Frequently Asked Questions
We answered some of the most common questions that people have asked.
What is stress?
Stress is a response to a perceived threat. It is created when we are not attentive to what is going on in our lives, because our continuously chattering, and perpetually distracted mind, makes us unconscious of our actions. And so we tend to generate automatic responses from our conditioning (our established and memorized habits, behaviors, and attitudes) to life challenges. Our conditioning and programming are not flexible enough to meet our present-day challenges, so problems go unresolved, and we become anxious. It is this failure to adapt to situations that create worry and anxiety. We perceive them as threats to our well-being.
Threats can be external (physical—like a bee buzzing around your head) or internal (non-physical—like worry or concern). Not everyone perceives these threats in the same way, and so a “threat” to one person may not be a “threat” to another. Threats can be somethings that are unknown or uncertain. We love to be in control of situations, and as such, we hate the unknown… something that we cannot predict or control, and which takes us out of our comfort zone.
That’s why when we come across something unfamiliar or uncertain, where we don’t know the outcome (for example: sitting in traffic, disputes with a co-worker, meeting deadlines, or even a bee buzzing around our head), our anxiety level increases. This is because our mind equates this to a threat to its well-being, and our survival instincts kick in. Living in stress is like living in survival—you are always worried about what will happen to you… because you are just trying to survive.
And since there is nothing physical to fight, hide, or run away from, instead, we worry, we anticipate, and we rationalize the different scenarios. Then the voice in the head keeps perpetuating the worry, with what could have been, should have been, didn’t happen, and so on… making us anxious and fearful, tense, and afraid. If the worry is not checked, it becomes anxiety or stress. If the stress is not resolved, it starts to build up, and that’s when it begins to cause problems for us. Even a single stressful thought is damaging. We can trigger a stress response by just thinking about a stressful situation that happened in the past or that might occur in the future.
And so stress, in reality, is not real. It is “imaginary” in nature (produced by thought). However, the “effects” of stress are real.
How are people affected by stress?
Stress shifts our brain into survival mode and switches it to autopilot. Our instincts and conditioning then take over. As long as the voice in the head still exists, we are unconscious of our actions. This is because our responses tend to be automatic due to our conditioning. The state of mind that produces anxiety and stress also keeps us in the everyday survival mode of the “same old same old” living. We are literally under siege from our own thoughts.
And science tells us that over 95% of what we think, feel, say, and do is unconscious and automatic (created by our mind chatter or self-centric thinking). Almost 70% of our conditioning (or subconscious programming) is disempowering and limiting and undermines who we are. As a result, most of us go on autopilot and sleepwalk through the rest of our lives, never “waking” up unless something jars us awake.
Stress affects every area of our lives (work, family, relationships, etc.). It is the common denominator of a whole host of problems, such as:
- emotional problems (anxiety, tension, neuroses, insomnia, and depression),
- physical problems of the body (hypertension, asthma, heart attacks, muscle tension, and a compromised immune system),
- physical problems of the brain (degeneration of our prefrontal cortex, poor memory, brain fog, and lack of focus), and
- problems at the molecular level (accelerated shortening of our telomeres making us age faster).
How can “Calm Brain | Powerful Mind” help people overcome stress?
The book is about personal transformation. It is about how to calm our continuously chattering and perpetually distracted minds, which creates stress, and how to free ourselves from anxiety, fear, and loneliness (the key ingredients of stress). It is also about how to reverse the effect of stress on the brain, and in the process, trigger a transformation to a higher state of consciousness, one that will change our lives forever. In this new state, the brain will be calm, alert, resilient, creative, and stress-free.
Our well-being depends on how well we adjust to our ever-changing environment (meeting daily challenges of life). Our level of success is dependant on having a calm, clear, and alert mind. We run into problems when the voice of our reactive, conditioned thinking (which I call the voice in the head), tries to preempt the natural unfolding of life. Our failure to adapt results in the daily stresses and struggles that we experience. The triple heads of anxiety, fear, and loneliness, the key ingredients of stress, then become our default state of mind, gnawing at us throughout our lives.
Conventional wisdom says that there is no way out of stress. It is part of our lives, and we must deal with it—so most of us learn to cope with stress. I look at the problem differently. As long as we are not integrated and in harmony with ourselves and with our environment, and we still have the voice in our head, then we will be unconscious of our actions. This is because our established and memorized habits, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors will generate automatic and unconscious responses. So we learn to survive in this world the best way that we can.
The only solution to our problems is self-transformation, which is not an incremental change, but rather, a transformation of consciousness. I show that when we understand how our mind works, we can learn to quiet the voice in the head and bring about a dimensional shift in the way that we perceive the world, to meet life’s challenges head-on. This way of perceiving the world comes from a different state of mind, an expanded consciousness. This way of seeing, being, and living is not new. It is our “normal” or natural state-of-being. Under a stressful state-of-mind, we can get into this state “occasionally,” but we are unable to sustain it and drop back down to our unnatural, stressful way of living. This inability to get in touch with the normal state-of-being creates the conditions for stress to take hold in us, causing all our mental distress and suffering.
I demonstrate the existence of our normal state-of-being using insights from my experiences and brain science, psychology, and quantum physics. I show a way out of our quandary of daily, stressful living using the process of inner creativity (using whole-brain thinking). This process combines the proven principles of quantum physics with the meditation practices of the mystics and sages, to bring about a transformational shift in our awareness. With this shift in consciousness, our mind becomes calm and therefore alert. This higher state is our natural state-of-being—a state that is stress-free, fully alert, creative, and resilient. This way of perceiving finally brings an end to our suffering.
What was your purpose in writing this book?
Some years ago, I felt restless knowing there was more to life than the life of stress and struggle that I was living. I felt disconnected from myself. So began my journey of self-discovery. I wanted to understand why some people were resilient to the challenges that they faced, while others had such a hard time? How did the resilient individuals manage to recover from adversities so quickly? Was it something to do with their outlook on life? That’s how I became interested in understanding the nature of the mind and how our thoughts affect our perception of reality.
Most people suffer from anxiety, fear, loneliness, and unhappiness, which are the key ingredients of stress. Stress is self-created. It is the lack of focused attention coupled with a wandering mind, or what I call “mind chatter,” that creates stress and perpetuates the suffering (both emotional and psychological pain). This is because we are unconscious of our actions, and tend to respond automatically from our conditioning to the challenges of life.
I found that there are two ways to live in this world.
- Live in moments of anxiety, fear, loneliness, and unhappiness—where we are stressed, or
- Live in moments of happiness, clarity, and creativity—where there is no stress, and where the mind is calm and alert.
These states are the driving forces behind our every choice and action. Most of us are living in both these states, but only notice the misery—not the times that we are happy. We focus on the misery that we feel most of the time. We ask, “How can we make ourselves less miserable, less stressful?” because we assume there is no way out of this misery and suffering. This way of perceiving the world is the default state of mind for most people. We never ask, “How can I extend the experience of joy, happiness, and calm that I feel?” This is the state-of-mind where there is no stress. There is nothing mystical or mysterious about this state-of-being. We go in and out of this state throughout the day, but we are not aware of it. And even if we are aware of being in this happy state, many of us can’t seem to be able to sustain it.
Initially, I never have any intention of writing a book about overcoming stress. I was only interested in recording my thoughts, experiences, and insights. Then one day, a few years ago, I felt the need to write and share my experiences and insights for the benefit of others.
Can you explain your 3-step approach for permanently eliminating stress?
Inner creativity is a system of transformational change, one that enhances the functioning of the mind to create a whole, integrated brain. It helps us silence the voices in the head to transcend our normal ego-consciousness, the ultimate source of our stress.
The 3-Step Approach to Permanently Eliminate Stress brings together:
- Knowledge from the areas of stress, emotional intelligence, quantum physics, brain science, positive psychology (the study of human beings at their best), the wisdom of the mystics and sages, and the practices of mindfulness and meditation.
- Evidenced-based science.
- Tools and techniques.
- And insights from my personal experience.
It’s actually a progression through Three Levels of Awareness:
- Limited (Survival) Awareness of our ego-consciousness,
- Expanded Awareness, and
- Complete (Creative) Awareness (our natural state-of-being).
At the Limited Awareness Level, we get in touch with our minds to build the initial foundation of awareness. This is the start of the inner journey of creativity. Its key components are to:
- See things through the innocence of a beginner’s mind,
- Learn to sit in silence,
- Develop focus by observing the movement of our breath,
- And learn how to relax the mind.
At the Expanded Awareness Level, we rehabilitate the right brain by bridging the gap between the rational (left) and the intuitive (right) minds. We do this by breaking routines to become more creative, learning to observe, and building skills of emotional intelligence [self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, empathy, and motivation].
At the Complete Awareness Level, we integrate the whole brain through the practice of meditation and mindfulness. These practices undo our old personality, thicken our brain’s prefrontal cortex, shrink the amygdala, and dissolve the hold of the ego. Calm, peace, and happiness are now the norm. Stress is a distant memory.
Why are people lonely?
Loneliness… that feeling of emptiness and longing, is not the failure to connect with others, as many believe. Instead, it is the failure to connect with our selves. The low-level anxiety, tension, and feeling of longing that we experience is the result of feeling out of sync with our true selves. Deep inside us, at our core, we know we are more than the life that we are leading. It is the superficiality of our lives that is causing discontentment. It is as if we are just skimming through life to get to its end. However, when the end nears, we fear it, doing everything possible to delay the inevitable.
The problem is that our conditioning (pre-programming) acts like a wall that prevents us from accessing and knowing who we truly are. This barrier is the cause of the underlying anxiety that we carry around with us. It is the feeling of unease, of something that is missing in our lives. Anxiety, the space between who we think we are and who we actually are, is the foundation on which stress and suffering are built. This gap continues to widen as our conditioning or our ego takes hold.
This underlying anxiety increases, as we get more and more entrenched in our conditioned behavior. As a result, the voice in the head gets louder and more insistent. However, we don’t notice this voice as much because it is masked by our daily flurry of activities. When we are not busy, we tend to drown out the voices with social media or entertainment and are barely aware of its presence. And when we find ourselves with nothing to do, we do anything possible to avoid being alone with our thoughts, even to the point of inflicting pain on ourselves.
We look outside of us for causes of loneliness (i.e., living alone, a self-absorbed society, poorly planned urban spaces, or a lack of material goods). Many people also wrongly assume that loneliness comes with old age. In reality, we have always been lonely (irrespective of age or the type of work that we do), but we have kept our loneliness hidden by our “busyness.” As we age, we slow down and have difficulty being busy all the time—that is when most of us come face-to-face with our loneliness.
How is this book different from most books on stress relief?
This book is different on many levels. It is not only about stress, but also about the science behind it, and the personal transformation to permanently overcome it.
I start with the simple idea of stress (mental suffering) because most of us suffer from anxiety, so we are familiar with it and can relate to it. It is during times of chronic or sometimes even acute stress that many of us feel the need to search for answers to the meaning of life. I use stress as a stepping-stone or catalyst to foster the transformation of consciousness. Stress provides us with an opportunity to transform our lives. I teach the process of “stress elimination,” rather than stress management, to bring about a shift in the way we live. I talk about resilience rather than life-balance. I found that there is no such thing as balancing the different aspects of life (work-life balance). We have to become resilient so that we can deal with, or quickly bounce back from whatever comes our way… and continuously adjust to life’s challenges.
I also demystify the process of “personal transformation” using evidence-based science. I show the science that underlies the stress condition, and I discuss the similarities between quantum physics and ancient spiritual wisdom and insights. I also talk about the science and benefits of meditation, and the mechanics underlying the structural and functional changes in the brain that result from stress.
Finally, I describe how the process of self-transformation comes about, using what I call “whole-brain technology.” This is a process that combines evidenced-based science and ancient meditation practices, to calm our continuously chattering and perpetually distracted, stress-induced mind. This frees us from anxiety, fear, and loneliness (the key ingredients of stress). This technology also reverses the physical effects of stress on our brain, and in the process, triggers an internal transformation of consciousness that changes our lives for good. Our brain then becomes calm, alert, resilient, creative, and stress-free.
Please feel free to ask additional questions.