In This Chapter
^ Understanding and dealing with stress ^ Relaxing the body through mental and physical exercises
£ife in general — not merely modern life — is inherently stressful. Even an inanimate object such as a rock can experience an element of stress. Not all stress is bad for you, however. The question is whether that stress is helping you or killing you.
Psychologists distinguish between distress and eustress (good stress). Yoga can help you minimize distress and maximize good, life-enhancing stress. For example, a creative challenge that stimulates your imagination and fires your enthusiasm but doesn't cause you anxiety or lost sleep is a positive event. Even a joyous celebration is, strictly speaking, stressful, but the celebration isn't the kind of stress that kills you — at least not in modest doses. On the other hand, doing nothing and feeling bored to tears is a form of negative stress.
In this chapter, we talk about how you can control negative stress not only through various yogic-relaxation techniques but also by cultivating appropriate attitudes and habits.
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