Sri Sri Qna's on 'Anxiety'

Botheration > QnA on 'Anxiety'

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Q. How does one deal with separation anxiety?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Ujjayi breath. You are in the ocean of breath.
Q: How to overcome fear, anxiety and insecurity?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Fear, anxiety and insecurity are same shades of the same color. One is slightly brown, another is dark and the third one is the darkest brown. Grey is a better color, light, medium and dark grey. Meditation, pranayama and the faith that you are not alone, faith in the Divine will definitely help. Divine faith is very abstract, at least faith in the Guru, teacher is there, Master is there, faith in yourself, faith in the universal spirit, faith in the goodness of people around. There are good people in the world. When you thinkeverybody is wrong, everybody is bad then insecurity dawns. Suppose this is not your experience and you have found wrong people, who had deceived you all the time then at least look for good, enlightened people. Ok, now if you understand all this intellectual stuff and still anxiety comes, then what to do? Sudarshan Kriya,pranayama and meditation. After the tsunami (in South-east Asia, 2004), so many people could not sleep, they couldn’t even see the ocean. A lady witnessed her three to four children being washed away, she had a child in her arms and she couldn’t do anything for she had to look for her own self. Such incidents happened in front of so many people. So many families, somebody’s children, somebody’s wife, somebody’s parents were flooded away. All people were saying, ‘Take us anywhere but not the ocean’. And all those were fishermen. What would a fisherman do on mid land? After the earthquake, people couldn’t get into their homes. For days, people slept outside their houses on roads till our workers, our volunteers went there and taught them Pranayama, bhastrika and meditation, and then they went to their homes. That is where trauma relief, meditation, pranayama, Sudarshan Kriya helps tremendously. We have hundreds and thousands of such experiences and you should go through their experiences. In a matter of two days fishermen said, ‘Give us boats and we want to go out into the ocean’. They had come out of fear, anxiety. This hashappened with thousands of people.I am telling you we have such beautiful knowledge, practices that can take us out of misery, worries, anxiety, conflicts and suicidal tendencies. Just in the recent past, 20 students in Bombay alone committed suicide. In Bombay, Maharashtra, suicidal tendency among youngsters is so high that we have announced that anybody having the slightest tendency to commit suicide, call us at the Art of Living helpline. Our volunteers and teachers are working 24x7 to help them out.

The YES+ program (Youth empowerment seminar) has helped 1000s of youth to come out of suicidal tendencies. All this happens because we don’t see life from a bigger, broader perspective; A girl got 92 percent and committed suicide for she could not get admission in the college of her choice. Because you don’t give them spiritual education, a bigger vision and ask them to only perform and perform that the pressure of performing better, pressure of marks becomes bigger than life itself. Don’t pressurize children too much, we have to give them a broader vision. Never mind you lose one year. Life is more precious than your profession, your success, your so-called success, your finance, and your prestige in society. Finance is for life and not life for finance. These all are only periphery, accessories for life and not the core of life, existence. This vision has to be brought to children.

Wake up and see everybody is caught up in their own things. Whether your financial status goes up or down, whether your relation is going good or bad, who cares insociety? I tell you, nobody cares. Don’t worry about what others may think, what will my status in society be? If you are doing well they are jealous of you, if you are not doing well they don’t even count you. In either case, you don’t have to worry about others’ opinion about you, to show yourself up. And these inter cast marriages; parents are worried what others will think of their children. Who has got time to think to whom your son or daughter got married to?Whether it is in outcast or same, let it be, let it be outcast, you be more free, happy. (laughter and applause) These are silly, insignificant things that people have put in their minds and worry. Wake up and see, there is so much love in life, there is so much wisdom in life.
Q: What is crisis and how to handle anxiety?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Crisis is the mother of many inventions. A crisis makes us very creative. However the crisis should not go on too long, that is not good.
What can help anxiety is breathing techniques like pranayama which channelizes the life force energy in our body. We all float in a sea of prana (life-force energy). There is prana even in a stone.
Q: How can I free myself from fears that seem to have settled into me years ago? I know they are irrational and just in my head. Yet here they come up over and over again. They are distracting and feel binding to me!

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Meditate! Sit quietly and meditate, or listen to some chanting music. All this will help. Meditation, some pranayama, kriya, some excercises, ujjayi breath are very good for fears. Don’t think that fear is somewhere deep inside you. It is an erroneous notion of Psychology that fear and guilt are deep down. I tell you, deep down there is only a lot of joy; a lot of bliss. And in that centre – no fear, no guilt, no anger, no lust can touch you. Deep down you are wonderful. So never think you have all these anxieties. Those who say that there is something wrong deep down are blind. It is all there just on the surface. If they call that deep, then I will suggest to go deeper. In the centre of your being, you are a fountain of joy. Saying, “Oh! My Mind! Deep down there is anxiety!” is ignorance; a wrong idea and concept. The moment you accept these words as truth, it starts becoming more difficult to get over those emotions. They become more permanent there. Do you see that?
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