How To Conquer The Stress Epidemic

 

Stress © by Alan Cleaver

 

Do you ever feel like stress is conquering you?

Do you ever feel hounded by one stressful situation after another?

Does stress take over your life and make you feel out of control?

Unfortunately, this is the situation for most of us most of the time.

We can conquer this problem but we have to understand some of the primal drive behind it.

What Are The Causes Of Stress?

There are several causes of stress:

  1. the environment we live in.  This types of stress includes weather, daily life challenges and relationships.
  2. the cultural conditions we live in and the expectations we are expected to meet, realistic or not.
  3. our own minds and how we process our environmental issues and cultural challenges.
  4. how we feel about ourselves by how well we are able to handle and cope with the above.
So basically when we want to find the source of stress, it can be in our physical environment, our cultural environment and our position within it and our own egos.

What Causes The Causes Of Stress?

This is the million dollar question:

  • there is the metaphysical answer, that our sense of ourselves as separate creates a lot of our pain and it is true. however, no matter how aware you are of the metaphysical truth, you still need to deal with the realities of daily life.
  • there is the evolutional answer. We evolved from an animal past where survival was fragile and uncertain and so we learned to see the world and others as a threat, which in many ways was true.  Our brain and memories bear the marks of our past.
  • there is the cultural answer. As we evolved the prefrontal cortex of our brains developed and with it more complex reasoning and social structures.  Unfortunately those social structures have often been power and status driven rather than well-being driven.  They have created class and economic structures that have resulted in many people not having their basic needs met.

The Stress Management Challenge

All of the human living models to date have been ego driven.
Ego driven structures deal with the temporal world.  They tend to be short-sighted and survival oriented.
Spiritually driven structures tend to be long sighted, have a universal point of view which allows all to be embraced.
Our current societal models have demanded that an individual develop a sizable ego to survive and thrive – many times that success has come at the expense of someone else.  Living in an environment where people succeed at the expense of others is stressful and threatening. The more predatory the environment the more stress you will experience.

How To Manage Stress Better

I do not believe in formulas for managing stress.  I think the trick to managing stress better is to come to terms with current human ways of life and combine it with a more spiritual approach.

It looks like this:

  1. embrace your limitations.  The ego is insatiable, not only yours but everyone else’s as well.  You can give up satisfying it and gain not only a measure of freedom but also feel more kindly toward your fellow humans when you do not have to please other egos.
  2. identify your real needs.  Knowing what you really need rather than your egos needs which are not the same will help you get control over your life.
  3. identify your important necessary commitments and let go of all others. When you do this you are able not only to take better care of yourself but also give more to your commitments which creates improvements in your life.
  4. start taking very good care of yourself. Great self care is a wonderful way to improve your mood and enjoy life more.
  5. be as gracious as you can to others suffering from stress without doing unnecessary harm to yourself.
  6. take time to discover what is really important to you. When you spend time on what you really care about you are naturally happier and more giving.  Everyone benefits. It is not good to prop yourself up with all sorts of material rewards because you are living in a way that does not suit you.  You are just piling stress upon stress.
  7. make gradual changes in the direction of your greatest happiness.

The more you get a handle on your necessities and real obligations the more you will be able to reduce stress in your life.

The world will be here when we are gone. Enjoy it more while you are here.

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