Your Number One Cause Of Stress

Many things create stress in our lives. Our jobs create stress, we stress over money, and even our relationships can become stressful. We are also good creating our own stress by worrying about things that aren’t even real or have happened yet.

But the number one stress in life is always self-induced. It comes from failing to live in and embrace your current moment or experience. It comes from your mind fighting to reject “what is” when it believes things should be different. This quote sums up stress quite nicely:

“Stress is caused by being ‘here’ but wanting to be ‘there’.” Eckhart Tolle.

The majority of the stress that we experience is completely self-inflicted! What this means is that too often these days we pay little attention to the now and we focus and worry too much about the future. We set up some magical future date, or achievement where we believe we will finally be happy or we will magically be “okay.”

Instead of focusing on our present life, and appreciating things for what they are currently, we instead tie our happiness to when we make enough money, lose enough weight, find the right relationship, or get that better job. Living for or trying to live in a future that does not even exist yet is bound to cause stress, whether you believe it does or not.

That being here but wanting to be there is something that I am experiencing myself constantly, and I am having to consciously and mindfully mange it. Right now I can’t run. I have an injury and though it is getting better, I can promise you that I don’t want to be “here” nursing it, worrying about it, or taking steps to manage the injury. Of course I don’t. I would rather be out running and be healthy, so my focus drifts to when I might be able to run again. I am rejecting “what is” and wanting so badly to be in the future when it is better.

And guess what? Doing that does not solve anything. It only serves to make me miserable and trust me… it adds a lot of stress that I don’t need!

I can both give into the negative cycle of it all and stress over it, or I can choose to handle things differently and not create more stress for myself. I am working very hard to do the latter.

The best way to alleviate stress and anxiety then is to be “here” – to be happy with being “here” – and to accept being “here” –  just as it is. When you feel stress piling on, ask yourself, what are you really stressed about and are you actually creating it all yourself. Take a moment to center and ground yourself into the present and enjoy that moment and your circumstances just as they are. You might be surprised to find that you are borrowing troubles that actually don’t have to or need.

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – Certified Life Coach – Aspen, Colorado

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