When you feel really overwhelmed, like there is no way out, remember that you are reacting to your interpretation of the situation and not to the situation itself.
Somebody else in that same situation, or even you at a different time, may not even notice anything heavy duty going on in the moment.
How can that happen? Your state of mind determines your interpretation of what is happening. Your interpretation will either make you feel good or bad. Good can be happy or at peace. Bad can be angry, sad or full out stressed.
In any case it is how you use your imagination that determines your interpretation of the current circumstances. Yes current, in this moment – not yesterday, not even an hour ago. The past is gone. The only time you have is this moment. So you can only act in this moment.
And what you think about determines how you feel which causes you to take certain actions. And after you take those actions you again look at the new situation and decide (by thinking) how you feel now. You continue the cycle of think, feel, act.
What can you do, with that knowledge, to move out of overwhelm and stress and into a feel good place where you can live permanently with only brief visits to the stress you now endure?
Did you say to change your thoughts? Seems pretty obvious, don’t you think?
When your life fails to look the way you want it to look would it make any sense to keep taking the same actions every day? Why would they take you to a different place tomorrow, or the next day if you they never led you there before?
Perpetuating a routine that fails to serve you or move you to a better place makes zero sense. But how do you step outside the box to create all new thoughts, feelings and actions?
Einstein said, “You cannot solve a problem with the mind that created it.” Okay then what do you do?
Find someone who already lives the way you want to live and copy what they do. By copying their actions you begin to think the way they think. Obviously choose a role model who lives stress-free if you want to live stress-free.
Ah, note that different people have different definitions of stress and therefore different ways of living stress-free. So your first task is to define what stress is for you and then to figure out how your world will look when you live without stress.
When you pay attention to what goes on in your world every day you begin to notice patterns. Those patterns create unpleasant feelings meant to wake up and notice that something in your life is very off.
In fact that something is all about a big lesson you have been avoiding learning.
The Universe presents that same issue repeatedly. The names and faces will vary but the problem will always carry thecae theme.
Each time you ignore your chance to learn your lesson the Universe throws that issue back at you with a little more impact until finally the magnitude of the pain is not only in your face but it is also too painful to ignore!
These lessons are not about some secret way to behave. Not at all. In fact the opposite is true. You know what you need to do yet continually fail to do what you know you need to do.
Sound familiar yet? Here is an example to clarify what I mean.
When I worked as a psychotherapist in crisis care I knew the facility was not really a safe place. I also knew I often spent more time counseling my co-workers than the clients. Hmm.
Do you see anything off in that situation?
What I needed to do was leave that facility.
I knew I needed to leave. I knew I worked differently than the others and a more creative practice would better suit me. I knew all those facts.
Yet I failed to make any effort to leave. So my colleagues developed more and more problems and the clients grew more dangerous – little by little. Those events were the whispers that I ignored.
Finally the Universe took me out of that place and out of mainstream psychotherapy all together with a definite not subtle act. A client cornered and attacked me leaving me disabled with a brain injury.
You would think I learned not to ignore subtle messages from the Universe after suffering such a traumatic dramatic event, yes? Well, I didn’t.
I moved to farm country over a year ago. Last fall spiders started biting me while I slept. I am talking very poisonous spiders. I was very sick for a while.
When I saw loads of spiders in the house this summer you’d think I would have packed up and moved away, right? Naw. I hired a pest control company.
Only spiders are not the only problem. Mice are running all over the place. And now moths have begun to attack.
Do you see how the whispers escalated into shouts?
I won’t even tell you the worst incidents—too gross. And still I was not leaving.
Then finally I got it! I started listening to the messages and am looking for a new place to live now.
It took me years to see all the things out here that have been hurting my health and well being. All I saw was the beauty, the calm and the privacy. I missed that my health declined and my stress increased. Duh.
Listen for the whispers to avoid serious pain and overwhelming stress, okay?
So you want to know how to eliminate stress right now?
I used to think that stress was part of life. I figured I could get through stressful events and be okay. But then another event would pop up, another event to get through. Which is what I did.
I discovered that I create my stress. Me. No body and nothing else.
No one can make me feel happy or sad or at peace but me. And no one and nothing can make me feel stressed out.
I can hear you saying, “But Ali, you don’t know what he did to me. This is different He made me feel pressured and overwhelmed. I didn’t used to feel that way!”
To which I reply, “Then why do you choose to feel that way now?”
You alone interpret events in your world. No one can tell you how to view or how to feel about anything or anyone.
I realize if someone caused you bad pain of any kind (physical, emotional or spiritual) you will blame them for your feeling bad now. So stop a moment and tell me when you are living. Are you not in this moment here and now?
Are you living back, how many years ago, when that trauma happened? You can’t. That time is gone. The best you can do is drudge up memories that come with your unique interpretation of events.
Your interpretation of events? Yes.
One hundred people witnessing the exact same event will describe one hundred different scenarios as to what took place. Some variations will be so far apart from each other you will not even recognize them as describing the same sequence of events.
The reason you didn’t know that you create your stress is you do not know you live on automatic. You live in yesterday’s world and you will do it again tomorrow.
You think about 65,000 thoughts per day. 98% of those thoughts are the same ones you thought the day before. In fact, those same thoughts run continuously in your head, more or less in the back ground—because you are so used to hearing the chatter you no longer notice it.
IF your thoughts are your creation of your world and you repeat mostly the same ones every day then how can you change your definition of stress? How can you ever get out from under all that over whelm and pressure?
The only way to eliminate that stress is to live in the present moment and pay attention to your thoughts. Think thoughts now. Live with awareness of what you are feeling because your feelings reveal what you are thinking.
When you feel bad then change your thoughts to feel good thoughts. Your stress level must drop as you think fewer and fewer negative thoughts, because your frequency of vibration will rise to a feel good level!
Stress happens when you interpret events as causing you unnerving discomfort. Obviously such a feeling makes you want to stop it from repeating itself.
Observe this BIG clue about how to end stress: stop trying to eliminate stress. You cannot accomplish when you try. Try allows for the possibility of not succeeding.
So right off the bat, remove the word try from your vocabulary to allow yourself the true opportunity to succeed in eliminating the stress.
Realize that whatever you focus on expands in your life. What do you do when you work at removing something, like stress, from your life? Even if you work really hard at something what you really do is magnify it in your life. Your attention feeds it.
How can you eliminate something by helping it to grow bigger and more pronounced?
Obviously you can’t. So the way to eliminate stress is not by trying, not by working at it and certainly not by thinking about it all the time—something you call worry.
Most people think that when you worry about something you are actually doing something about it. Are you kidding? How does worry serve any purpose at all except to raise your stress level, create anxiety and cause physical symptoms in you as your subconscious mind puts you through the scenario that you are imagining!
Your subconscious cannot tell when you really live an event versus when you imagine an event happening.
Ah – now take that last sentence as your clue. What?
You want to eliminate the stress you experience. You know your subconscious mind makes real anything you imagine. Therefore, if you create a scenario in which you do not experience stress (even though, in the past you did feel very stressed in this same circumstance) then you succeed in removing the stress from that very event.
One powerful way to make that happen is to picture yourself entering the situation you want to change. And you can only change yourself. So no one else will act differently (well, probably not).
So now you see the picture of yourself in that same formerly stressful event only this time you act differently. You see the entire situation in a new light, from a different perspective. You cannot even figure out why you used to feel stressed at such times.
You can watch yourself, as though you are watching a movie – the first time. But next time, and every time after that, actually step into the situation and look out through your eyes. Hear what you will hear through your ears. Feel what you feel and touch and smell what you will feel, touch and smell.
Remember that your subconscious is making all of this real for you.
Victory. Your subconscious mind will become convinced that, in that situation, you act this new way. And the next time that situation comes up you remember to consciously step into this new way of behaving and you will no longer feel stressed – even though nothing about the situation itself changed.
All that changed is how you feel about it and the actions you take that let you feel differently.