Stress is largely a decision. We decide, unconsciously, to allow ourselves to be stressed, or distressed.
Yes, I know that that isn't always the case. There are times in all our lives when we're distressed because the circumstances with which we're faced are daunting. And that can be good for us.
How is that?
Here's how. You know the saying that a situation can make you or break you. Well, if you 're determined that it's not going to break you, you instantly open to the possibility that you're going to come through the ordeal. And when you do, you'll be wiser, better armed for future events in life, and confident in your ability to withstand pressure and deal with it. You'll have faith in your self-sufficiency.
It's what we call getting experience.
That's what living is about, isn't it? We've all experienced situations where we thought that our world was tumbling down around us. Then, after a day, or a few days, maybe one or two sleepless nights, a thin crack begins to show in the wall of impossibility and we begin to see that maybe there's a way through it.
Then as we looked for ways to widen the crack, open the wall, our minds became creative and we found a solution. Now maybe the solution wasn't perfect. But things weren't going to be as bad as we thought they were going to be, and that alone gave us the will to drive on. We've avoided disaster. We're living to fight another day.
So, how about the unconscious decisions where we allow ourselves to become distressed? How do they come about? They come about because we tend to experience small annoyances regularly, and they tend to then become what we expect.
And that's where the unconscious decisions come in. When we get used to being stressed, or even distressed, our minds and bodies get accustomed to that feeling, so that when it isn't there, it raises its own kind of discomfort.
Being calm and at ease can become such an alien feeling that we distrust it. This often leads to the situation where the only place we feel comfortable in is the one of discomfort.
We then quickly correct that feeling by finding something about which we can stoke a bit of worry, fear, uncertainty, doubt, and voila, we're back in our familiar and comfortable zone of anxiety.
It's called conditioning. It's a habit. Again, I acknowledge that there are times when stress at its worst is justified, but that's not the one I'm talking about.
Over the years, I've worked with many who have not realised that they had been creating their own sense of doubt and uncertainty. There are many ways this can come about and there are ways to deal with it.
Regular exercise, Mental Training, and some attention to food use, Meditation / Mindfulness are simple, effective, and proven steps to take. And they work.
They won't always solve your problems, but they will help change how you think and feel about them.
And that in itself has often been the opening of the door to a solution.