Thought for the Day

Saturday 18 May

Mental tensions, frustrations, insecurity, aimlessness are among the most damaging stressors, and psychosomatic studies have shown how often they cause migraine headache, peptic ulcers, heart attacks, hypertension, mental disease, suicide, or just hopeless unhappiness.

— Hans Selye

Eknath Easwaran's Commentary

A great deal of psychological stress comes from the rush and hurry of a turbulent mind, which jumps recklessly to unwarranted conclusions, rushes to judgments, and often is going too fast to see events and people as they truly are. Such a mind keeps the body under continual tension. It is constantly on the move – desiring, worrying, hoping, fearing, planning, defending, rehearsing, criticizing. It cannot stop or rest except in deep sleep, when the whole body, particularly the nervous system, heaves a sigh of relief and tries to repair the damage of the day.

Simply by slowing down the mind – the first purpose of meditation – much of this tension can be removed. Then we are free to respond to life’s difficulties not as sources of stress but as challenges, which will draw out of us deeper resources than we ever suspected we had. A one-pointed mind is slow and sound, which gives it immense resilience under stress. With a mind like this, we always have a choice in how we respond to life around us.

The Thought for the Day is today's entry from Eknath Easwaran's Words to Live By.