Stress develops when we are attached to a particular outcome and are worried that things may not turn out as we desire. If we surrender to God and think whatever He does is for our welfare, this attitude of surrender will help us get rid of stress. A surrendered soul says:
राज़ी हैं उसी मैं जिसमें तेरी रज़ा है।
यूँ भी वाह वाह है त्यों भी वाह वाह है ।।
“I am happy in Your happiness. Whatever situation You put me in, I will blissfully accept it.” Thus, stress is a symptom of lack of our submission to the Will of God. When we experience stress, the best medicine to cure it is to increase our level of surrender.
Now, what is the problem in increasing the level of surrender? Worldly attachments! We keep on pondering, “This should happen this way; that should happen that way.” That is the main hurdle to complete surrender. For achieving that goal, we need to increase our detachment from the world.
Before God-realization, there will always be some amount of tension within everyone, because the extent of surrender will not be one-hundred percent. However, by giving us tension, God signals to us that something is wrong and we need to correct it by surrendering further to Him. This is just as when we put our hand in the fire, we feel pain. What would happen if we did not feel the pain? Our hand would burn without our knowing it. The feeling of pain is, in fact a form of Grace. It is a signal that something is wrong, and that must take the hand out. Similarly, stress is a signal that we need to increase our surrender and devotion to God.
A spiritual doctor will prescribe you the medicine of submitting to God for getting rid of stress, whereas a material doctor will give you all kinds of medicinal drugs. However, such drugs will not help eradicate the root cause of stress. By increasing the level of surrender, the source of stress will itself be eradicated.
The scripture tells us that the key to becoming stress free is to learn the art of detachment while working.
The Bhagavad Gita gave us the wonderful philosophy of avoiding stress more than 5000 years ago. Lord Krishna said to Arjun:
कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन।
मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भुर्मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्मणि ।।
(Bhagavad Gita 2.47)
You have a right to perform your prescribed duties, but you are not entitled to the fruits of your actions. Never consider yourself to be the cause of the results of your activities, nor be attached to inaction.
Consider an example — An accomplished school teacher had 40 students in her class. Her work was exemplary, and she had been recognized by the state for being a good teacher. Though she could manage 40 students in the school without any stress, she experienced tremendous agitation and anxiety while attending to her two kids at home. One may wonder why that is. Her anxiety at home was due to her attachment to the outcome of her own children.
If we can learn to detach ourselves from the results, our mind will become free and with that free mind, we will be able to put in our best efforts. Our endeavors and efforts are ultimately all that is in our hands, not the results.
Always remember—the efforts are in your hands but leave the results in the hands of God.