How you deal with stress has a huge effect on your health. Stress is ubiquitous and causes or worsens nearly every disease you may ever face. If you want to be healthy, you must find a way to neutralize its damaging effects. You cannot escape that fact.
Every day in the office I meet people who are sickened by stress. They often feel trapped in their stress patterns. I’ve observed two main kinds of traps and I want to show you how to get out of them because if you stay stuck in stress, you’ll likely end up sick sometime, if you’re not already.
People caught in the first trap deny stress. They act as if stress doesn’t exist. No matter what’s going on with them, they maintain they are just fine. They pretend to be impervious to stress. Or they say stress is for wimps. Or, everybody has it so why make such a big deal about it, just buck up. Or my favorite: we don’t want to talk about stress anymore so we’ll just re-name it work-life balance. This way of dealing with stress clearly doesn’t work: stressed-out ostriches still get sick.
People caught in the second trap make “stressed-out” who they are. These people go on and on about how stressed out they are all the time, as if that earns them admission to a special club. Anxious, overwhelmed, and super-busy, they say they don’t want to be so stressed while simultaneously seeming to take pride in it. They often use stress to cope with a life they are not happy with, focusing on it rather than facing the hard choices they know they need to make. While admitting that you are stressed-out is healthier than denying it, if you see it as a badge of honor, or as inescapable, you are not likely to do the work it takes to find and change its roots. And you will still get sick.
But, you say, stress is everywhere, and we all do experience it at one time or another, and we aren’t designed to stay stressed and stay healthy at the same time. How do I get out of these traps?
Make yourself impervious to the stressors in your life…for real. Now, this is easier said than done, but, with the right practice, you can make yourself impervious to even severe and life-threatening stressors. Most of the stressors we face in modern life are not that bad, so if people living in horrendous circumstances can learn to stay calm and centered, you can, too. Events going on around you do not necessarily have to make you sick.
You get to choose what you believe. So, take some time and think about what beliefs you could hold that would allow you to face the vast majority of what you face every day with ease and grace, staying centered in your power through thick and thin. Then practice strengthening those beliefs: build faith in those beliefs until they become certainty.
Next, root out all your old beliefs that both contradict these new beliefs and create doubt. Do this by developing a healthy relationship with your feelings. They can lead you to those deeply-held limiting beliefs, allow you to bring them into the light of consciousness, and align them with higher truth.
This work of inner transformation takes practice…and it goes much better with the right practice. We started The 7 Tools to help you acquire and master the skills you can use to make your process of inner growth and transformation fast, efficient, and, most of all, effective. Don’t let stress trap you. Take a look around our website and see if you find something helpful.