"Don't let your mind bully your body into believing
it must carry the burden of its worries."
-- Astrid Alauda
"Releasing the pressure,
it's good for the teapot and the water.
Try it sometime."
-- Jeb Dickerson
"Tension is who you think you should be.
Relaxation is who you are."
-- Chinese Proverb
Several nights ago, I was talking with a friend briefly and he was telling me how stressful his life has been of late and how that stress was taking a toll on his body. I really care for this person, so I suggested that he try just letting it all go and shaking it off. I said that it was not anything in reality, but a reaction to events or circumstances. I said that all you need do is change your thinking about the event, and there will be change in the way you feel. I said that stress is something that exists only in the mind, and that we are the culprits who put it there, and that we can throw it out anytime we decide to do so.
He looked at me like I was a bit of a loon. I suppose that might be true from time to time, but what I said was accurate and timely. People worry themselves sick and worry is just a thought about something. Worry exists only in thought, as does stress. I told him I loved him and wanted the best for him.
Thinking about this meeting, I looked up stress in the dictionary. It is "1. constraining force or influence, a: a force exerted when one body or body part presses on, pulls on, pushes against, or tends to compress or twist another body or body part. . . c: a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation." Now substitute the word thought for body in part a and this is a great way to see the stress that we talk about: A force exerted when one thought presses on, pulls on, pushes against, or tends to compress or twist another thought.
Consider a bridge in a storm with the water rising and rushing faster against the bridge supports. The bridge is the body and the storm is the worry and stress pushing the thoughts ever faster toward the support structure of the body. If you don't think the body is being affected by your worry, stress and your general thinking, check your heartbeat and you'll think again. They call it stress because you feel it in your body. And, yet it is but a figment of our imagination.
Stress only has any power when we give it power. Relax and let it go and it has no power whatsoever. Indeed, as this happens, it completely vanishes. The fact that stress has become a socially acceptable thing to have in our lives doesn't make it worthwhile. Let go of it, stop the struggle, release the resistance or pressure. It's good for the teapot AND the water.
Accepting Responsibility For Our Own Thinking Is The Single Most Powerful Thing We Can Do.
Spread Some Joy Today--If you're a worrier, spread some joy today by taking the day off. Your co-workers will be joyful and you can go to your serious worryroom at home and worry yourself into a frenzy. Let me know if it helps anything.