One Indian commits suicide every four minutes in the country. This is the sad truth here, and most of these deaths are a result of stress. As per a recent survey done by one of the leading providers of employee assistance programs to offices in India, almost half of the workforce suffers from some or the other kind of stress. The condition is no good with students either. Every hour, one student commits suicide in India. With no way to relieve the stress buildup, leading to the pressure of work and studies and added depression, these people have turned to suicide as the only solution. And of late, this problem has been on the rise at an alarming rate in India.

One of the recent cases, which caused a hue and cry in the country, was the unfortunate suicide of Dr. Payal Tadvi due to harassment faced by three senior resident doctors at B Y L Nair hospital in Mumbai. The 26-year old doctor was subjected to constant mental trauma and humiliation, all because of her caste. It is a human tendency of ‘fight or flight’ under stressful circumstances, and that is exactly what happened to the young doctor as she decided on ‘flight’ and ended her life. Payal Tadvi is just one of the tens and thousands of people that choose to decide to escape their stress-related problem by ending their lives. Be it a student at 21-year old IIT Hyderabad suffering from depression or a 55-year old Delhi cop crumbling under work pressure, suicides and attempts to suicide have been rising steadily in India at 25% rate on a yearly basis.

There are many ways to reduce stress and build up stamina to help deal with pressure. One of the most efficient ways is to meditate. Meditation is proven not only to help relief stress but it also changes your brain to help you react calmly and rationally to stressful situations. When the body faces sudden stress, the adrenaline rush that follows results in elevated blood pressure and pulse rate, fast breathing and higher blood flow to muscles. This is what is known as ‘fight or flight’ response. What meditation does is that it controls this bodily response and relaxes the body. Meditation puts the mind in a relaxed state that steadies the body’s breathing, blood pressure and pulse rate. Constant practicing of meditation leads to mood enhancement, better digestion, stable blood pressure and low stress levels. Studies have also proven that meditation helps in decreasing depression, anxiety and pain and also helps in curing insomnia. Thus, whether you are under any kind of stress or not, meditation is something that will help in your overall wellness. 

When Buddha taught meditation, he set it as a path to gain wisdom and an insight into what life is really about. Thus, for beginners, meditation might not as easy to sit up and chant ‘Om’ and find inner peace instantly. Meditation is something that needs to be practiced regularly in order to condition the brain into reacting the way that will help relieve the stress. Meditation is something that can be practiced anywhere, even if its five minutes of stillness. Be it at home, in transit to work, or even at work; give yourself just some time and focus on your inner self. If it does get hard, it is always advisable to get a guide who will help you reach the state of mind desired with meditation. It also helps remaining steady in situations that one would have otherwise crumbled and failed at. 

Thus, it is to be noted that while it is up to us how to handle situations, meditation basically helps letting go of the stress that is responsible for clouding our rational decision- making. In this stressful life, all you need to give your body and mind is just a few minutes of complete peace and calm.