Let’s face it: We live in a stressful world. Most of us deal with some level of stress on a daily basis. Most of us feel that stress is inevitable, and that we just need to deal with it. There are hundreds of self help books on strategies to cope with stress.
What if I told you that coping strategies don’t really work? This is because we lack a fundamental understanding about the true nature of stress. Almost everyone believes that stress happens from the outside in. By that I mean we believe that something happens in our environment and that stress is the inevitable result. For instance our boss yells at us and we feel upset about it.
What is lacking is understanding the role of thought in stress. It is our thoughts about what is happening in our environment that produces the emotional and physical feelings of stress. Understanding the connection between our thought and feelings is the missing link in understanding the reality of stress.
The reality of stress is that it occurs from the inside out. Stress is internally generated. The boss yelling at us doesn’t cause stress. The feeling of stress comes from our thoughts about the boss yelling at us. This seemingly simple understanding has profound implications for how we deal with stress.
For a more in-depth discussion about the connection between thought, feeling, and stress, I highly recommend watching this video by my friend and mentor; Dr. George Pransky