I have been training and learning a lot about this phenomenon called ‘stress’. I did find many forms on stress and stressors like
Internal stressors External stressors
Distress (Bad) Eustress (good)
This is then followed up by normal replies of ‘pressure’ and ‘load’ like:
Family pressure Peer pressure Financial pressure This pressure That pressure Work-load
It has always made me wonder who coined these terms and for whose benefit? During one of my talks on stress to a group of engineering students, I, being a mechanical engineer myself, asked them what is stress? Invariably the reply was one of the above and not even a single attendee thought of stress as an engineering term that was coined years ago by engineers to build better quality structures and trusses. The ‘pressure’ or ‘stress’ or ‘load’ and maybe some other acronym as well, all these are use to calculate the strength we want to give to the structure we will build so that in future it can withstand all or any kinds of loads, pressures or stresses that can be ideally put on this structure. So here is my dilemma now! First of all I, as a human or maker or creator make a phenomenon then how can this trouble me at all? It is my own creation and I know how to change it or how to handle it or how to strength it and no way on earth what I make can hurt me as I am better than that. Secondly if I as a human can make a better calculation and ensure that the bridge, or building or pillar that I construct is able to withstand the calculated load plus a 25% extra margin at-least. Moreover if I end up in a situation where the load is increasing then simply I can re-enforce the structure and give it more strength. So here is the dilemma now! Stress, pressure, load etc. all are human created terms and are under us, so how can they be bothering us? We know, just in case, something troubles we can strengthen it.
When I bring this argument I do receive mixed responses. Some are wowed and some in denial. This always reminds me of a client with whom I had a session a year ago. She had stress issues according to her, because when we had our session we both concluded that she never had stress. Any way she claimed to have stress management issue and want to have a session for the same. We started our discussion about her so-called stressors and just 15 minutes in the discussion I started figuring out the patterns. Every stressor she mentioned she had a well-defined pattern that would lead in believing:
When A = B and B = C it clearly means A = C and so it means I have stress.
Majority of this pattern was based on victim mentality and self inflicted pain and fear. Everything that was said to her by anyone was being interpreted as a threat and clearly the whole world was against her. Most importantly it was her family and that too her mother in the family. By the way this is why I define fear as
F = First E = End A = All R = Relations
This was an interesting case because as a child she had an abusive mother who always installed in her that she is the cause of stress to her mother and her mother always gets stress from anything that is not as per her wishes. Her mother felt in secured and so did this client. Her mother had behavioral issues and so did this client. Her mother was aggressive and abusive and this client had become sensitive and self-abusive. The story went on and on and on. Now when she grew up all those pre-seven year in fact even post seven-year installations had started haunting her. The only answer she knew to all those patterns was “I have stress”. All this was figmentation of her imagination and poor installations of childhood. All we did was that we identified the patterns and I helped her to be able to ‘let go’ of the past memories that haunted her. One year down the road she called me a few days ago and said how easily her life has become stress free, as now she understands the difference between stress and a little anxiety. So whenever she has anxiety she has learned how to control it and she now knows very well that stress is under her and not the other way round.
Most of the people who find them under stress, have learned this word when they were growing up, then it were reinforced during their growing years and being reinstalled again and again every day of the life. When you look back as an infant you didn’t have any idea what is stress? Even up to 2-3 years you didn’t have any clue about stress, however if someone had abusive parents he or she might start developing anxiety due to sadness or surprise as at that tender age I wouldn’t call it fear even. It is more of a shock or surprise that a child wanders how can I be treated like this. Isn’t it true? So when they start growing up they start buying in the idea of stress from their surroundings and eventually also learn in how to react or behave when under stress. They develop certain or similar patterns and mannerism of their elders.
I know you are wondering how on earth can we undo this then? Very simple, our brains are controlled by our minds – the super computer. Everything and anything that you can make with your mind you can change also. If you can create stress you can demolish it too. My keys to have a stress free life are:
Stress is better to be given rather than taken – what it means is that ‘be honest’ if you do not like anyone or anything say it straight, rather than beating about the bush and for your own self do not lie. Enjoy Life because it means L = Live I = In F = Full E = Enjoyment It doesn’t mean you have to wait for a big bang to enjoy. Life is a collection of moments. Keep collecting small moments that give you joy and bring smile and once you hold them tight and close to yourself they will become LIFE. Be happy because a happy performer is the best performer. This is why I practice and preach, “If your passion is not your profession don’t do it”. Life is sweet and enjoyable, we have so many wonderful people to spend time with and enjoy their company. We have the choice to decide our mental and physical state. We are the masters of our ‘stress’. So lets surround us with those people who can enjoy our company and vice versa. Lets spread love so that we can get love. Stress is a scientific term and it should remain in books not in our lives. Lets not do such installations inside our minds and the minds of your youth and people around us. Remember if we can make a movie or image in our minds we only have the power to change it.
Author, Muhammad Ali is a NLP Trainer, Body Language Master Trainer, Silva Ultramind ESP Instructor, Life and Career Coach.