Stress management plays a significant role in my Aging in Reverse protocol. The better I handle it, the better it is for my overall well-being. Becoming a Zen Master would be the most preferable outcome. And no, it doesn’t mean I plan to pack my bags and head to Tibet, seeking enlightenment through meditation in a remote cave atop a hard-to-reach mountain. All I wanted was to find a better balance within myself and the world around me, bring more clarity into my life, and enhance my focus, productivity, and resilience against getting easily upset. My goal was to complain less and smile more. In other words, to lead a life with less stress. So, in my understanding of mastering Zen, a Zen Master is someone skilled at managing stress. They don’t get too worked up about past events or overly worried about the future. Instead, they navigate through stressful situations with calmness and grace.
I tried. For many years, I gave it my best but failed again and again. I could not manage stress with calmness and grace. Even when calm and collected on the surface, I often experienced a hurricane inside. I was a stress-handling failure. Not exactly the Zen Master material. 

Then, I stumbled upon a TED talk where an emergency room doctor explained that not every stressor requires the same level of reaction. That was an actual “aha” moment for me.


In the past, I didn’t distinguish between various stressors. If a situation was stressful, I reacted to it. There are instances where an immediate reaction is crucial (it could save your life). However, many situations that trigger intense reactions don’t deserve such heightened intensity.

I discovered the importance of not reacting equally strongly to all stressors. Instead, I learned to mentally scale them from 1 to 10, with 1 signifying something minor and 10 representing a significantly major stressor (I developed this concept based on the ER triage priority level approach). This simple classification of stressors makes a huge difference for me. If I mark something as 2 or 3, I don’t even bother to react. Next months will be an excellent time to practice this approach as a part of daily yoga challenge. I encourage you to try it too.