It does not matter where we live or when we lived, there have always been situations that have the potential to create stress in our lives.
In this ‘modern’ fast paced world the possible causes of stress are too numerous to list. Almost any situation can create stress, it really all depends on how we handle, or fail to handle the situation. When, because of our conditioning, a stressful situation shows up, how we deal with it determines the effect it is going to have upon us. Much of how we deal with situations is on a sub-conscious level. We respond or react without a great deal of conscious awareness.
While we remain unaware of our bodies subconscious conditioning, we remain victims to that conditioning. If we are not aware, then our body simply does what it has been conditioned to do.That is to react to external stimuli. We often fail to notice the affect this is having upon our body until the stress levels reach a certain, critical, point when our body let’s us know, in no uncertain terms, that it is not comfortable.
Having noticed discomfort we either try to continue ignoring the problem or we try to fix the problem. The issue here is that we are trying to fix something from within a stressed state.
We get lost in damage control, always chasing our tails trying to fix whatever we perceive to be broken, to be the problem yet never truly succeeding. We may gain temporary relief but the root cause remains.
When the body identifies with a stressful situation certain chemicals are produced, it is the production, and subsequent identification with these chemicals that encourages the body to produce even more chemicals. We may be too busy to notice this shift in the chemical composition in the body, we may simply not have the training to observe this change until it reaches a point where the imbalance becomes obvious.
Changing our thoughts is an obvious answer to reducing the mount of stressful chemicals in the body, yet, if we are not even aware of the thought process that has allowed stress to accumulate in the body then we are hardly in a position to ‘change our minds.’
By becoming increasingly more aware of what the body is feeling in the here and now we can begin the journey of stress reduction at its most basic level, that being the reason the body becomes stressed in the first place.
Our body will heal itself given the opportunity. If we are able to reduce the identification on a fundamental level, of how the body handles potentially stressful situations there would be no need to ‘fix’ anything because the chemicals associated with stress would not have accumulated in the body.
The subconscious conditioning that impacts upon us all may well begin in childhood, it maybe genetic, no matter, it is very difficult to grow up in this world today without getting some conditioning, be it inherited or acquired. The messages learnt in our formative years are the building blocks upon which we navigate our way through the world. We cannot turn the clock back, but we can begin to consciously change the way we relate to the various stimuli we encounter on a daily basis.
When we are triggered by a subconscious memory that we, at the time, judged as stressful, the body may well produce an excessive amount of adrenalin, prompting a fight or flight response,increased heart rate, shallow breathing, tension in the stomach. Our conditioned mind lets us know that we are at risk and something needs to be done – fight or flight.
Yet what we once imagined as being a dangerous situation may not be at all relevant from a more mature point of view. We are simply following learnt behaviour and reacting to a memory, not an actual threat. It is this reactive conditioning that allows stress to build in our system. It is the continued identification with the feelings that perpetuate the uncomfortable feeling.
While we fail to recognise this and still think that the problems we encounter are all external to our self we will continue to try to ‘fix’ the problem, either by running away, denial, or do-ing something.
The real cause of stress is the bodies conditioned reaction to external stimuli.
There are many methods, some more successful than others, to reduce the amount of stress in the body. Likewise there are many ways to prevent stress from developing in the system.
To try and re-educate the body can be a daunting task. If you are surrounded by those who are still trying to fix the problems, then you will continually get caught up in the collectives way of trying to deal with the situation. Trying to be an island of calm in a sea of confusion is not the easiest path to take.
Yet there are practices, once learnt, that you can do at home, at work, waiting for transport, waiting in a queue. One such practice is called ‘Clearing.’ ‘Clearing’ is the developed ability to notice change in the body, to understand why the body is changing and where that change my have originated. This understanding supports the body in noticing and not energising the changes it experiences. The more we are able to practice this, the less we judge situations or those around us. The less we judge ourself or others the less polarised our consciousness. The less polarised we are the less we experience situations that may have previously caused us to go into a stressful response.
The less we experience stressful situations the more the body relaxes, the more the body relaxes the more it heals.
As the body returns into a more peaceful balanced state, so the world around us returns to a more peaceful and balanced state. We cease to encounter stress inducing situations, this includes those people we meet, whether family, colleagues, friends or strangers in the supermarket.
With continued practice problems that existed before simply cease to exist. There is then no need to find a way to ‘deal’ with stress because stress is no longer a part of your life.