Vaishali’s holistic solution to daily stresses:
The question is not what issues do you label as more stressful than others. It is how do you respond to stress, because the real issue is not justifying stressful influences in your life. People can and will stress over everything from their bank account to, “Does this outfit make my hips look big?” The underlying, bigger picture concern is how do you see yourself in relation to life’s challenges? Unless you live in a vacuum, you are going to get the whole of life. Everyone does. You will have great days, good times, bad situations and horrible experiences. That is what it means to be human, and diversity is the whole of life.
There are wonderful things that happen to us that are highly stressful, not just threatening or unpleasant things: getting married, having a baby, starting a new job or career, buying a house. All are opportunities that contain exciting and joyful potentials. However, in simply moving through life, everyone will encounter some elements of strain and stress. Why? Because we all get the whole of life. We are human, and it is in our job description. (You should have read the fine print before signing up to come here.)
So how do you see yourself in relation to stress? Getting married is usually a completely different type of stress than getting divorced. Why? Because you see yourself differently when you are walking down the aisle from when you are getting dragged into divorce court. It distills down to how you relate to your value, power and worth, while you are experiencing the whole of your life. If your mind is turned against you, it will not matter if you are handed an IRS audit or a winning lottery ticket. You are going to feel it as a source of tension. There is an incalculable number of things that can stress you over the course of your life. The one thing all those stressful elements have in common is you!
When you see situations, experiences, government agencies, news reports, flu shots, traffic, African killer bees, Monday mornings or the most heinous of them all, shopping for a new bathing suit, as having more power than you do, you are going to be stressed. Period. The outer world rages on. How much confidence do you have in your inner ability to grow and be the best person you can be, no matter what?
The most difficult part may be that there are things out there that you have no control over. The liberating news is that you always have control over how you see yourself and with what attitude you choose to respond to the whole of your life. You can decide to throw yourself under the bus as a collateral casualty, if you perceive yourself as powerless, helpless or hopeless. Or you can choose to trust in yourself to do the best you can and then let the rest go.
Obviously, surviving a violent attack, car accident, major surgery or loss of a loved one is never going to be easy. Stressful things of this nature will always test the depth of your core belief in yourself and the ultimate extent of your resiliency. That is why it is essential to practice seeing yourself as having the power to grow beyond whatever life throws at you… right now. Start with the small issues. The more you practice this, the more it becomes second nature to you. Life does not come with any guarantees about what you may or may not have to grow beyond. If you start taking your power back and stop allowing most of what life delivers to you to erode and sabotage how you see yourself, you will have that fully developed skill for the truly life shattering events that visit all of us during the whole of our life.
So the question of stress really is: do you define yourself, or do you allow the things that happen to you to define you? How easily do you allow the “fear du jour” to strip you of your value, power and worth? Finally, is the relationship that you have with your mind the most stressful influence in your life or your best support system?