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A Complete Guide to Managing Stress
A Complete Guide to Managing Stress
Description
Preface

If there were a machine to measure stress-out of every hundred subjects in a city, eighty would score more than 80% of the maximum possible. Unfortunately most of us are unaware of the excessive burden of stress that we carry with us. Excessive work pressure, increasing needs, family problems, time constraint, loans to repay, illness etc. are gradually increasing our emotional stresses.

Working and travelling all over the country during the last eight years of practice as the director of Saaol Heart Center in Delhi, and in the preceding six years at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)-I have been treating heart patients with a combination of medical treatment with lifestyle changes. Stress management and Yoga-Meditation are the major components of Lifestyle advice that I advocate invariably.

We have been able to cure and treat thousands of patients of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression and so on. What has probably helped people the most amongst the lifestyle changes are stress management skills and meditation. Amongst the other components of my lifestyle program are regular exercises, very low fat diet, yogasana, walking and a relaxation procedure called Kayotsarga.

People ask me, “Doctor, though you are a medical doctor how did you deviate towards this holistic approach? Why are you so different?”

True, when I acquired my MBBS from Calcutta (now Kolkata) in 1986 and moved to Delhi, I was a hardcore medical doctor-following blindly all the drug and surgical treatments out of textbooks and what my teachers had taught. I never believed in Yoga, meditation, Ayurveda, and naturopathy or, for that matter, anything that was not allopathy. But in Delhi, during my residency in a hospital-one patient’s death completely changed my life attitude and approach. I changed track-from allopathy to holistic treatment. Let me narrate the incident which happened sometime in 1986.

This particular heart patient visited me with complaints of chest pain on walking-I could easily diagnose him to be a heart patient after some investigation. I started treating him with medicines-but his lifestyle was very bad as he was tremendously stressed and addicted to smoking. His food remained bad, lifestyle sedentary and full of stress. I never found time, within those 5 minutes per patient per visit in OPD (Out Patient Department), to talk to him on his lifestyle. As his disease worsened I gave him more medicines to relieve him of his symptoms of chest pain. He felt better after this increment of medicines but ultimately suffered a heart attack. We admitted him in the ICU and gave him the best of care but ultimately could not save him. But his death changed completely my views about treating heart patients. I realized that heart patients need a complete change in their lifestyle, food habits, training on stress management and physical exercise. This started a new process of treatment of heart disease and I called this SAAOL or Science and Art of Living.

In the last fourteen years of treatment of heart patients with lifestyle modification, I realized that diet is probably the second most important factor to get results. The first of course in managing the various stresses of life. My job was to make sure that my patients are really able to cut down their stresses-and then only the results will come. A less stressed person can control the food better than others. While training the patients to manage stresses, I had to make the process very practical and user friendly. I included the spouses in my training program. In India the family system is very strong and a change in the behaviour of spouse, will guarantee a better stress reduction. I included Meditation in y stress management program as it will help us to control stress better by controlling our emotional brain. Along with Meditation I had to include Yoga also as an adjuvant. The more I worked on my patients and followed them up-I started improving my training skills. The program became valid for every person-professional or not, educated or not, business man or housewife-because they constituted majority of my patients.

Many of my patients changed their life completely, cut down their anger, changed their communication skills and were better persons after attending the Saaol camps. Many were so impressed that they send their children to attend our program even though they are not heart patients; some even repeated the training camps. Many of my patients wanted me to write down everything I speak during my camps so that they can read the techniques again the again. I made up my mind to write down all the points in the form of a book a few years back. This book is the final result.

Back of the Book

The term Stress has found everyday usage in our vocabulary/parlance and is increasingly becoming a topic for discussion at various platforms and as yet, a clear-cut definition for this phenomenon remains elusive.

A practical definition explains stress as “when the problem presented by everyday life exceeds your resources for coping with them you feel stressed.”

The text has been divided in two parts-1. Stress, and 2. Meditation. These have been discussed under various chapterheads which comprise:

Understanding Stress
The Psychology and Physiology of Stress
Managing Stress
Dealing with Stress
Other Stress Management Techniques
Making Meditation More Effective
The Scientific Perspective
Preksha Meditation System.

Dr. Bimal Chhajer, MD, is a consultant cardiologist and cardiac rehabilitation expert who is also the founder and director Saaol Heart Center in Delhi. Dr. Chhajer is a pioneer in treatment of coronary heart disease by a combination of lifestyle modification and medical drugs. He advocates yoga, meditation, stress management, exercises, died modification as a substitute of bypass surgery and angioplasty. His workshops are held regularly in all the major metro cities.

Contents

Prefacev
Acknowledgment xiv
PART I: STRESS
Chapter 1: Understanding Stress 3
What is Stress? 3
Stress-A New Age Phenomenon 4
Causes of Stress 5
Ego (individualism/materialism) 13
Recognizing Stress 15
Behavioural Symptoms 15
Cognitive Symptoms 16
Emotional Symptoms 17
Physical Symptoms 17
Chapter 2 : The Psychology and Physiology of Stress
Type-A Personalities and Type-B Personalities 19
Body’s Response to Stress 22
Effects of Excessive Stress on the Body 23
Functioning of Brain 25
The Stress Axis 29
Stress-related Ailments 31
Chapter 3 : Managing Stress 33
A Practical Model for Managing Stress 33
How Much Stress is Beneficial 34
How Stress is Produced 35
The External Stressors 37
Internal Conditioning or “Mind Set” 40
1. Beliefs, Preferences and Opinions 40
2. Value System and Morality 41
3. Priorities 41
4. Social Expectation 41
5. Sense of Duty and Perfectionism 41
6. Communication Skill 41
7. Materialistic Expectations 41
8. Self-Esteems 41
What Influences Internal Conditioning 42
1. Parents 42
2. Family 42
3. Society 42
4. Educational Institutions 42
5. Friends and Colleagues 42
6. Religion and Spiritual Training 43
7. Physical Appearance 43
8. Media and Literature 43
9. Financial Resources and Status 43
10. Personal Experiences 43
Chapter 4 : Dealing with Stress 45
Anticipating Stress 45
External Stressors-A Reality of Life 45
Changing the Internal Conditioning 50
Change with Society 50
Theory of ‘Anekant’ 51
Mutual Gain 52
Anekant-Theory of Multiple View Points 53
Story of the Elephant and Three Blind Men 53
Releasing Stress 54
Dealing with Acute and Chronic Stress 54
Using Communication Skills to Cut Down Stress 57
Time Management 59
A Happy and Healthy Marriage 62
Dealing with Difficult People 64
Food Habits Suitable for Better Stress 66
Guidelines for a Healthy Diet 67
Sex and Stress Management 69
Chapter 5 : Some other Stress Management Techniques 71
Hobbies and Pastimes 71
Physical Activities 73
Alternative Medicines or Therapies 74
Other Special Techniques 75
SAAOL-The Science And Art Of Living 75
Stress and Immune System-Psycho-Neuro Immunology 77
Tracking Stress Management Skills 80
PART II: MEDITATION
Chapter 6 : Introduction to Meditation:
An Overview

85
What is Meditation? 85
Effects of Meditation on the Body 86
Chapter 7 : A Lifestyle Called Yoga 89
Yoga as Lifestyle 93
Meditation and Yoga! The Historical Background 90
The Cause of Loss of Popularity of Yoga and Meditation in the Past 91
Rise in the Popularity of Yoga-meditation Again 93
Chapter 8 : The Process of Meditation 99
Different kinds of Meditation 99
Themes of Meditation 102
Preparations for Meditation 103
Postures for Doing Meditation 104
Sankalp-Pledge Just Before Meditation 110
Putting Meditation to Practice 111
Chapter 9 : Making Meditation more Effective 113
Health Rejuvenating Exercises Accessory to Meditation 113
Some more Asanas 119
Pranayama (Nadi-Shodhan Pranayama) 120
Tools to Enhance Meditation 120
Chapter 10 : The Scientific Perspective 127
Modern Medicines Interpretation of Meditation 127
Blood Pressure 127
Cardiovascular Capacity 127
Respiratory Rate 128
Minute Ventilations and Spriometric Changes 129
Skin Resistance 129
Temperature Changes 129
EMG or Electromyography 129
Metabolic Rate 130
ECG Recording 130
Cholesterol 130
Catecholamines 130
Blood Sugar 131
EEG or Electroencephalography 131
Psychological Testing 131
Electrical Changes in the Brain During Meditation 131
The Rational and the Emotional Brain 132
Kundalini 136
Chapter 11 : The Preksha Meditation System 137
Constituents of Preksha Meditation System 139
Kayotsarg or Progressive Mascular Relaxation 140
The Techniques 140
The Pledge 141
Leshya Meditation-Meditating on Colour 142
Meditation on a Positive thought: Anupreksha 143
Bibliography 147
Index 149

A Complete Guide to Managing Stress

Item Code:
IHG009
Cover:
Paperback
Edition:
2007
Publisher:
New Age Books
ISBN:
8178221861
Size:
8.4” X 5.5”
Pages:
172 (Illustrated Throughout In B/W)
Price:
$19.00
Discounted:
$14.25   Shipping Free
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Preface

If there were a machine to measure stress-out of every hundred subjects in a city, eighty would score more than 80% of the maximum possible. Unfortunately most of us are unaware of the excessive burden of stress that we carry with us. Excessive work pressure, increasing needs, family problems, time constraint, loans to repay, illness etc. are gradually increasing our emotional stresses.

Working and travelling all over the country during the last eight years of practice as the director of Saaol Heart Center in Delhi, and in the preceding six years at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)-I have been treating heart patients with a combination of medical treatment with lifestyle changes. Stress management and Yoga-Meditation are the major components of Lifestyle advice that I advocate invariably.

We have been able to cure and treat thousands of patients of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression and so on. What has probably helped people the most amongst the lifestyle changes are stress management skills and meditation. Amongst the other components of my lifestyle program are regular exercises, very low fat diet, yogasana, walking and a relaxation procedure called Kayotsarga.

People ask me, “Doctor, though you are a medical doctor how did you deviate towards this holistic approach? Why are you so different?”

True, when I acquired my MBBS from Calcutta (now Kolkata) in 1986 and moved to Delhi, I was a hardcore medical doctor-following blindly all the drug and surgical treatments out of textbooks and what my teachers had taught. I never believed in Yoga, meditation, Ayurveda, and naturopathy or, for that matter, anything that was not allopathy. But in Delhi, during my residency in a hospital-one patient’s death completely changed my life attitude and approach. I changed track-from allopathy to holistic treatment. Let me narrate the incident which happened sometime in 1986.

This particular heart patient visited me with complaints of chest pain on walking-I could easily diagnose him to be a heart patient after some investigation. I started treating him with medicines-but his lifestyle was very bad as he was tremendously stressed and addicted to smoking. His food remained bad, lifestyle sedentary and full of stress. I never found time, within those 5 minutes per patient per visit in OPD (Out Patient Department), to talk to him on his lifestyle. As his disease worsened I gave him more medicines to relieve him of his symptoms of chest pain. He felt better after this increment of medicines but ultimately suffered a heart attack. We admitted him in the ICU and gave him the best of care but ultimately could not save him. But his death changed completely my views about treating heart patients. I realized that heart patients need a complete change in their lifestyle, food habits, training on stress management and physical exercise. This started a new process of treatment of heart disease and I called this SAAOL or Science and Art of Living.

In the last fourteen years of treatment of heart patients with lifestyle modification, I realized that diet is probably the second most important factor to get results. The first of course in managing the various stresses of life. My job was to make sure that my patients are really able to cut down their stresses-and then only the results will come. A less stressed person can control the food better than others. While training the patients to manage stresses, I had to make the process very practical and user friendly. I included the spouses in my training program. In India the family system is very strong and a change in the behaviour of spouse, will guarantee a better stress reduction. I included Meditation in y stress management program as it will help us to control stress better by controlling our emotional brain. Along with Meditation I had to include Yoga also as an adjuvant. The more I worked on my patients and followed them up-I started improving my training skills. The program became valid for every person-professional or not, educated or not, business man or housewife-because they constituted majority of my patients.

Many of my patients changed their life completely, cut down their anger, changed their communication skills and were better persons after attending the Saaol camps. Many were so impressed that they send their children to attend our program even though they are not heart patients; some even repeated the training camps. Many of my patients wanted me to write down everything I speak during my camps so that they can read the techniques again the again. I made up my mind to write down all the points in the form of a book a few years back. This book is the final result.

Back of the Book

The term Stress has found everyday usage in our vocabulary/parlance and is increasingly becoming a topic for discussion at various platforms and as yet, a clear-cut definition for this phenomenon remains elusive.

A practical definition explains stress as “when the problem presented by everyday life exceeds your resources for coping with them you feel stressed.”

The text has been divided in two parts-1. Stress, and 2. Meditation. These have been discussed under various chapterheads which comprise:

Understanding Stress
The Psychology and Physiology of Stress
Managing Stress
Dealing with Stress
Other Stress Management Techniques
Making Meditation More Effective
The Scientific Perspective
Preksha Meditation System.

Dr. Bimal Chhajer, MD, is a consultant cardiologist and cardiac rehabilitation expert who is also the founder and director Saaol Heart Center in Delhi. Dr. Chhajer is a pioneer in treatment of coronary heart disease by a combination of lifestyle modification and medical drugs. He advocates yoga, meditation, stress management, exercises, died modification as a substitute of bypass surgery and angioplasty. His workshops are held regularly in all the major metro cities.

Contents

Prefacev
Acknowledgment xiv
PART I: STRESS
Chapter 1: Understanding Stress 3
What is Stress? 3
Stress-A New Age Phenomenon 4
Causes of Stress 5
Ego (individualism/materialism) 13
Recognizing Stress 15
Behavioural Symptoms 15
Cognitive Symptoms 16
Emotional Symptoms 17
Physical Symptoms 17
Chapter 2 : The Psychology and Physiology of Stress
Type-A Personalities and Type-B Personalities 19
Body’s Response to Stress 22
Effects of Excessive Stress on the Body 23
Functioning of Brain 25
The Stress Axis 29
Stress-related Ailments 31
Chapter 3 : Managing Stress 33
A Practical Model for Managing Stress 33
How Much Stress is Beneficial 34
How Stress is Produced 35
The External Stressors 37
Internal Conditioning or “Mind Set” 40
1. Beliefs, Preferences and Opinions 40
2. Value System and Morality 41
3. Priorities 41
4. Social Expectation 41
5. Sense of Duty and Perfectionism 41
6. Communication Skill 41
7. Materialistic Expectations 41
8. Self-Esteems 41
What Influences Internal Conditioning 42
1. Parents 42
2. Family 42
3. Society 42
4. Educational Institutions 42
5. Friends and Colleagues 42
6. Religion and Spiritual Training 43
7. Physical Appearance 43
8. Media and Literature 43
9. Financial Resources and Status 43
10. Personal Experiences 43
Chapter 4 : Dealing with Stress 45
Anticipating Stress 45
External Stressors-A Reality of Life 45
Changing the Internal Conditioning 50
Change with Society 50
Theory of ‘Anekant’ 51
Mutual Gain 52
Anekant-Theory of Multiple View Points 53
Story of the Elephant and Three Blind Men 53
Releasing Stress 54
Dealing with Acute and Chronic Stress 54
Using Communication Skills to Cut Down Stress 57
Time Management 59
A Happy and Healthy Marriage 62
Dealing with Difficult People 64
Food Habits Suitable for Better Stress 66
Guidelines for a Healthy Diet 67
Sex and Stress Management 69
Chapter 5 : Some other Stress Management Techniques 71
Hobbies and Pastimes 71
Physical Activities 73
Alternative Medicines or Therapies 74
Other Special Techniques 75
SAAOL-The Science And Art Of Living 75
Stress and Immune System-Psycho-Neuro Immunology 77
Tracking Stress Management Skills 80
PART II: MEDITATION
Chapter 6 : Introduction to Meditation:
An Overview

85
What is Meditation? 85
Effects of Meditation on the Body 86
Chapter 7 : A Lifestyle Called Yoga 89
Yoga as Lifestyle 93
Meditation and Yoga! The Historical Background 90
The Cause of Loss of Popularity of Yoga and Meditation in the Past 91
Rise in the Popularity of Yoga-meditation Again 93
Chapter 8 : The Process of Meditation 99
Different kinds of Meditation 99
Themes of Meditation 102
Preparations for Meditation 103
Postures for Doing Meditation 104
Sankalp-Pledge Just Before Meditation 110
Putting Meditation to Practice 111
Chapter 9 : Making Meditation more Effective 113
Health Rejuvenating Exercises Accessory to Meditation 113
Some more Asanas 119
Pranayama (Nadi-Shodhan Pranayama) 120
Tools to Enhance Meditation 120
Chapter 10 : The Scientific Perspective 127
Modern Medicines Interpretation of Meditation 127
Blood Pressure 127
Cardiovascular Capacity 127
Respiratory Rate 128
Minute Ventilations and Spriometric Changes 129
Skin Resistance 129
Temperature Changes 129
EMG or Electromyography 129
Metabolic Rate 130
ECG Recording 130
Cholesterol 130
Catecholamines 130
Blood Sugar 131
EEG or Electroencephalography 131
Psychological Testing 131
Electrical Changes in the Brain During Meditation 131
The Rational and the Emotional Brain 132
Kundalini 136
Chapter 11 : The Preksha Meditation System 137
Constituents of Preksha Meditation System 139
Kayotsarg or Progressive Mascular Relaxation 140
The Techniques 140
The Pledge 141
Leshya Meditation-Meditating on Colour 142
Meditation on a Positive thought: Anupreksha 143
Bibliography 147
Index 149

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