If you think that someone or something outside of you is causing all your stress, then we need to talk. Most people think they know what stress is, or do they?
The source of stress and anxiety is internal, not external.
For example, when you react with fear to a stressful situation like talking to a large group of people, you see that room of people as a fearful place
Here’s how stress unfolds:
- When you fill your mind with dread, your world becomes a terrifying place to live.
- When you occupy your mind with angry thoughts, your world is full of chaos and frustration.
- When you’re chock-full of guilt and regret, you see yourself as weak and full of shame.
Here’s the thing: there’s no ‘it’ or ‘they’ to blame for the burdens you carry around with you throughout your day. It’s the belief system you associate with the circumstances, and situations in your life that determine your level of anxiety. It’s not the external stimuli (the ‘they’ or the ‘it’) but the intensity of your reaction.
Many stress-reduction programs try to relieve the after-effects of stress rather than remove the causes, or they concentrate on reframing thoughts about external events.
A weekend retreat focusing on the techniques of muscle relaxation will have limited benefits. Sure, it’s lovely to get away, but to reduce your stress for long term results, you have to address and work on removing the source of the underlying tension. This is the suppressed and repressed feelings, the anger, fear, guilt and other negative emotions.
Remember, the feelings that occupy your mind also color your world and perspective on life.
If you don’t know what emotion you’re dealing with, how can you fix it?
Here’s a good start:
- Get ten index cards and write down five positive emotions and five negative ones.
- On the back of each card write down the actual definition of each emotion. (it’s a good idea to use a dictionary).
- Each day, select one or two words and notice when you’re experiencing. Be aware of what triggered the feeling.
- The key is in identifying what “triggers” your emotions, not the emotions themselves.
Do you have an anxiety disorder? Click here, click here and find out the kind of anxiety you may be experiencing. This is the first step to help you manage your anxiety and lead the life you want. Schedule a one on one chat so we can talk about how you can get unstuck. For daily inspiration follow along on Instagram and Facebook.
You got this!