There are three ways to manage stress. One is to think opposite, second is to think different and the third is to think positive.

Thinking opposite was advocated by Patanjali, thinking differently by Adi Shankaracharya and thinking positive by Gautam Buddha. Out of three approaches, the Indian Vedic philosophy focuses on thinking differently. Thinking positive and thinking opposite may not be feasible at the time of any adversity.

Thinking differently has been emphasized in mythology at multiple places. The 10 heads of Ravana, five heads of Brahma, elephant head of Lord Ganesha, fish incarnation of Lord Vishnu and third eye of Lord Shiva remind us of the principle of thinking differently.

We can see or analyze a person or a situation with the eyes of our physical body (physical eye) or eyes of the mind (thinking and analyzing) and eyes of the soul (conscious-based decision).

Lord Buddha once said that a good action should be based on truth, should be necessary and bring happiness both for the person doing it and the society.

The 3H principle advocated in the West is also based on the same principle, which means before any action think from your Head and from the multiple options available, choose from the Heart and then order the Hands to do the job.

The first incarnation of Lord Vishnu, fish, indicates the capacity of swimming against the stream. The third eye of Lord Shiva symbolizes thinking from the mind and choosing the right answer from the heart. The 10 heads of Ravana and five heads of Brahma also denote thinking to get multiple options.

The example of thinking differently comes from the dialogue between Urvashi and Arjuna. Once Urvashi in a mind full of Kama went to Arjuna and said “If you are not going give me a son like you today, I am going to curse you”.

Arjuna was in a dilemma but he thought differently and said – “Why do you want to wait for 25 years to get a son like me from today I am your son, Mother.”(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are my own).

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