Stress is insidious. My experience of stress is that it creeps into everything. It’s debilitating and can easily spiral out of control – hence the large degree (and rising) of mental health issues that people are suffering from. What is breaking my heart is how many kids at such a young age are experiencing this.
It can literally take over your body, all of you reading this can relate to this, none of us are immune. I can’t speak with authority to depression, nor any other mental health issue as I’ve thankfully never had to deal with this personally, so would be totally out of integrity for me to do so.
The conversation I want to have here is not about how to deal with or eliminate stress. It is a conversation about where it is coming from in the first place. Going back to the root. If we place all our attention on how to reduce it once it gets far down the line, we are then back in ‘fixing’ mode. Fixing mode then becomes more of a subjective process – what works for one person, doesn’t necessarily work for others and the outcome can be even more self- judgement and sense of failure.
More to the point when you are in the throws of stress, trying to apply and remember ‘what to do’ is for me, even more stressful! Must breathe, must meditate, must do more yoga, must visualise, must trust, must do some affirmations etc. My discipline is limited as it is when it comes to the above and when I’m in that state even more so.
The only thing I am prepared to speak to these days is what is true for all for every single human being. Anything else is a bit hit and miss.
Whether or not understanding this has any impact on your levels of stress is entirely down to the individual and what they see for themselves in this, in the moment. It’s not a solution, it’s just what is.
As I mentioned in a couple of posts back, if you understand how the car works, you have a higher probability of having a smoother ride. But that entirely depends on the mood of the person driving at any moment in time. We are human beings and that changes on a moment to moment to basis!
Due to the way we’ve all been conditioned over the years, and the way we work as human beings it often appears that things outside of us are happening TO us.
We have this incredible gift of thought. Through thought we can create anything in our minds (good or bad). We then have this other gift – which is to experience our thinking. It’s such a highly tuned instrument that, when a particular thought is given energy too, we become convinced it’s real.
Volia – our reality is created. Except, it’s our perception of reality, generated moment to moment according to the thinking we are having in the moment.
Everything appears to be real.
But the actual fact is, different people have a different experience of the same thing.
Different people have different experiences of the death of a loved one.
Different people have different experience of money issues.
Different people have different experiences of health issues.
Different people have different experiences of it raining.
If it was ‘the thing’ making us have an experience, we would all have the same experience.
Nothing rocket science about that. We all have a different perception.
But there are two things that all of us try to do most of the time with this.
1. Change the ‘thing’ (circumstance) to make us feel differently (i.e. relationship, make more money etc)
2. If you are aware enough to realise it’s your perception you try and change your thinking – (reprogram your mind, think positivity, affirmations, change your beliefs etc).
The first option is a lifetimes work. Hence the life time quest for self-improvement – more money, better relationships, bigger goals etc. We are taught this at such a young age – be the best and you’ll be ok, hence the pressure on kids.
The trouble is, if you’ve noticed, even people with a lot of money still get stressed about money. In fact, those people I have come across with an extraordinary amount of money are some of the most stressed out people I know.
It’s not the money. It has nothing to do with what you are experiencing. It’s your thinking about money.
The second option is equally hard work. It is like trying to build an impenetrable construct around you against something that is completely natural to us. So yes, it can work for a period and make you feel better, but it’s not particularly sustainable or authentic. I’ve spent time with people who are masters at this and yet it feels really hard to connect and get beyond that construct.
So, what are we left with?
Well, simply an understanding.
We think. We experience our thinking about the thing. It makes us feel a certain way. Stress is simply a lot of thinking about something. It’s natural and it comes and goes.
(The more this is prolonged then can have biological impacts as far as I understand. But this is where it starts).
We can’t control the thoughts coming in, it is part of being human. We can get better at deciding what thoughts we give energy too if we are really conscious all the time – but I don’t know about you but I’m pretty rubbish at that.
Understanding the nature of thought, is about all I can do. They come, and they go, just like clouds. Sometimes they are dark. Sometimes light. But just like clouds, they are an illusion.
Underneath those clouds is always a beautiful blue sky. Our true nature. Mental health. True for every single one of us.
No-one is broken.
Accepting that, leaves you with hope.
When you are in the midst of stress, at some point, when there is a chink in the cloud, you remember and it’s something to be hopeful for because it’s based on truth. That this too will pass. That is the nature of thought if you don’t give it too much energy.
In the meantime, by simply being with it without trying to fix it (which revs up even more thoughts), allows it to move through you more quickly.
Underneath all that you are ok. You always have been.