managing Stress
 Allopathic medicines directly add chemical to the body and

interfere with the internal chemical factories

E.g. Taking Antacids for Acidity neutralizes the acid in the stomach. Then body thinks that the acid is not sufficient and starts producing more.  E.g. Anti-depressants suppress the ability of brain cells to generate electric impulses
 People

taking such drugs for prolonged time become dull

 Stimulants like Tobacco, Coffee, Tea, Coco, Alcohol, Drugs

etc. temporarily trigger higher activities

Subsequently body craves for more & more stimulants


Then how to manage stress?

 Turn it into a Positive Spiral

Break the negative cycle at each point

 Some amount of Stress is healthy – it triggers and

energizes the system


Managing Stress
 Root Cause: Manage Mind
  

Positive Thinking and Attitude
 

So what? What‟s the worst that can happen? Smile at the situation; laugh at yourself Story of the Professor and the Jar

Larger view of life Meditation

 Build capability to face stressful situations and reduce the impact of stress at physiological level
Yoga  Pranayama

 Healthy lifestyle and food habits  Have multiple positive energy sources

Hobbies, interests, active family & social life along with professional life…

 Time Management, Planning, Being Proactive & Prepared…
 

Story of farmer‟s servant who sleeps while wind blows Story of person with a lamp



What does Yoga, Pranayama, Meditation do at Physiological level?...


What does Yoga do at Physiological level?

 Yogasanas exercise different parts of the body  They combine with breathing  They create flexibility and hollowness, lightness
Postures: Stretch & hold, Compress & hold  Helps in flow of water, food, oxygen, electrical signals and flow of energy in the body

 They are Isometric exercises
 As

against Isotonic exercises of aerobics, gym exercises which help to build muscles which reduce the flexibility & become blockers over a period of time (aerobics are useful to exercise the heart)


What does Pranayama do at Physiological level?

 Increases absorption of oxygen into the hemoglobin by creating inhale

pressure in lungs for osmosis

E.g. Ujjai breath

 Increases the removal of carbon dioxide from the blood plasma by

creating exhale pressure in lungs for osmosis

E.g. Bastrika pranayam Air filter analogy in automobiles

 Increases oxidation and liberation of energy in every cell of the body

 Stimulates nerve tips in lungs which have connection to the brain area

(hypothalamus) where Pituitary Gland is situated

Pituitary Gland is the master gland in the endocrine system and has a strong influence on rest of the endocrine glands

 Breathing is the key voluntary AND involuntary function  Clue (entry point) to explore the internal world – what ancient Rishi‟s


What does Meditation do at Physiological level?

 Meditation
Takes the brain to Alpha state: electrical impulses of 8 to 14 cycles per second  At deep meditation level (Samadhi state) brain goes to Theta state: electrical impulses of 4 to 7 cycles per second  Leads to deep relaxation

 Sudarshana Kriya of Art of Living
Takes the brain to higher beta state  Then takes the brain to deep relaxation  Thus exercises and expands the brain/mind capacity

 Mind rules the body

Mind  Nervous system  Endocrine system  rest of the body function


Importance of Endocrine System

Master gland Controls all other glands

Body rhythm

Metabolism Immune system

Adrenalin: heart rate, blood pressure

Insulin: blood sugar, energy


 Enzymes produced by Endocrine glands influence every cell, organ and function of the body  They regulate mood, growth, metabolism, tissue function, sexual & reproductive processes

Chain Reaction of Managing Stress: The Positive Spiral

Mind peaceful, joyful

Triggers hope, optimism, Positive feelings

Adrenalin normal
to prepare the body

Breathing becomes slow & deep

Blood pressure normal

Heart beat normal to supply normal food & oxygen to body parts

Confident Composed Metabolism normal Stomach readies for processing normal food Acidity normal Normal Excretory Systems to clear the toxin

Balanced Emotions Energetic, Enthusiastic, Positive…….

Balanced Endocrine Systems the chemical factories of hormones, enzymes

Clinical Research Results…

Increased alertness and deeper relaxation of mind

Reduced tension and stress

Ref: Art Of Living Research with AIIMS, NIMHANS

Clinical Research Results

 Improved immunity  Increase in good cholesterol and decrease in bad cholesterol  Decreased depression


Beyond Physiology… The Energy System


Human Body as the Energy System

 Modern Science & Medicine consider human body as

merely electro-chemical, electro-mechanical and physical phenomena  Ancient Indian & Eastern Spiritual Sciences consider it as an Energy System
Universal Cosmic Energy (everything is common at atomic level)  Yoga – union of body, mind and spirit  Raja Yoga – Chakras and Naadis  Reiki (which means life force in Japanese; Started by Dr. Mikao Usui a doctor and Buddhist monk during 1860s)  Thai Chi, Acupressure, Acupuncture (originated in China)  Homeopathy (Started by Dr. Hahnemann a doctor in Germany during 1800s)

Chakras: Energy Centers

 

Chakras are situated near the key endocrine glands and nerve groups (plexus) Wireless connection to brain; Connection to Cosmic universal energy

Chakras and Naadis: Wireless Connection to Brain

 World seen through the 5 sensors (wired connection) is narrow band:

gross, inert, matter world

 World seen through Chakras & Nadis (wireless connection) is broad

band: subtle, dynamic, energy world

Science of Homeopathy: Medicine of Energy System

 Basic principle: what causes disease cures the disease also when

given in the potenticized form  Homeopathic medicine preparation

Potencization through the process of tritration  Transfer of atomic vibrations to the base substance. Not even a single molecule of medicinal material will be present according to Avogadro number

 Curing principle
Right medicine creates energy vibrations in the human system (resonance principle)  This increases the energy level to improve the health conditions  Typically causes initial aggravation and subsequently cures with oscillations  Cures inside-out: Mind  Emotional level  Physical level

Mind & Emotional symptoms are the key for diagnosis

So, to be “Successful”….


What is “Success”?

 The definition I liked most:

“The measure of Success is the number of joyful smiles per day every day” – Shri Shri Ravishankar

 Life is full of choices; The choices one makes determine one‟s life –

they are like cross-roads

IQ < EQ < AQ < SQ : determine what choices one makes  Life is 10% what happens and 90% how we react to it

 Manage Mind
Healthy mind FOR a healthy body  It is mind, and not body, that differentiates the leader from the rest

Positive Energy is most fundamental to any Leader
Mythology: Shiva: churn the ocean to get Amrita (immortalizing nectar); hold the poison but give out the nectar to others.


The Vicious Cycle
Priority 1) Pursue money 2) Pursue fame Less Accomplishment Loose health Loose joy Less creative

More stress on the priorities

Less Money

Less Recognition

 People spend half of their life pursuing money as the highest priority

and loose health in that process.  In the remaining half they spend that money trying to regain the health

Make it a Virtuous Cycle
Priority 1) Pursue health 2) Pursue knowledge More Accomplishment More joy More creative

Continue stress on the priorities

More Money

More Recognition

 Pursue health (mind+body) and knowledge (universal knowledge)

then money & fame will follow as a byproduct  Caution: This can not become an excuse for escapism

Story of the praying villager

Don‟t believe me…
… But do not wait for proof


 Modern Science (“Matter” Science):
 

Sees matter in life*

Proof first, then belief/trust comes
Sees life in matter* Belief/Trust first, then proof comes

 Spiritual Science (“Energy” Science):
 

* By Shri Shri Ravishankar in his book ‘Celebrating Silence’.

Conclusion: A personal prescription

 Practice Yoga & Pranayama (and Meditation) everyday*
Life will change at the most fundamental level  Art Of Living workshop is one of the best in my exploration

Raja Yoga, Karma Yoga (Service: Jesus), Bhakti Yoga (Devotion: Narada, Chaitanya…), Jnana Yoga  Practical for family & social life, professional life and spiritual life

 Combines

 Use Homeopathy for chronic or hereditary health problems

to strengthen the positive spiral

Spare Allopathic medicines/surgery for emergencies

 Become better individuals and better leaders

Some references…

 On Homeopathy and Physiology
The Science of Homeopathy – by Dr. John Vikolthas  Homeopathy Materia Medica – by Dr. Boericke  Dr Padmanaban R  Human Anatomy & Physiology – by Dr. David Le Vay

 On Reiki

Healing through Reiki – by MK Gupta

 On Modern Science
Scientific American – Mind  Modern Physics – by Arthur Beiser

Some more references

 On Ancient Indian Wisdom
Art Of Living 

Vedantha literature from Ramakrishna Mission  Celebrating Silence – by Shri Shri Ravishankar  Efficacy of Raja Yoga – Shri Ramachandra Mission  Raja Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Karma Yoga – Swami Vivekananda
 

Patanjali Yoga Sutra

 At Behavioral level
Stop Worrying and Start Living – by Dale Carneige  Emotional Intelligence – by Daniel Goleman  The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari – Robin Sharma

You can win – Shiv Khera  Power of Positive Thinking…… and so on

Relish a Wholesome & Holistic Life
Spiritual Life

YinYang – the balance

Social & Family Life

Professional Life


Safe Harbor: Religion vs. Spiritualism
Spiritualism is a true science, science of nature/universe – it includes modern science & beyond and is much more holistic than modern science. But unfortunately the rationales behind them are not fully understood (disconnected). When the SPIrit behind spiRITUAL is lost, only the rituals remain – then it becomes religion, fanaticism.

Truly, spiritualism starts where religion ends.
Just for example, Sanskrit gets associated with Hindu religion. But Sanskrit is such a scientific language that every alphabet (sound) is designed to produce certain vibrations in the internal energy system of human beings (what I mentioned about in the Raja Yoga). If we observe each alphabet in Sanskrit from A, AA, E, EE… to Ka, Kha, Ga, Gha,… to Cha, Chha, Ja, Jha,….we can see that they begin from pit of the stomach (diaphragm) and come up to lip (like Pa, Pha, Ba, Bha, Ma). Then the words formed out of such alphabets like Hari produce different vibrations – „Ha‟ produces vibrations in the naval region where Solar Plexus (certain nervous centers) exists and where endocrine glands like Adrenal and Pancreas exist; „Ri‟ produces vibrations in hypothalamus where Pituitary and Pineal glands exist. So, people were named as Hari and when people call them by the name Hari, they get benefited.

This is just a small example. The ancient Indian (and Eastern) Wisdom had integrated everything (language, music, dance, culture, medicine, lifestyle…) around that spiritual science – which treats this entire universe (including the human beings) as energy systems. Those roots are lost. There is a great need and potential to bring them to the contemporary world (like what‟s happening for Yoga at a physical level) while pursuing the modern science/technology. This will be a great complementary and convergence approach.

Back up slides


Anatomy of Consciousness according to Yoga

 Human Consciousness perceives this world through 10


External : 5 sensors
 Eyes

(see), Ears (hear), Nose (smell), Tongue (taste), Skin (touch)


Internal: 5 faculties
 Mind,

Intellect, Memory, Ego, Self

 Transcending all the sensors and the faculties and

experiencing the Self is the true realization and aim of Yoga

Experiencing the complete nature/universe – „broad band‟ science


Maslow's hierarchy of Needs

Service model in Ancient Wisdom
 Jnaana Daana (Donate Wisdom - Guru)

Makes the person figure out the living

 Vidya Daana (Teacher)

Teaches person how to live

 Jeeva Daana (Doctor – give life)

 Anna Daana (Donate food/money)

Jnaana Daana is considered as the highest form of Service

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