refreshment-438399_640Over $50 million have been raised in the ALS ice bucket challenge that went viral around the internet as hundreds of celebrities, friends, and family squealed as they poured cold water over their heads to support research on ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).   I was amazed at how many people I knew accepted the challenge and donated to the cause. It was a brilliant campaign. I think it was so successful because it made everyone feel they could do something to help alleviate the terrible disease of ALS.

One of my family members nominated me to take the ice bucket challenge. In thinking about it, even though I think ALS is an important cause that needs support, I want to put my donation dollars towards a cause that I believe has the widest impact.   I choose to support organizations that reduce individual and collective stress, which are the cause of many diseases today.

Stress: The Silent Epidemic

An article titled The Invisible $1 Trillion Epidemic of Stress claims that:

 If there were an America’s Most Wanted for health problems, stress would be at the top of the list. The U.N. calls stress the 21st century health epidemic.

Most majors diseases today are stress-related, including heart disease, asthma, obesity, diabetes, depression, and many others.


War is Stress-Related

We don’t usually think of war as being stress-related, but in many cases it erupts due to the buildup of fear and anxiety. Suppression of these causes stress in the collective consciousness of society, which eventually bursts out into conflicts and war. Certainly the effects of war also create tremendous stress, further exacerbating the problem.


The Present Challenge

We are all feeling the frightening effect of the current problems in the Middle East and Ukraine. Even in the USA, the recent shooting in Ferguson, Missouri reveals an underlying frustration simmering beneath the surface that could burst into more outbreaks of societal unrest. When we hear the daily news we often feel helpless, that we cannot do anything to help reduce war, hatred, and fear in the world. But we can, in an easy and effective way.


The Most Researched Stress Buster

The Transcendental Meditation technique (TM) is the most widely researched technique proven to reduce individual stress and the collective stress in society. There are over 350 peer-reviewed studies that have been published in over 160 scientific journals on the health benefits of TM. Therefore, I choose to put my donation dollars into programs that give individuals, students, prisoners, veterans, etc the opportunity to learn to meditate.

We can reduce our own stress by meditating twice a day; this will help to reduce overall societal stress at the same time . The reduction of stress has so many side benefits, including improved health and a greater capacity to deal with problems effectively, allowing us to see the larger picture of any situation, and helping us to act more wisely and harmoniously.


Peace From the Level of Peace

Therefore, I encourage you to reduce your own stress levels and thereby help to reduce the stress in society at the same time.   I challenge you to create peace from the level of peace. I challenge you to challenge your friends to learn to meditate and reduce their own stress levels.
Another way to further this goal of peace from the level of peace is to donate funds for your neighbor, a student, a prisoner, or a veteran who is suffering from PTSD to learn to meditate. Help make stress reduction go viral if you want to have a significant impact on reducing the greatest problem facing our individual health and world today.

There are many organizations in the world working on stress reduction through meditation, including the David Lynch Foundation and Maharishi University of Management. I choose to support scholarships for women to attend the Mother Divine Program and meditation courses. Attending this program or any of the courses held on the Mother Divine Program campuses allows women to enjoy extended practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique, thereby eliminating deeper-rooted stresses from their physiologies and creating peace from the level of peace.

Instead of pouring ice over your head, calm and cool your soul from within.


Any comments or questions are welcome: How do you reduce stress in your life?