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Say no to stress: The latest mantra for healthy life

Stressed out. Not to bother. Just annihilate all your tensions. That is the latest mantra a new book prescribes to get rid of all mental problems.

books Updated: Apr 12, 2003 11:09 IST

Brain Re-engineering
The Art of Being Mentally Tough
N S Srinivasan
and G Balasubramanian
Published by Response Books
Pages: 217
Price Rs 260

Stressed out. Nothing to bother. Just annihilate all your tensions. In fact that is the latest mantra a new book prescribes to get rid of all mental problems associated with modern lifestyle.

The book Brain Re-engineering: The Art of Being Mentally Tough says stress is a contributing factor in almost 75 per cent of all illnesses. There have been more than 20,000 studies on the subject of linking stress to a variety of physical illnesses.

"Arteriosclerosis, gastric ulcers, cancer, gastrointestinal diseases, asthma, high blood pressure, diabetes, attention deficit disorder, drug abuse are some of the consequences. Millions, if not billions of dollars are spent in research to find a sustainable cure for any one of these major challenges," says the book authored by N S Srinivasan and G Balasubramanian.

"Yet how many of us even realise that it could be caused by an irritation here, an anxiety there, a little frustration or a petty whim hither and thither," the book says.

A common question that most people ask is: how can one manage the debilitating effects of stress? The lack of a viable solution lies in the way the question is framed. It is like asking: can one or two viruses be allowed to thrive in the human body indiscriminately. The results could be detrimental.

The quality of action is directly proportional to the capacity to be consistently faster than the competition and also increases the competence to respond in a situation, says Srinivasan, CEO, Mind Over Matter, Chennai and G Balasubramanian, Professor, Institute for Financial Management and Research, Chennai.

The book explains that no development can take place in a person who is under stress, let alone any growth. The brain areas that remain functional in a stressed individual do not allow him to activate the areas of the brain associated with analytical processing.

The area of the brain associated with emotions is over-activated during situations of stress, thus depriving the neocortex, the area associated with rationality, of enough blood to function effectively, says the book.

It quotes world-renowned Indian philospher Jiddu Krishnamurthy as saying "the feeling of insecurity, anxiety and agitations can push intelligence to the back seat, and decisions based on incomplete analysis of available data leave a residue of frustration."

The individual tries to achieve his ambitions, which are also part and parcel of the gene activation without sufficient inputs to trigger a self-sustaining threshold of responses. The result is either failure or worse, unsustainable success, says the book.

"Thus the onus is on the individual and the organisation he is part of to determine the appropriate set of inputs that are customised to suit them in a way by which their responses meet the expectations of their customers.

"The path, more often than not, is arduous, uncertain, long-drawn and has to be customised," says the book.

The book writes about the need for every individual to strive and struggle to discipline himself in order to interpret the world as objectively as possible as the lack of this discipline results in debilitating stress.

It also discusses a range of contemporary management issues, especially those relating to organisational change and innovation. The authors conceptualise a neurobiological framework which is designed to rejuvenate human ingenuity and help solve the overwhelming range of economic and existential problems that individuals face on a day-to-day basis.

(Press Trust of India)

First Published: Mar 10, 2003 00:00 IST