Over the years, we’ve heard from the media an ever increasing amount of headlines and stories about stress. From the economy to PTSD and war, stress is recognized as a predominant scourge of our lives.
And when you start digging down into “stress”, you find that there are all kinds: relationship stress, workplace stress, school stress, performance stress, chemical stress, social stress and the list goes on.
Why stress is such a scourge is in part because we live in an increasingly complex world. Technology has brought us more complexity.
For examples, technology in the health sciences has brought us the ability to clone, to use stem cells, to reproduce in a lab. This inevitably has brought new questions in ethics since it also has spurred on new economic exploits.
We are more connected through technology, which creates more complexity, mostly through faster rates of and more volumes of communication. This creates more expectations, that you are going to get back to someone quicker than it would take to make a phone call.
If you’re thinking that I believe that technology is all bad because it’s causing us more stress, that’s not the point. I think that some technology is bad and some of it is being used in a bad way, but technology is here to stay. And it can be very helpful to us.
I think we need to rise to the occasion and adapt to this increasing complexity and speed of communication.
I suggest we do this by going inside of ourselves to work with the mind-body connection.
Most of what we can recognize as being stressful, is stressful because of the way we react to it. When we experience an inner struggle, that is when we experience what we would otherwise call a “bad stress”.
The inner struggle that I’m referring to is one which we feel in our guts, or in our bones, or in our hearts. When we feel like we’re not enough, or that we feel taken advantage of, when we actively ignore our intuition, when we solely identify as a role, when we say yes but mean no, when we say no but mean yes, when we feel disconnected and alone, when we don’t see the part we play in our own suffering, when all of our thoughts seem real, when we are living a lie … all of these and more are part of our daily inner struggle.
We may blame stress and see it as the cause of all of these feelings, but once you learn to navigate this inner world from a mind-body perspective, life becomes less stress-full.
The gift that we have all received is the capacity to build a stronger, more adaptable nervous system, one that can successfully navigate our daily inner struggle, to where we don’t struggle anymore. We don’t have to die in order to be at peace.