A man having stomach pain went to his doctor. The doctor asked if he was having trouble in his personal life or at his job.
The man explained that he was worried about some incidents that had happened at work with his boss and his co-workers. Was there something the man could do to change what had happened? ''No,'' responded the man. ''But it continues to bother me." The doctor said, ''There is nothing you can do about the past. Close the chapter and move on. You are upsetting yourself and your stomach over something you cannot change.'' The doctor prescribed some medicine, and advised him to forget the past to help expedite the cure of his stomachaches.
The next patient was a woman with migraine. She explained that she was afraid of making a wrong decision about her future. Sensing that this was causing her headaches, he told her, ''If you make a decision that turns out all right, there is nothing to worry about. If you make a decision that turns out wrong, you still have the option to rectify matters. No decision is irreversible. Make a list of your options; make a counter-plan for each option and then act. Analyse the situation, and then act. Then take each step as it comes.''
People either worry about a past that they cannot change, or they worry about a future that has not yet happened. Many worry over problems they anticipate or fears that never materialise. Many of our stress-related illnesses are due to problems that we face mentally, psychologically or emotionally. What is certain is that there are always going to be problems.
Murphy's Law says that if anything can go wrong, it will. There does not seem to be anyone who has not experienced problems in life. Every time we solve one problem, a new one springs up. After a while we begin to wonder if there will be a time in life when we can be free of problems.
Nobody said that life was going to be easy or that everything was going to be perfect. The question is, how do we handle our problems? Do we face them as a challenge and try to solve them, or do we fret and worry about them? We compound our problems by worry and fretting because this added stress can make us physically sick.
The pressures of life are so great that they affect us physically and mentally. We find that people undergo anxiety, fear, depression and phobias. Offices of psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists are filled with normal, everyday people who cannot cope with life's struggles.
If our mind is positive and happy, we may feel physically better than when our mind is troubled and anxious. Our mental state can cause stress-related illnesses.
Studies have shown that when we are angry or emotionally upset, chemicals released in our body prepare us for ''fight or flight''.
We need to find some acceptable way to prevent the mental, emotional and physical effects of stress which are making us ill.
Meditation has numerous benefits for our physical and mental well-being. It is safe, effective and does not cost anything. Once we learn how to meditate, we carry within us a ready remedy which we can use at any time and any place.