There’s hardly anything more harmful to one’s health than stress. It doesn’t matter how well you eat or how much money you earn or how successful you are – if you’re stressed over extended periods of time, you’re inevitably going to feel perpetually miserable and damage your health. This video demonstrates the issue beautifully:
So, what causes stress?
Stress is caused by not accepting a situation as it is but instead thinking about what should be. We tend to have expectations of ourselves and others that are not being met. When they’re not being met, we become resentful, judgmental, disappointed, angry or sad. We often hold onto experiences of the past and worry about things in the future, instead of being present in the moment. The present moment is a gift – that’s why it’s called present. We have a habit of not appreciating this gift. Instead, we tend to focus on things that do not benefit us.
We need to stop blaming others and take responsibility instead. Responsibility is the ability to respond, rather than to react like some programmed robot. Whenever you find yourself whingeing, complaining, criticising, condemning and manipulating, you’re reacting, not responding. You’re not being present.
Everything in life is based on either love or fear.
Love creates and fear reacts.
The Choice is up to you.
Whatever the present moment brings, ask yourself: What would love do now? When you stop resisting and start flowing, you are acting from the perspective of a higher vision and you’re becoming creative instead of being reactive.
Stress arises when there’s conflict. Conflict happens when you think you’re right and the other person is wrong. Stop trying to be right and prove others wrong. It’ll never cause anything but grief. The moment you start defending your point of view of something, you’re trying to be right. Observe yourself – without judgement. Let it go. Become flexible.
Allow people to be themselves, accept that everyone is different. They have the right to live according to their own awareness, as much as you do. Everyone should have the freedom to be themselves, without judgment.
“To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it.” ~ Confucius
If you’re tempted to judge people, think of this analogy: Imagine you’re at high school and you’re looking at the little kids from primary school. They may have had fewer lessons and lots more to learn to be ready for high school, but does it make them worth any less than you or less loveable in any way? How would they react if you expected them to learn everything they needed to know for high school immediately? It would be absurd to have that expectation.
Just as you allow others to be themselves, allow yourself the same freedom. Be true to yourself.
You’re not on this Earth to please people, you’re here to be yourself. The moment you think you ‘should’ do something, you probably shouldn’t. Listen to your instincts.
Imagine what life would be like if we always stayed in the moment, focusing on nothing but gratitude while accepting ourselves and others exactly as they are, without judgment? Think about it – is it possible to appreciate and be grateful for everything that the moment brings and feel miserable at the same time? How could you possibly feel sadness, resentment and disappointment when you’re completely focused on gratitude and acceptance?
We may not be able to control or change circumstances or people, but we can choose to either respond or react. That choice is entirely ours.
No matter how difficult circumstances my appear, there’s always something you can be grateful for – even if it’s just the sun shining, or having legs to walk on, or eyes to see, or not feeling agonising pain. How often do we choose to complain over feeling grateful?
The more we choose to focus on negative emotions, the more disconnected we become from the very source that enables us to experience peace, joy and love…
It helps to understand that there is a purpose in the existence of stress and adversity. This analogy explains it beautifully:
So here’s where the vicious circle starts for most people: We’ve allowed ourselves to become disconnected or shut down because of the discomfort that adversity brings, misunderstanding that it is that very adversity that is the building block for our growth. Because we’ve allowed ourselves to disconnect from our inner source, we’ve inadvertently shut down the most important pathway that helps us out of the even most difficult situations – our instincts.
And this is how I overcame horrendous challenges in my life: I accepted the challenges that presented themselves, adapted the best I could and chose to listen to my heart and instincts rather than allowing my mind and fears take control of my life.
Even if you feel you’ve failed or made too many mistakes, it’s never too late to turn things around. A good starting point is this “elimination diet”:
Whatever life dishes you up, try and not take everything too seriously. Life is meant to be fun!
Here are many useful tips on how to manage stress more specifically:
There are many symptoms of stress, and improving your environment can make a huge difference in your life. Explore my page on Decluttering for many tips on how to make your home a feel-good sanctuary.
Another major stress factor in life can be grief or being confronted with one’s own mortality. To view the challenge from a new perspective and find comfort, please click here.
For more ideas on how to eliminate stress from your life, check out my Instagram Channel with my collection of inspirational quotes.
Also go to my menu and click on ‘Inspiration’ for uplifting reading, videos and movie tips to brighten up your day.