One of the most common comments I hear when speaking with friends or colleagues is this: I am so stressed.
You can see it by the strain in their face, hunched posture, and bodily fatigue. The pressures of the world weighing them down – with no end in sight.
And the effects of stress aren’t just emotional. Stress causes cortisol (a hormone in the bloodstream) to rise – leading to the common effects of stress such as muscle tension and increased blood pressure.
But here’s the ironic thing about stress – it doesn’t exist.
You can’t touch stress, you can’t point at it and say “there it is”, and you certainly can’t package it into any sort of container. It isn’t real.
Yet we all know stress, all too well.
But if stress doesn’t really exist, why do we experience the effects of what we call “stress”
Because we choose stressful thoughts. We choose to hold in our mind thoughts of anger, depression, sadness, disappointment, fear, and yearning – all thoughts that essentially say: I’d like things to be different from what they are – because what I currently have isn’t making me happy.
Of course, as we’ve discussed before, nothing (no-thing) can make us happy or unhappy.
There is no point in lamenting the world. There is no point in trying to change the world. It is incapable of change because it is merely an effect. But there is indeed a point in changing your thoughts about the world. Here you are changing the cause. The effects will change automatically. (W-pI.23.2)
Our stress is not the result of awful jobs, troubling relationships, or failing bodies – rather, our stress is a choice in the mind to be stressful.
That’s a very empowering statement because it means that for us to be unstressed, we simply need to make a different choice in our mind.
Join us in Monday’s class where we’ll learn about the most powerful way to reduce stress – no medication required. I look forward to seeing you then.