Stress – Its Underlying Cause

what causes stressStress is the underlying cause behind much of the illness we experience. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a perfect example of a stress-induced illness. But what is the root cause of stress? When we experience stress, we are resisting the flow of life. Stress is not caused by the circumstances of our lives but by our reaction to the choices we have made that result in the circumstances of our lives.

When the circumstances of our lives or people don’t meet our approval, we focus our energy on trying to control or change our external circumstances or the people in our lives. Or we bend over backwards to please the people in our lives. Why do we give our power away in this way?
We expend a massive amount of energy trying to change our external circumstances or other people. We also expend a massive amount of energy trying to conceal the pain of our past. Anything we want to change or we’re afraid of or angry about or refuse to accept will keep us attached to our past and the beliefs or expectations that stemmed from our past. Resisting what is will never make it disappear.

How do we recognize our stress?
We know we are resisting i.e. experiencing stress when we experience physical manifestations such as a stiff neck, clenched jaw, headache, stomach ache, sighing and tightness in the chest, just to give a few examples. Once we recognize where our resistance or stress is anchoring in our body, we are able to identify it and the triggers more easily.

The root cause of all stress
The root cause of all stress is a lack of love and belief in ourselves. These feelings generate fear …fear of saying “no”, fear of setting boundaries with others, fear of putting our own needs first, fear of not having the approval of others, fear that we cannot survive without a certain job or partner….

What do we need to do to let go of our stress?
“The crucial times to let go are when you feel the strongest urge not to” (The Path to Love by Deepak Chopra page 170).

Once we accept that this is the way it is going to be with this job or this situation or this person or this quality about ourselves that we don’t like, we can stop resisting and let things flow effortlessly. This concept is referred to as “surrendering.” Our ego mistakes surrendering for failure and the end of power, but when we surrender, we transcend our ego and let go of control of circumstances over which we really never had any control anyway. We can stop forcing things and simply allow things to happen. We are most powerful when we are working with life rather than against it. Surrendering is stopping ourselves from doing the things that make us miserable, crazy or self-hating. When we stop abusing ourselves, love and healing can move in. This is when we can determine what we need to do to create joy in our lives.

What are you going to do differently in your life to ensure you experience the most joy in your life this holiday season?

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Until next time,

Meredith