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"The truth is that stress doesn't come from your boss, your kids, your spouse, traffic jams, health challenges, or other circumstances. It comes from your thoughts about these circumstances."

     -Andrew J. Bernstein, philosopher

Time-honored ways to reduce stress

Many valuable practices can reduce stress: enough sleep, meditation, exercise, taking breaks and holidays, taking things step by step, saying “no,” a peaceful environment, better time management, under promising, and being okay with the “worst thing that might happen.”

But none of these address the root cause of stress, which is resisted fear:

 

“I’m stressed because I’m frightened I might lose my job.”

“I’m stressed because I’m frightened that others may be upset with me.”

“I’m stressed because I’m frightened I can’t get everything done on my plate.”

 

Look carefully and you will find your stress is a result of one or more resisted fears. Without resisted fear, stress will not arise.

Dispossess your stress

Do you know the simplest, easiest (and maybe only) thing that you need to do to dissolve your stress (and even turn it into eustress)? It's something that scientists working on stress have not yet discovered.

Moreover, whatever those fearful thoughts are, they are thoughts of resisted fear. Examples: 

  • "OMG, what if I don't get this project finished on time?!"

  • "Maybe my daughter will think I'm a bad parent."

  • "What if my pain just gets worse?!""

  • "What if I don't have enough money to pay the mortgage?!"

  • "If I'm not able to get to sleep, I'll be tired tomorrow."

  • "What if my wife/husband never changes?!"

  • And so on...

Many factors may contribute to stress (outside stimulators, lack of good sleep, poor nutrition). Fundamentally, however, stress is resisted fear (dufear). Un-resist the fear and the stress will disappear.

The carnage of stress

The biggest and most obvious costs of stress are the reduction and destruction of our happiness, either directly or indirectly. To put some finer points on it:

  • up to 90% of all "physical" illnesses include stress as a factor.

  • stressed-out people make poor life decisions.

  • stressed-out people are easily defensive and see themselves as victims.

  • stressed-out people are often impatient.

  • stressed-out people make poor parents.

  • stressed-out people make poor spouses, friends, colleagues, bosses, reports, and family members.

How a Chinese leader undid his stress

Dispossess your stress now

Here are tools to either dissolve stress and/or to serve as a prophylactic against stress:

Either use them or stress will abuse you.

Undoing stress