Anupkumar Shetty, MD, a Nephrologist, Author of Hinduism Simplified and an upcoming book on Surviving Cancer.
Namaste (I bow to the divine in you). I am a survivor of cancer of the rectum which is the terminal part of the large intestine, also called colon. At the time of diagnosis in 2004, I was 41yrs old and had a young wife and 2 little children who needed me. I am hoping that my story will resonate with many of you for good different reasons and help heal and deal with cancer better. If you are a caregiver, I hope that this writing will help you help a family member or a friend dealing with cancer. My story is also one about problem solving, and hence is relevant to all the problem solvers in the world, which includes all of us. One of the first things I realized was that I owed myself and my family the best effort to get the best available care in this whole world. I also felt that the best effort had to come together the first time ever. I was fortunate and was grateful to be in a place where the best treatment was accessible to me. I felt blessed that the US has some of the finest cancer centers in the world and I had health insurance and other resources to afford the care that was necessary even though I grew up with very limited resources. I felt grateful that I had an amazing and diverse group of family and friends who played important role in my recovery. I felt grateful that I learnt about the ‘infinity’ within me that gave me infinite strength to heal me.
I owe that success to the following factors:
1. I got the best medical care available in the world, the very first time : One of the first things I realized was that I owed myself and my family the best effort to get the best available care in this whole earth. I was fortunate to get that best care between the doctors in Dallas and at MD Anderson Cancer center (MDACC), Houston.
2. Playing with the best team as though it was the last game of my ‘world cup finals’. My winning team consisted of doctors (Dr Maryada Reddy, a close friend and Oncologist; Dr John Cox, my treating Oncologist in Dallas; Dr M Ajani, my Oncologist at MD Anderson who recommended the best chemotherapy regimen that was conventional at the time; Dr Armond Schwartz, a gifted gastroenterologist in Dallas; Dr Narinder Monga, the best colorectal surgeon in Dallas; Dr John Skibber from MDACC, one of the best surgeons in the world for colo-rectal cancer with passion for anal sphincter preservation; Dr Slomovich, Radiation Oncologist at Methodist Dallas; Anesthesiologists at MDACC who made my surgery painless and minimized pain during my recovery, Dr Imran Afridi, one of the best Cardiologists in Dallas, nurses, other health care providers, Methodist Dallas Medical Center and M D Anderson Cancer Center, my wife (Mala), my children (Eesha and Krishna), my parents, my brothers (Kishore and Ashok), my sisters (Asha and Shakku), my parents in law, my sisters in law, brothers in law, my friends (Raju, Srinivas, Sumit and many others), my religious guides (Swami Sarveshananda and Raju), my mentor (Late Dr D G Oreopoulos), my colleagues at Dallas Nephrology Associates (Dr Ruben Velex, Dr Late Karl Brinker, Dr Late Freda Levy and many others), my circle of close friends Sudipta/Seema, Dhruv/Savita, Kalvala Rao/Geeta, Vivek/Manjusha, Raj/Vijji, Vinay/Kanan, Anita/Ganesh, Sujata/Ramki, Gopal, Anand, Sangita and Ram, Mahesh and Sandhya, Gunapal, Sudha, Purnima, Raymon, Dev Malladi, Uncle Krishnamurthy Malladi and many others have helped me in unique and special ways, thanks to all of them. Nemiraj Rai, my good friend who introduced me to Dr Ajani was an important member of the team. All the nurses, social workers, patient care technicians, physical therapists, respiratory therapists, dieticians and other health providers at MDACC and Methodist Dallas Medical Center had important role in my recovery; the Radiologists and Pathologists at both MDACC and MDMC had important contributions to my recovery. In cricket, in addition to the 11 players who play, there are back up players, coach, assistant coaches, physiotherapists, nutrition experts, team doctors, statisticians and many others. All of them have their own unique roles in the team success. Similarly I had many members in my special team and they all responded at the right time.
3. ‘Infinity’ in me. You can call it God. My immense faith in the Hindu mahavaakhya, ‘Tat Tvam Asi’ which means ‘That Thou Art’ or ‘you are that (divine reality)’ empowered, energized and healed me.
4. Good rest, yoga, meditation, prayers, some potion of Homeopathic medicines, healthy and predominantly vegetarian diet, healthy water (no sodas), healthy air (no smoking) and loving family and friends.
5. Blessings, prayers and love from my parents, teachers, family, friends and my patients.
6. Good luck!
AWARD WINNING FERTILITY
As a fertility specialist, Dr. Dorette Noorhasan has unique empathy, kindness and compassion for her patients. Having stood in the shoes of both a fertility doctor and fertility patient, she understands the complex emotional and physical journeys of families who are struggling with infertility. Dr. Noorhasan and her husband met later on in their reproductive lives and had difficulty conceiving a child. Eventually, they sought help from a fertility clinic, and they ended up completing five cycles of in vitro fertilization (IVF). After numerous failed attempts, they finally were successful in creating an embryo, which was then transferred to a surrogate who successfully carried and delivered their son. “It’s because of my surrogate’s kindness, that I am a mother today,” remarks Dr. Noorhasan. Her experience with infertility, has shaped her approach as a doctor to ensure that her patients feel supported through every step of their fertility journey.
After receiving her undergraduate degree summa cum laude from University of the Virgin Islands, Dr. Noorhasan attended medical school at Boston University School of Medicine, during which she participated in medical missions to Guatemala and Mexico. She completed her residency in obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of Texas, Houston.
“Taking care of women and children has always been a passion of mine. It was during my obstetrics and gynecology residency that I rotated through the department of reproductive endocrinology and infertility and I absolutely fell in love with that field of medicine,” said Dr. Noorhasan. “It is such a rewarding experience to help someone conceive and have a child when they’ve been struggling with infertility. When a patient sees their baby on the ultrasound for the first time and they hear the heartbeat, I experience those tears of joy and happiness with them.”
Dr. Noorhasan completed her fellowship in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at New Jersey Medical School.
A LEADER IN FERTILITY CARE & RESEARCH
Today, Dr. Noorhasan is a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist and is the medical director and co-founder of CCRM Fertility Dallas – Fort Worth. CCRM Fertility Dallas - Fort Worth is part of the CCRM Fertility Network that proudly serves 11 major metropolitan areas across North America. CCRM Fertility is one of the industry’s leading pioneers in fertility science, research and advancement, offering access to a national network of award-winning physicians, a full suite of fertility services, innovative technology and cutting-edge labs. Not all fertility labs are equal in terms of the quality of the environment and measures taken to ensure the maximal chances of creating and growing embryos. It is the quality of CCRM Network labs and research facility that continuously produces high success rates. More than 50,000 babies have been born through fertility treatments at CCRM.
CCRM Dallas-Fort Worth patients benefit from the resources of the CCRM network and standardized lab processes with exceptional success rates while at the same time receiving personalized care from a local, empathetic and award-winning physician.
Dr. Noorhasan consistently receives honors and awards acknowledging her achievements. She has been recognized as a Top Doctor in Texas Monthly, A Castle Connolly Top Doctors in 2018 and 2019 and Mom Approved Doctors for DFW Child in 2015 and 2019.
“The biggest advice that I would give to patients just starting out on their fertility journey is to have hope”, Dr. Noorhasan shared, “it may take months, sometimes even years, but parenthood is a real possibility. The path to parenthood may not be how we had always dreamt it should be, but having a child and being able to give love to a child is one of the greatest gifts”.
COLORECTAL CANCER CAB BE SAVED
Colon cancer (commonly referred to as colorectal cancer) is preventable and highly curable if detected in early stages. The colon is the first 4 to 5 feet of the large intestine. Colorectal cancer tumors grow in the colon's inner lining.
Facts and Stats
- In 2017, nearly $36,000 new cases of colorectal cancer were expected to be diagnosed in the U.S.
- About 1 in 20 (5%) Americans will develop colorectal cancer during their lifetime.
- Colorectal polyps (benign abnormal growths) affect about 20% to 30% of American adults.
The exact cause of colorectal cancer is unknown the following factors can increase one's risk of colorectal cancer.
- Age: More than 90% of people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer after age 50.
- Family history of colorectal cancer (especially parents or siblings).
- Personal history of Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis for eight years or longer.
- Colorectal polyps.
- Personal history of breast, uterine or ovarian cancer.
Colorectal cancer is preventable. Nearly all cases of colorectal cancer develop from polyps. They start in the inner lining of the colon and most often affect the left side of the colon. Detection and removal of polyps through colonoscopy reduces the risk of colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer screenirig recommendations are based on medical and family history. Screening typically starts at age 50 in patients with average risk. Those at higher risk are usually advised to receive their first screening at a younger age. While it is not definitive, there is some evidence that diet may play a significant role in preventing colorectal cancer. A diet high in fiber (whole grains, fruits, vegetables and nuts) and low in fat is the only dietary measure that may help prevent colorectal cancer.
Colorectal Cancer Symptoms
Colorectal cancer often causes no symptoms and is detected during routine screenings. Screening and Surveillance for Colorectal Cancer Colorectal cancer symptoms include:
- A change in bowel habits (e.g. constipation or diarrhea).
- Narrow shaped stools.
- Bright red or very dark blood in the stool.
- Ongoing pelvic or lower abdominal pain (e.g., gas, bloating or pain).
- Unexplained weight loss.
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Feeling tired all the time
Abdominal pain and weight loss are typically late symptoms, indicating possible extensive disease. Anyone who experiences any of the above symptoms should see a physician as soon as possible. Colon or rectal cancer, (commonly referred to as colorectal cancer), affects the colon (large intestine) or rectum (bottom 6 inches of the colon). Colo rectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer, excluding skin cancers.
Why Should People Be Screened?
Colorectal cancer rarely causes symptoms in its early stages. It usually starts out as a benign colorectal polyp. These polyps are commonly found during standard screening exams of the colon and rectum. While the majority of polyps will not become cancer, certain types hiay be precancerous. Having polyps removed reduces a person's future risk of colorectal cancer.
Fecal occult blood testing and flexible sigmoidoscopy are often used together to screen for colorectal cancer. However, colonoscopy is considered the “gold standard” screening test and is the preferred method unless medical problems prevent it.
Fecal occult blood testing A simple test that detects invisible amounts of blood in multiple stool samples. If blood is found it may be a sign of a colorectal polyp or cancer. If the test positive, a colonoscopy is needed.
Examination of the entire colon with a long, thin flexible tube with a camera and a light on the end (colonoscope). This allows physicians to see not only the entire colon but also to remove polyps at thev same time.
Examination of the rectum and lower colon with a flexible lighted instrument if an abnormality is found, a colonoscopy is needed.
Air-contrast Barium Enema
During this X-ray test, the colon is filled with air and contrast (dye) to make the lining visible. It is used primarily if a complete colonoscopy cannot be done.
This test uses computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to create a 3-D picture of the inside lining of the colon and rectum. If abnormalities are found. a colonoscopy is needed. It is also useful when a colonoscopy in incomplete. However, most insurance plans and Medicare may not cover this procedure.
As part of a colorectal cancer screening program, colonoscopy is routinely recommended for adults starting at age 50. Having a colonoscopy every 10 years is standard practice. Flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years with annual stool occult blood testing is an acceptable option when colonoscopy cannot be done.
- People with a close relative (parent or sibling) with colorectal cancer or polyps should start screening at age 40 or 10 years before the youngest age at which a relative was diagnosed. These screenings should be done every five years, even if the
test was normal.
- Less common types of inherited colon cancer (e.g., hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer and familial adenomatous polyposis) may require far more frequent screening, starting at a much younger age.
PODIATRY SPECIALISTS HELPING TO PUT YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD
Dr. Rahul Bhatt & Dr. Jarna Rathod-Bhatt are foot, ankle and heel pain specialists located in Arlington, TX 76015 Dr. Bhatt specializes in non-surgical and surgical treatment of the foot and ankle. He is certied by the American Board of Podiatric Medicine and the Council for Medical Education and Testing in wound care. He is qualied in forefoot and rearfoot surgery by the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. Dr Jarna’s training was focused on all aspects of podiatric medicine and surgery with particular emphasis on lower extremity trauma, elective foot and ankle reconstruction, and wound care. She is certied by the American Board of Podiatric Medicine and qualied in forefoot and rearfoot surgery by the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. The doctors are on staff at Medical City Arlington, Medical City Las Colinas and Baylor Scott & White - Irving.
So how did you two meet and come to work in Texas?
We met as students in medical school in New York. Afterwards, we started our residency training at the Norwell Forest Hills Hospital in Flushing, NY, and we got married at the start of our second year. During our fellowship training, an opportunity for private practive opened up in Arlington, TX. As we both had a desire to live in the south, we decided that this would be a great opportunity to be able to work together as well. We currently have offices in Arlinton and Irving.
Do you speak any other languages besides English"
Bhatt: I also speal Hindi, and am partially partially fluent in Spanish.
Rathod: I speak Gujarati, Hindi, Swahili, and am also partially fluent in Spanish.
What is a podiatrist?
A podiatrist has earned a 4 year specialized medical degree as a “Doctor of Podiatric Medicine”. The Doctor of Podiatric Medicine is one of four medical disciplines (DO, MD, DPM and DVM) that can prescribe medications, practice medicine and perform surgery of the foot and ankle. The conditions we treat include but are not limited to: ingrown nails, nail fungus, ulcers, warts, heel pain, arch pain, ankle pain, foot and ankle fractures. Essentially, if it’s an injury, infections, abnormality, or condition involving your feet or ankle, a podiatrist is generally the person you should see. Podiatrists are also involved with diabetic patients, as they will work with a diabetes management team to deal with serious foot issues like diabetic neuropathy.
Is foot pain normal?
No pain is normal, but it’s not surprising how many people experience it considering the types of shoes we wear. The feet are often neglected. They are the last things we take care of, but our feet determine whether we’re going to get knee pain, ankle pain, or back pain. They are the foundation of our health. Literally. They are what get us moving. Injury, overuse, or conditions causing inflammation involving any of the bones, ligaments or tendons in the foot can cause foot pain. Arthritis and tendinits are common causes of foot pain. Injury to the nerves of the feet may result in intense burning pain, numbness or tingling (peripheral neuropathy).
Why do I have pain in the arches of the feet?
Probably the most common cause of heel pain or arch pain is in the form of ‘plantar fasciitis’. This is especially common in active individuals. Other causes may include stress fractures, tendonitis, and ligament sprains.
What is a bunion? How do I avoid bunion surgery?
A bunion (also referred to as hallux valgus) is often described as a bump on the side of the big toe. But a bunion is more than that. The visible bump actually reflects changes in the bony framework of the front part of the foot. The big toe leans toward the second toe, rather than pointing straight ahead. This throws the bones out of alignment and can contibute to pain and difficulty fitting into shoes. Early identification and treatment with shoe modifications, specialized shoe inserts (orthotics), anti-inflammatory medications, padding, and injections can often can often avoid the need for surgery.
Why do people with diabetes need to see a podiatrist?
Most patients with diabetes will benefit by a routine examination every 6 months. Diabetes can cause neuropathy or vascular changes to the feet that can cause secondary problems that could lead to hospitalizations and even worse, amputations.
Is it more expensive to be treated by a podiatrist?
It is no more expensive than seeing any other specialist. The patient is responsible for his/her co-pay at the time of visit.
What tips should I follow when shopping for shoes?
We strongly encourage individuals to wear the appropriate shoes for each occasion. For example, one should wear sneakers, instead of sandals, while playing sports. Patient's with foot deformities, such as hammertoes and bunions, should wear shoes that are wider, with a high toe box, in the forefoot region. This prevents irritation against prominent areas and can prevent undue strain at bone prominences, and minimize overall pain. This holds true in diabetic individuals, especially those with neuropathy. Such simple preventive measures can minimize the risk of infections, gangrene, and amputation.
Say NO to Opioids and Avoid Surgeries.
As a highly renowned pain management specialist, Dr. Vivek Mehta offers world class minimally invasive treatments. Many patients suffer chronic pain and are looking for healthier ways to address these problems and decrease reliance on pain medication. It's a well-known fact that addiction to pain medication is a problem all over the world. If pain goes untreated, then depression, anxiety, sleep loss, strained family relationships and poor work performance can be the result.
As CEO and Medical Director of the Global Institute of Spine and Joint Care in Arlington, TX., Dr. Mehta has more than 30 years of experience as a physician and pain management specialist. His ultimate goal is to improve patients' functionality and enable a return to work, school and full participation in day-to-day activities.
An Esteemed Medical Background
Answering Toppick's questions, Dr. Mehta said that he decided in the fourth grade that he wanted to be a doctor. He attended the Armed Forces Medical College in Pune, Maharashtra, then served in the Indian Army Special Ops, the NSG, which performs anti-high jacking and anti-terrorist operations. He lived in the Middle East for several years and moved to the United States, starting his career at UCLA and USC. That was followed by a fellowship in endocrinology and residency training. He joined the University of Miami as a faculty member then progressed to lead the department for many years. Dr. Mehta is Board-Certified in Anesthesiology and started the Global Institute of Spine & Joint Care in 2011.
In addition to Dr. Mehta's extensive medical experience around the world, he is fluent in Hindi, English, Urdu, Punjabi, Arabic and Spanish. Dr. Mehta's multi-lingual abilities immediately put his patients at ease when they visit him. The Global Institute of Spine and Joint Care has expanded widely and has patients from the D/FW Metroplex, all over Texas, as well as internationally. Dr. Mehta has successfully treated numerous elite professionals with non-surgical techniques. He is trained in minimally invasive spinal techniques, reducing damage to surrounding tissues and speeding up patients' recovery.
How is Pain Best Managed?
Although pain is the most common reason to consult a physician, pain is often poorly treated. Chronic pain can affect every aspect of a patient's daily activity and prevent them from enjoying life. The stress of pain affects how people interact with their family and friends. According to Dr. Mehta, “Pain management as a specialty is a very interesting branch of medicine. Typically, pain is a symptom of a disease. For example, if you are having chest or abdominal pain, you may be having a heart attack or appendicitis. You take care of the underlying condition and the pain is gone. Because pain is the main problem the patient is having, pain management can play a vital role,” says Dr. Mehta. “We take care of pain in a multi-modal manner & pain medication is the smallest part. We do mostly interventional pain management, where we offer various minimally invasive surgical modalities for patients.” Other treatments include psychiatry, physical therapy, and occupational therapy to help patients return to their daily routine.
Tulsi Desai is a license physical therapist who specializes in pelvic floor and women’s health. She graduated from Loma Linda University, CA. She has worked in different health setting in Michigan, New York and now in Dallas, TX.
Tulsi has over 10 years of experience as a physical therapist treating variety of orthopedic conditions as well as women’s health/pelvic floor problems. While working in New York City, she worked with some of the leading orthopedic surgeons and women’s health specialist physicians at NYU, the Hospital for special surgery and private practice physicians giving her unique opportunities to learn advanced evaluation and treatment techniques. She has attended various courses and conferences including NYU Dance Injury Rehabilitation Program and NYU Running Injury Symposium.
Tulsi is the owner of Active Body Active Life (Physical Therapy & Wellness) clinic located in Coppell, TX. It is a specialty clinic that offers women’s health and pelvic floor rehabilitation.
Pelvic floor physical therapy is a specialty where a physical therapist is trained specifically to treat conditions related to pregnancy(back pain, sciatica, joint separation), postpartum (scar healing, tearing, back pain, tailbone pain, urine leak, organ prolapse), and age-related pelvic floor problems (organ prolapse, urinary leak with coughing, laughing sneezing, different problems during menopause). Pelvic floor physical therapy can help with acute or chronic back pain, sciatica, joint alignment and instability problems, post-pregnancy scar healing (c-section, episiotomy), organ prolapse as well as pelvic pain. It can help with endometriosis, pain with sex, urinary/bladder problems (incontinence/leakage, frequency, urgency, hesitancy) and constipation. Above are just some examples of conditions that can be treated with pelvic floor physical therapy and it’s just the tip of an iceberg. To learn more please visit her website www.activebodyactivelife.com and facebook page @activebodyactivelife. Tulsi loves to educate all her patients and empower them with the right knowledge about their own health, exercise, posture, and fitness so that they are well equipped to make right choices at home and at work even when she is not around. Her patients really appreciate her passion for women’s health, honest opinion, and the fact that she spends a lot of time listening to what they have to say and what they have gone through rather than rush them out. All her appointments are oneon-one every single visit for one hour.
She does a lot of workshops at local libraries, yoga studios, fitness studios, to local mom’s group and women business owner groups to educate women on their health and treatment options so that they are well informed when they have to make health decisions. If anyone reading this article would like her to come to your organization or mom’s groups to educate your employees and members on pelvic health/women’s health, please feel free to reach her directly. If anyone is interested in attending one of the free workshops, please visit her facebook page @activebodyactivelife and “LIKE” the page to get updates on upcoming events as well as get updates on latest health related articles/information.
Due to lack of awareness on pelvic health and available treatment options even among medical providers, a lot of times patients suffer through pain, incontinence, prolapse and various other problems for years feeling frustrated and helpless. So many times, patients find Tulsi directly for their chronic back pain, sciatica and/or other pelvic floor problems that never got better with medication & other traditional treatments (general physical therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture etc) because no one is addressing the dysfunction/problem inside the pelvis. On an average, a woman spends 6-8 years of trying different doctors and spending a lot of money on different investigations with little to no help before she learns about pelvic floor rehabilitation. Pelvic floor problems can happen to anyone even if they are not related to pregnancy. If you are suspecting that you may have some pelvic floor problems then it is very important to have an evaluation done by a pelvic floor physical therapist in order to determine root cause of the problem. You can call/text us at (214)210- 0715 or email @email@example.com and let us know what you are looking for, we would love to help you and guide you in the right direction.
Ideally, every woman should get pelvic floor evaluation after each pregnancy in order to get optimal care and healing they deserve. Prevention is better than cure. We have an opioid epidemic going on in United States. So many people are afraid of getting addicted to strong medicines. Physical therapy can hugely help to avoid opioid use/addiction and help people achieve recovery that will last for long time. A lot of people are looking for quick fix for their health problems, but they need to realize that a lot of times it took months/years of small traumas before the body started hurting. Popping a pill is not going to give long lasting results. If you want along term results then you will have to invest in your health and go for a few physical therapy sessions to learn how to use your body correctly and how to heal properly for a healthy life ahead.
One size fits all doesn’t work when it comes to our health. At Active Body Active Life (Physical Therapy & Wellness) clinic we create individualized treatment plans that include full body rehabilitation to optimize overall function. We are eager to help those who are looking for quality care to achieve long-term results, and not a short cut for temporary solution.
In her personal time, Tulsi enjoys spending time with her family.
She adores her 5 year old son who loves to laugh all the time.
Working at Active Body Active Life helps her create a work-life
balance that lets her spend quality time with her family while she
is still able to provide the best quality one on one care to her
In this article we will explore more about mental stress. How we can distinguish between a good stress and a bad stress. Importantly, how we can reduce it or control it?
Mental stress is a simply a force or a pressure on our brain. There are two types of it, good stress and bad stress. Time and situation are the key players to differentiate good stress from the bad one. For example, just like holding a glass of water for few moments would cause no pain in our arm while holding the same glass of water for few hours would make our arm hurt. In the same way, good stress is our mind's natural ability to ght or ight in an ideal stressful situation and at an appropriate period of time while bad stress is the constant pressure on our mind at an inappropriate time and without the presence of an ideal stressful situation.
Good stress is essential for all living beings to sustain their lives. While bad stress is something that takes away the joy, beauty and ecstasy of life while we are alive.
Good stress is the tension created by our mind while we are actively handling any physical or mental task. For example, imagine yourself at the airport, short of time and trying to gure out what would be the fastest way to reach your gate. Or imagine you just hear that your tea is boiling over in the kitchen from your living room. Or imagine an impala running very fast to save his life from a tiger that is few feet behind him. In above cases, all three individuals would go through a very high stress levels but the stress here is actually a good stress because there is a presence of an ideal stressful situation and above individuals would go through stressful situations for an appropriate period of time. Once the situation is under control or over the good stress would elevate by itself and leaves us relaxed and free minded. Even through the outcome is not desirable at all;the good stress wouldelevate by itself and leave us free minded after the situation is over.
Another good example of good stress is a cricket match or a football match. Players are under consistence stress during the match but as match is over both winning and losing sides appeared to be relaxed and mentally out of that intense stressful situation. This is the reason we love to watch sports. We as an audience also feel the effects of good stress on our bodies and minds and then the relaxing effects of light-mindedness after the match is over
Good stress is very important for us. It keeps us motivated, energetic, fights depression and most importantly it keeps us alive.
Bad stress on the other hand is simply a habit of mind to keep holding high stress levels at an inappropriate timeand without any existence of an ideal stressful situation. For example, its 11 o clock at night you are laying in your bed to get some good sleep but your mind is creating scenarios in your head,one after another and then looking for solutions to those scenarios, the process seems to be never ending. Or you had a bad argument at work or at home few days ago but your mind is still holding that tense situation in your thoughts. This chain of thoughts often becomes very long and becomes very heavy. For some, few drinks of alcohol or drugs are the only weapons left to break that long heavy chain of thoughts and to freed up the mind and make the mindfeel little lighter and relaxed.
Bad stress is not adisease infect it's a habit of mind. We have to break this habit by developing a new good habit that would eventually replaces the old self-developed bad one. Here is one good practice that can be very helpful if practiced in the right way with dedication. The rule is that whenever you see anything of white color, immediately check what's going on in your mind. Is my mind is engaged in any thought or thinking? If yes, then at the same moment and same spot, drop all the thoughts from your mind, no matter how urgent or important they are.
Now, you just achieved the thought-free or blissful state of mind. Now, shift your focus from that white object towards your breathing and very importantly remind yourself while inhaling and exhaling, “ Breath is THE most precious thing I have “. Truly, every single breath is the most precious thing we have. The moment it stops your family is no longer yours, your wealth is no longer your and even your body is no longer your. Not a billion dollar can purchase us a single breath.
Initial goal is to hold this free state of mind for few moments. Once your brain is cooled down with the multiple hits of oxygen then go back to what you were doing. Repeat this again; as you see another object of white color, it could be indoors or outdoors, near or at distance. Do it until it becomes a habit. Remember, for beginners the goal is few moments. People who excel deep into this practice can easily achieve pure Samadhi.
Many people agree that their mind keeps wandering all the time and sadly they justify this bad habit of mind by believing that consistently working mind would lower their chances of failing in life thus its okay for mind to stay busy at all the times. Or they would claim that stress is just a part of the western world and we are all going through it. Sadly, above are all the misconceptions regarding bad stress and are not true.
If you feel that you are under bad stress
on and off or consistently then I would
encourage you to start practice right
away. These small thought free gaps
will eventually becomes wider and
eventually replaces the old selfdeveloped
wandering habit of mind.
In the beginning you will notice that
your sleep patterns becomes longer and
intense, which is normal and let it
happen. If practiced with dedication and
as a priority, you will start to feel lightmindedness
from day one and start to
experience the blissfulness of life right away.