Stress is something that we all experience and tend to think there is not much we can do about it. This is entirely not true. I wish to discuss the real causes of stress to demonstrate how we, in fact, create it and how we can therefore release it. It is something that we should all learn how to do as the detrimental effects of stress are well known.
Most of us think that stress is caused by the negative circumstances in our lives. You might be surprised to learn it is not. Stress is the consequence of our resistance; what we add to the circumstances of our lives. When we add dislike, disapproval, disdain, blame, or any other judgment, we create stress. Stress is the result of the judgments, assessments, and perspectives that we all add to our circumstances.
The resistance of circumstances requires significant energy, and it is this hemorrhaging of energy that produces stress. A great irony in life is that people spend vast amounts of energy resisting or avoiding their circumstances and problems, as opposed to solving them. And this resistance ultimately takes more energy than it would take to solve the problems in the first place.
The observation of a circumstance/problem and the resistance to it are two very different things. When I show people how they are doing it in their own lives (what they are adding to the problem) and apply my process, they are relieved to experience how much better they feel when we uproot their underlying emotional dynamics.
When we challenge a circumstance, we use our will to change what we are experiencing. We change the dynamic within ourselves that produces stress. Conversely, when we resist a situation, we wish we were not experiencing it and wish it were different than it really is. Some even try not to have the experience at all—a huge resistance and denial of reality. In their resistance, they try to change the people around them to make themselves feel better. This never works!
If we look at a practical example of a married couple with issues we have all heard about, we can see how their resistance causes an abundance of stress. The couple both work full-time jobs and have three children. The husband says he is ‘stressed out’ because his wife is angry and does not appreciate him. While his wife acknowledges he is a good provider, she complains she is frustrated and overwhelmed (stress) because he does not contribute at home or with the children, leaving her ‘stuck’ with all family responsibilities.
For his part, he is creating resistance and ensuing stress by blaming his wife for her negative attitude. He is not acknowledging the reality of his circumstances by accepting his role and responsibility in the creation of those circumstances. He tells himself a convenient story about how ungrateful his wife is and how it sucks to be treated so poorly. According to him, it is all her fault.
Despite the fact that his wife told him she requires more help with the children (as she is working full-time too), he chooses to resist what she is saying because that would require more effort and work on his part; work he would rather not do. It would also require an adjustment of his will—which is different that what he currently wants—which is to keep family life easy and convenient for himself. This is his resistance. His blame, denial and refusal to acknowledge what must be done creates significant stress, conflict with his wife, and absenteeism with his children.
It is easier, he thinks, to resist reality and deceive himself into thinking, ‘Why isn’t she grateful that I come home at 8pm after a hard day at work?’. He is his own boss and could have left work whenever he wanted. He ignores that she has been cooking, cleaning and watching the kids for the last four hours after she has also worked a full day. Ironically, his ultimate resistance is rationalizing the ‘path of least resistance’ to avoid both his responsibilities at home and to himself (managing his own personal stress).
I am helping him explore and evaluate his inner dynamics in order to make necessary corrections—to recognize and change what he brings to the breakdown of his relationships: the blame and judgment of his wife, inaccurate assessments or perceptions, refusal to help out at home, and entitlement—his underlying emotional dynamics which can now be explored and changed. I help him see what is really happening within himself. As he begins to focus on himself, he can see how the above creates stress, and soon becomes motivated to change; he can now see that, in doing so, he can release his stress and repair the relationships with his wife and children. He now chooses to go home earlier and participate fully in his family life. He releases his stress and begins to live a more satisfying, fulfilling life.
In order to keep this example unbiased, let’s take a look at his wife’s resistance as well. She has spent years focusing on her husband’s shortcomings and lack of contributions to the family life. She complains that ‘the world revolves around him and he’s never home’. Her resistance and ensuing stress is the result of her above judgments and complaints (resistance) against him—energy spent trying to change him—something she cannot do.
I am helping her see how her resistance and attempts to change him are a huge expenditure of energy; that judging, blaming, and ultimately resenting her husband produces stress and painful emotions. I am helping to turn her focus onto herself to see that she is the source of her own stress, and therefore the only one who can release it. We then explore the internal dynamics that need to be changed.
She has become resentful and now overwhelmed (stressed) doing for him what he should be doing for himself. She was, in fact, enabling him and allowing him to continue to avoid home life; she was unconsciously ‘picking up his slack’. Her enabling is the underlying emotional dynamic that needs to be changed. She is learning to set limits, request change, adjust expectations, and make decisions that work for her. As she pulls back, so to speak, he moves forward—balance in the relationship is restored, and stress is ultimately released.
When we turn our focus inwards towards ourselves, as opposed to others, we can see the resistance we add to the circumstances of our lives. These are the judgments, assessments, perceptions, and resulting behaviors we ‘bring to the table’ that cause our stress and painful emotions. When we begin to see these judgments (resistance), we can recognize what we are doing and put ourselves in the powerful position of personal change.
This is personal power—making the necessary psychological, emotional, and behavioral changes required to solve problems and alleviate stress and painful emotions. The process I take people through can be applied to any circumstance, issue, or problem—whether it is your partner, job, family, depression, or anxiety.
The truth is that we are all the source of our own happiness, as well as the source of our own stress and emotional pain. Stress is caused because we do not approve of the people and circumstances around us and, as a result, try to change them. The great news is that we can learn to process our thoughts and emotions differently to release stress. By looking at our inner emotional dynamics and understanding our circumstances accurately, we develop personal power and self-esteem; the ability to navigate through our lives in creative and powerful ways. This process leads to a deeply satisfying and positive life.
If you would like to live a stress-free life, contact me and I will show you how; I have done this with many people. Together we will explore and change your thoughts, emotional dynamics, and behaviors that create stress in your life. Can you think of a more valuable investment of your energy?