Stress, either from the environment in the form of chemicals, toxins and EMFs, physical stresses from diet or bugs, or emotional stress from our day to day lives, is the foundation of most ill health.
It is any one of these stresses (and usually a combination of all three!) that triggers our immune response which, although useful in the short term, can seriously disrupt our ability to self regulate, and therefore stay healthy, if over used.
Once we are aware of the source of these stresses then it is, in one way, relatively easy to reduce our exposure.
So, for instance, we can improve our diet, use more natural products in our homes, and protect against EMFs – all things we have a level of control over.
But emotional stress can seem harder.
Do a search on Amazon (other book sellers are available!) to see how many thousands of books there are on how to manage and reduce stress! An indication maybe of how much we struggle with this area of our lives?
But what if our problems lie more in a potential misunderstanding of where that stress is coming from than an inability to do anything about it?
The sheer number of books, self help groups, approaches and programmes that are out there which aim to help us with stress could suggest there is something fundamentally wrong with the way we see and deal with this problem. After all – if these things actually worked we wouldn’t need so many of them, would we!
So first a little background information on how we work psychologically (and physiologically) ….
The brain is designed to filter the information that we take in from our outside world. If it didn’t do this we would simply become overwhelmed by the sheer volume of data and be unable to function. As a result, the world as we see it isn’t, in fact, ‘true reality’ but our impression of it – an interpretation based on our own personal filters or thoughts. And as thoughts produce chemical reactions in the body which then affect each and every one of our cells, feelings – the physical reactions we get as result of that cellular response – generally accompany those thoughts.
With me so far? Good – then let’s look at this with regards to stress.
We often think that it is whatever is ‘out there’ that makes us stressed – the person, place, situation or circumstance. But, based on the way our brain works, this can never be. The only way we can ever experience that person or situation is through our own filters – our thoughts and the resulting feelings. Consequently when we feel stressed we are, in fact, just experiencing stressful thinking in that moment – and nothing else.
So how does this help to deal with stress?
Our traditional approach to managing stress is based on the ‘outside in’ view – that it’s what’s ‘out there’ that causes us stress. But trying to change those circumstances, having to avoid them, or worse still trying to change your thinking about it all, as all the current stress management techniques have you do, simply goes against the way we naturally process information. It’s no wonder we struggle!
But once you start to see more clearly where your stress is coming from – not the ‘thing’ out there but just your current state of mind – the filters you are using at that time – your thoughts – then it becomes easier. You start to see that there’s nothing wrong with you, you’re not broken in any way, there’s nothing to ‘manage’, you’re just thinking, which is what every human being does!
And what you’ll also find is that once you start to see this more, your stressful thoughts will settle and so will the accompanying stressful feelings.
But don’t take my word for it.
Try this experiment to test out how your stress simply reflects your current thinking for yourself. Over the next few days just notice how you are feeling. Do you always feel the same in any given situation? So, for example, some days being stuck in a traffic jam will leave you feeling really stressed and other days it won’t. The situation hasn’t changed – a traffic jam is still a traffic jam. What’s different is your state of mind – the filters you are current using to sort the data, your thinking.
Try it and see for yourself.