Perspectives on Stress Relief focuses on the claim that you can relieve your stress by changing your thoughts about your life.
What is stress? The word comes from the Latin strictus. The basic meaning of strictus is to “squeeze.” Stress is mental or emotional strain or tension that causes you to feel squeezed by something in your life.
What is relief? The word comes from the Latin relevare. The basic meaning of relevare is to “relieve” or “raise again.”
Stress relief is about taking the pressure off so that you can feel relaxed rather than squeezed.
What's the Problem?
If you feel stressed-out much of the time, you are not alone. Chronic stress has become a way of life for many of us. This stressed-out way of life takes a high toll on the quality of the lives we live.
David Ballard makes this claim:
Most of us are operating in a state of chronic stress; we’re always on.
Feeling stressed-out much of the time seems to be the price we have to pay for living in the twenty-first century in the internet era. Stress seems inevitable in a world of constant change. We are bombarded every day by news and vivid images of tragic events and dangerous threats just about anywhere in the world.
We also have to learn and unlearn and relearn how to use our technology and how to adapt to a hectic, stress-inducing pace of life.
This rather grim description of contemporary life can easily turn life into a treadmill that goes faster and faster. It keeps you on the move but you don’t get anywhere. The best you can do is hold on.
A dominant assumption of contemporary life is that stress is inevitable. The solution is to find relief from your stress by various methods of “stress management.” You can use meditation or relaxation or deep breathing or exercise to tame the unwanted bully in your life called “stress.”
Although these treatment methods are valuable and worth making part of your life, they don’t address a fundamental cause of chronic stress—how you think about the stressors in your life. How you think is directly related to the words you use to describe your stress and stressors.
The Life-Changing Question
How would your life change if you choose to live your life from the perspective of living a peaceful life rather than from the perspective of being chronically stressed-out and needing to manage your inevitable stress?
You can begin by paying attention to the thoughts created by your words. The words you use are powerful tools that can keep you feeling stressed-out much of the time. You can stop managing stress and begin living a peaceful life when you carefully observe the words you use to describe stress in your life. You might discover how the words you use can actually increase your stress.
When you change your words, you can begin to free yourself from a painful past. You can learn to live peacefully in a fast-paced world of constant change. You can create a peaceful life when you pay attention to how you think and speak about stress in your life.
The life-changing question is: How can you live a peaceful life?
Find out more in my book Stress Relief that Works: How to Think Your way from Stressed-Out to Peaceful. By Kalinda Rose Stevenson, Ph.D.
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