“I am stressed!” is becoming a very common dialogue in all our lives. A survey conducted by Cigna TTK Health Insurance reveals that about 89% of the population in India say they are suffering from stress, compared to the global average of 86%.  What causes stress varies from person to person, but most common stressors are as follows :
- Working on disliked job
- Having a heavy workload or too much responsibility
- Working long hours
- Being insecure about chance for advancement or risk of termination
- The death of a loved one
- Loss of a job
- Increase in financial obligations
- Chronic illness or injury
- Traumatic event
General solutions or tips given for being stress-free are 1) Follow a routine, 2) Wake up early, 3) Write tasks, 4) Accept and face your challenges, 5) Relax, 6) Talk to people, 7) Do positive self-talk, 8) Meditate on breadth etc. But if it’d been so easy to become stress-free just by applying these techniques, Government of India will not require budget of Rs 94,073 crore to implement the Mental Healthcare Act for making people stress-free. 
Permanent solution to the serious mental problems like stress, depression, anxiety, fear etc cannot be brought about by some physical gymnastics or mental tricks. They need to be dealt by higher self, who is ultimate controller of body, mind and intelligence.
Who is that higher self? What is the process of solving this mental problems by higher self? Will that process solve the problem permanently? Answers to these questions can be found in most sacred conversation that happened between Arjuna and Sri Krishna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, more than 5000 years ago.
Situation of today’s world and future world is described in Srimad Bhagavatam Purana 12.3.30 as:
“When there is a predominance of cheating, lying, sloth, sleepiness, violence, depression, lamentation, bewilderment, fear and poverty, that age is Kali, the age of the mode of ignorance.” Knowing this situation of future generations, Sri Krishna made his own liberated servant, Arjuna, an instrument to give guidance for saving people from such miserable conditions. Faced with the prospect of having to fight against his relatives, teachers, and friends, Arjuna was briefly overcome by stress and wanted to run away to the forest, neglecting his duty as a warrior. At that point he realizes that no material solution will bring him relief. And he turns to the Lord Sri Krishna for shelter.
To help Arjuna out of his stress and back to spiritual consciousness, Sri Krishna then speaks the timeless wisdom of the Bhagavad-gita. Sri Krishna at first reminds Arjuna of his real identity as eternal soul. Then He reveals His identity as Supreme Personality of Godhead and soul’s identity as part and parcel of Him. Just like a finger being the part and parcel of body cannot have perfect existence separated from body, soul cannot have perfect existence separated from Supreme Soul, Sri Krishna. This Sri Krishna explains in 66th verse of chapter 2 of Bhagavad Gita as follows:
“One who is not connected with the Supreme [in Krishna consciousness] can have neither transcendental intelligence nor a steady mind, without which there is no possibility of peace. And how can there be any happiness without peace?”
How can one get connected with Sri Krishna? This He has answered in last verse of 9th chapter of Bhagavad Gita titled as “The Most Confidential Knowledge”:
“Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, become My devotee, offer obeisances to Me and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me.”
Since we are too busy in our daily duties, how can we think of Sri Krishna always? Thinking of Sri Krishna becomes spontaneous when one becomes devotee of Sri Krishna. And to become devotee of Sri Krishna one need not to change his position or give up anything. There are nine processes of devotional service to Sri Krishna. If, along with his daily duties, one engages himself in one or more of these nine processes then he will gradually become devotee of Sri Krishna. These nine processes of devotional service as mentioned in Srimad Bhagavatam are as follows:
- Shravanam: Hearing or reading of the teachings and activities of Sri Krishna.
- Kirtanam: Chanting the holy name of Sri Krishna as recommended in the scriptures: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare. One should chant fix numbers of mantra every day, and increase gradually.
- Smaranam: Remembering about the name, fame, form, pastimes, paraphernalia etc. of Sri Krishna.
- Paada-sevanam: Visiting the place of Sri Krishna’s pastimes or worship.
- Archanam: Worshiping Sri Krishna.
- Vandanam: Praying to Sri Krishna.
- Daasyam: Serving the deity of Sri Krishna as servant.
- Sakhyam: Worshiping and relating with Sri Krishna in friendship.
- Aatma-nivedanam: Performing all activities only to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna.
After hearing Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna had taken to the process of Aatma-nivedanam i.e. fighting for Sri Krishna’s pleasure only, and had become free from mental desperate anguish. Anyone and everyone can be freed from all types of miseries (including stress, depression, anxiety and fear) by practicing one or more of above nine tips of devotional service under the guidance of bona fide spiritual master. Even if a person follows this process only for a little time then he will surely become liberated as declared by Sri Krishna in Bhagavad Gita:
“He quickly becomes righteous and attains lasting peace. O son of Kuntī, declare it boldly that My devotee never perishes.”
Arjuna’s readiness to act on Sri Krishna’s transcendental directions not only relieved him of desperate anguish but made him feel transcendental joy. Similarly, if one follows in the footsteps of Arjuna, he will not only be relieved of stress permanently but will start experiencing everlasting and ever-increasing transcendental joy.