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Stress management among the teachers and the Bhagavad Gita

By Shrivibhavana

As saying goes teachers are the real nation builders.  They play a significant role in the making a new society. While emphasizing the importance of teachers, National Policy on Education (1986) stated that `The status of the teacher reflects the socio-cultural ethos of the society; it is said that no people can rise above the level of its teachers’.

But researches have proved high stress among secondary school teachers. This occupational stress may occur among the teachers for multiple reasons like teaching experiences, poor working conditions, poor relations with colleagues, delay in the payment of a salary etc. Stress occurs when the perceived demands of a situation exceed the individual’s perceived ability to handle those demands (Eysenck 2001). ‘To form a health society teachers should stress-free.

Sources of stress among the teachers

Poor salaries:

financial constraints in private schools fail to provide desirable salaries to the teachers. Poor salaries neither fulfill their basic needs nor ensure secure life after retirement. Financial stability is a basic requirement for any person to maintain their peace of mind.  In the absence of desirable salary, a teacher develops anxiety and stress. They lose interest in teaching and remain as frustrated.

Over workload:

Many teachers said that they are overloaded with nonteaching work. Like setting question papers, evaluation of answer scripts, extra classes, checking assignments of students, preparation of results as such.

Adaptability to new technologies:

Students are always eager to learn new skills and technologies.  Adopting new techniques in teaching will create interest among the students and improve their learning process. But this creates an extra burden on teachers and hence stress takes place.

Lack of motivation:

Hardly teachers receive any acknowledgment or appreciation from the administration or in society for the hard work. They won’t get any type of incentive either in the form of verbal or financial.  It stops them doing something innovative.

Power/position:

If a teacher is not able to achieve for which he is capable or aspiring it makes him stressed.  Like his promotion is delayed or higher position has been allotted to someone else who is less capable will leads to anxiety.

Jealous

People who have jealous of others are always under some kind of stress. Feeling that he has something and I don’t have gives rise to jealousy.

Over concern about results

How will students perform in final exams? What will be the results?  Though thinking this is good for students, thinking too much about it is not advisable.

Stress Management and Bhagavad Gita’s approach

Preaching ’s of Bhagavad Gita is still applicable and helps to lead a peaceful, balanced and stress-free life. Through reading it we can deal with anxiety, depression, fear, and guilt.  Sonal Sharma, Department of Education from Aligarh Muslim University suggests ways of stress management that teachers can learn from Bhagvad Gita. He has listed below measures to overcome the stress.

Be As You Are:

Be yourself. Don’t try to copy and imitate others blindly. Everyone is unique in his own ways. No two persons are alike. Find out your temperament and act accordingly. (Bhagavad Gita Chapter 3).

Proper Sleep, Speech, and Exercise:

Follow the moderation – Yoga, moderation in food, sleep, speech, exercise, recreation and meditation eliminates stress. (Bhagavad Gita Chapter 6).

Integration:

Harmonise the head, the heart, and the hands to be happy. Be an integrated personality. Disintegration causes stress. Integration gives tremendous satisfaction. (Bhagavad Gita  Chapter 2).

Faith in God:

Faith in the higher reality is a great source of strength. A man is what his faith is. As the faith so will be our desires, thoughts, and actions. (Bhagavad Gita Chapter 17).

Knowledge is Gateway to the Reality:

There is nothing more purifying than knowledge. Clarity in thinking about the roles and the reality is essential. Understand that the roles we are playing are temporary and relative. The reality in me is the truth, is absolute. (Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4).

Calm and Composed:

Develop purity in feelings. Overcome the impulsiveness of negative emotions like anger, lust, greed, etc. (Bhagavad Gita Chapter 16).

Like this Bhagavad Gita helps to maintain self-control, balance in life, stress-free life and ultimately happiness.

Many teachers endorse the that regular reading of Bhagavad Gita help them to cope with the stress. Radha Suresh, an academic consultant from Bengaluru points out that Yoga and the  Bhagavad Gita are the two tools to excel in the filed of teaching. "When I hold training classes for the teachers, I suggest the same for the teachers and the school management. Stress always will have adverse impact on the performance both teachers and the students. Many times, under the stress, a teacher may beat a student. This, in turn, leads to chaos. To control emotions, anger management,  Bhagavad Gita is the best tool," she said.

 

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