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Mountain-Goat
26-04-2011, 05:33 AM
Dictionary: Stress
1: (psychology) a state of mental or emotional strain or suspense.
2: (physics) force that produces strain on a physical body.
3: Difficulty that causes worry or emotional tension.

From these definitions it appears that circumstances, people and events in your life are the cause of the stress you are experiencing.
Teased/bullied at school/work, husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend/family member being unloving, government chiseling away at your rights and quality of life, boss harrassing you,
diagnosed with a serious illness, loss of job/income, partner left and you have to raise your children alone. The list is endless.

These experiences, these external forces are pushing against you, pushing you to the limits of your capabilities, such as physical and mental strength, perseverence, love, joy, enthusiasm, a clear mind focused on the solution or finding one, etc.
There comes a time in these experiences when the continuation of these forces against you take their toll, you're ability to cope weakens, cracks start to appear.
In the medical field, this is known as a stress fracture. A bone can take so much pressure/force against it, but if it goes over the limit, the bone cracks.
You were coping with the harsh experience for a while but now it's getting to be too much, stress is building, pain is increasing.
Even worse if you can't change/fix/escape the experience, doubly so if you have made valiant efforts to do so already.

Cracks are beginning to appear and stress will manifest as either physical illness' or the ol' brain will short cuircit and you will live reactively from an irrational emotional state.
Accumilate enough cracks and a breakdown will occur

I've had 3 in my life, all different and all painful, but hey, the good thing about breakdowns is you now know what needs fixing.
And from the position of a breakdown, the only way is up...once the dust of confusion and despair has settled, you can see what went wrong and rebuild so it won't happen again.
I've been profoundly fortunate to have three powerful life changing opportunities to rebuild my life, to which I have done so...the 6 million dollar man ain't got nothin' on me!
Except...he gets to do stuff in slow motion...ohh how I often dream of moving in slow motion. It's as wonderous as flying.

Anyways...

Dictionary: Stress
1: (psychology) a state of mental or emotional strain or suspense.
2: (physics) force that produces strain on a physical body.
3: Difficulty that causes worry or emotional tension.
I agree with 1 and 2, but not with 3. Here's some observations as to why I don't agree with 3.

Over the last couple of weeks I've been reading, 50 Psychology Ideas You Really Need To Know by Adrian Furnham.
A light read that dedicates 2-3 pages per idea.
The first line in this book on the subject of Stress reads..."The word 'stress' is derived from the latin 'stringere', which means 'to draw tight'."

In the physical realm, the external/outer realm, stress is from a force pushing against you. Wind against a tree. If the wind is strong enough, the tree is stressed and will break.
But in the spiritual/soul/mental/emotional realm, the inner realm, stress is not from an external force pushing against you.
It's from self "drawing oneself tightly'. Recoiling from the external force/experience. This looks similar to a fear response, yes?

Yes there is an experience that is forcing itself against you, but that force is not creating the stress.
It's your response to the experience that creates the stress. Why be stressed? Because you aren't strong enough to withstand the external force.

Two people experience the same thing, one is stressed the other is not.
Logically...
3: Difficulty that causes worry or emotional tension.
If the external force is the cause of stress then both would feel stress.
But they both don't so the external force cannot be the cause of stress.
So, stress must be created by the individual via not being able to cope, not able to withstand the external force, not being stronger than the external force.

Very very sad news for those that can't handle life's difficulties.
I knew of this sadness. I lived most of my 50 years not being able to cope with many of life's harsher elements, hence the 3 breakdowns.
And you may be thinking and feeling way bad about yourself because you realise you are a weak individual.
I say this because I lived with those thoughts and feelings for many years.

If you think you are a weak individual...you are not.
You may have elements of self that are weak, as we all have, areas that aren't as strong as other parts of self or compared to others, but you are not a weak person.
You are a person who has weaknesses and strengths...all is not lost.
i would not be here today if it weren't for my strengths. Strengths that enabled me to continue my journey even though all I could see at that time were my weaknesses.

But wait...there is more profound life empowering good news in all this, a light amongst all that darkness, a solution to all life's problems. Growth.

Acknowledgement of the weakness is the first step, acceptance that there is a weakness.
The second step is knowing it can be strengthened and understanding it is not the whole you, just a part.
Third step is doing something about it, learning, understanding, adjusting via trail and error, and continuing to do so till it becomes strong.
Shame, guilt, embarrassment, self criticism/condemnation...bin all those as they stop self from growing.

You've heard of the saying, "Rising to the occasion/challenge."
And you've most likely heard/used the phrase, " I just can't cope anymore."

Now, I've also just begun reading Bruce Lipton's, The Biology of Belief.
You know of the concept of the flight or fight response, yes?
As Bruce describes the lives of cells, he speaks of a similar concept.
Two modes of behavior that a cell will employ in relation to it's awareness of it's environment.
There is a third, 'a neutral response to it's environment', but that can be left out for now.

If the petri dish has food placed in it, the cell will move toward the food. This is the movement of growth.
If the petri dish has a toxin placed in it, the cell will move away from the toxin. This is the movement of protection.
So instead of fight or flight, you have growth or protection.

The interesting things Bruce has discovered in his experiments are these:
: a cell cannot grow and protect at the same time. Can't move forward and backward at the same time.
: the cell's energy is used for growth and for protection, but energy is only accumilated in growth mode, not in protection mode..
: while in protection mode, growth is stopped. Remain in protection mode(energy used) and the cell becomes weaker,
remain longer and illness occurs, then death.

Rising to the occasion/challenge is growing up, increasing in strength, ability and understanding to be able to cope with the harsh experiences.
Growth is to become more than what you currently are, to go beyond your current state.
Not only cope, but overcome, solve, repair, restore, heal. To transform one's life.
To go beyond what you know of yourself, into the unknowns of self.
My experiences thus far have shown me that my unknown areas contain the inifinte potential I already have, an infinite source of power that is untapped simply because I have not gone there to discover/activate it.

Shame, guilt, embarrassment, self criticism. These are your toxins that keep you in protection mode, that stop or hinder your forward motion into growth.
Turn the tap of these off. Seriously, turn these thoughts off and you will instantly begin to see you can move toward growth.
Yes, it's not a simple turning off is it. You have to gain understanding as to why you turn them on in the first place, only then is it a simple matter to turn them off.

Stress - to draw tight/to contract/to recoil, is the opposite of expansion, of growth.

This is very similar to fear. Fear causes one to recoil from the situation. But recoiling simply increases the fear.
The removal of a fear can only be achieved by facing and overcoming said fear.
Notice your feelings and thoughts of yourself when you have confronted a fear but have recoiled from it.
You don't think highly of yourself do you. But how highly you think of yourself once you have overcome.
Not only are you proud of your achievement, but you are amazed at how weak the thing you feared actually was.
It is because you have become stronger, powerfully stronger within the experience via the one small step into the unknown.
One small step beyond your known self into your unknown self, your untapped infinite potential.

Not only fearful things. How about whenever you were learning a new skill, or working towards a goal.
How you beat yourself up or were upset while learning and striving, making mistakes, etc.
But how elated once you mastered the skill or achieved the goal.

Do you see the significance of the phrase, " I never knew I had it in me"?
You never knew you had it in you till you went beyond your current limit.
Same with how to cope with situations.

You may be currently struggling to cope now, but you are capable of growing and I will assume you would like to be able to cope rather than not cope.
And the place where one grows is within the harsh experiences.
If there is no external event that requires growth, you will not activate it.
Walking through your dark valleys of shadow and death is where you grow.
The glorious mountain tops is where you celebrate your achievements.

Where is the only place to learn how to ride a bike? On a bike of course.
Where is the only place to hurt yourself when learning how to ride a bike? On a bike of course.
Where is the only place to make mistakes when learning how to ride a bike? On a bike of course.
Where is the only place to grow in one's abilities to be able to cope with the difficulties of riding a bike till one is capable of riding a bike? On a bike of course.
Where do you grow in your abilities to cope? Within the experience you are not coping with.

So what's stopping you from rising to the occasion? You are, not the circumstances.
You stop growing when you are in protection mode.
You cannot advance when you have stopped or are retreating.

Ah, but you may say, "AC, you have no idea what problems I have in my life, how huge they are, how impossible they are to overcome."
You are correct, I am not suffering from a terminal illness, I have not had family member(s) murdered, I have not lost important limbs or sensory functions,
I am not a paraplegic, I do not live in a war zone, I have not lost all in a tsunami or earthquake.
But I have walked through some hellish valleys and I have found that as I have grown, I am capable of coping with more.
And...I have experienced that what is impossible is only a belief that it is and that the impossibilities are actually possible.

Rising to the occasion/challenge, growing up, being capable. Ascension comes to mind.
I am not a fan of ascension. I am a fan of expansion. A more balanced view of ascension.

A tree reminds me of ascension.
A tree goes up. However, a tree's height is in proportion to how far it roots go down and out, and of the width of the tree's trunk.
But for intended purposes, a tree goes up.
But a tree can be cut down. Strong wind can blow it down. Weakening of the soil can also topple a tree.

A mountain reminds me of expansion.
Mountains are tall, wide and deep. They have grown in all directions in contrast of a tree that predominantly grows upward.
Ever seen a mountain toppled by external forces? I haven't.
Only problem with becoming a mountain, compared to a mighty tree, is the mountain takes a helluva lot longer to become.
But when the tidal waves come and you are totally unaffected, then you realise the longer building process was worth it.
The deeper and wider the foundation, the higher one can build.
Mountains rock ! <-- ooh, double word score!

Consider a tree and a mountain of the same height. Which has the most area, the most volume? A mountain of course.
The mountain has the most capacity.
You're ability to cope with life's harshness is your capacity.
Your capacity increases via growth, and growth is a choice you make within life's harshness, to which you empower daily with your will, your will power.

That's where you practice, fallover, make mistakes, learn, adjust, increase in skill and understanding, self confidence, self appreciation, self worth.
This is where you power up, this is the self empowerment you choose to activate.
And where is this foundation built? Inside you.
Inside you is infinite potential, infinite power to create such a foundation that can not only withstand anything, but also overcome anything, and create anything.

You build muscles by the harshness of doing weights. You become stronger.
You build your inner strength via the harshness of experiences.
The harshness of life is an opportunity to grow, but one must decide to rise to the occasion/challenge.
And when you make that decision and stick to it regardless of your circumstances, you activate the infinite potential/power and growth begins.
Step by step, day by day, you increase till eventually you become stronger than the force that is against you.

You go from being overwhelmed, to holding your own, to overpowering.
Instead of life controling you, you regain control of your life. You choose what when how regardless of circumstances.
Physical growth is automatic, inner growth is a choice.
Your tomorrow is shaped by what you do today.

Looking at it logically...
You are stressed because you can't handle the situation.
If you could handle it, you would not be stressed.
Simple isn't it!
The problem is not having problems, the problem is you aren't strong enough to handle them.
As you gain strength, you will see that the impossibilities are possible.
All problems have solutions, if you are willing to look, realise then work toward implimenting them.
 
And there's a whole bunch more to all this...
 
 
 
 
 

Miss Hepburn
26-04-2011, 10:42 AM
Excellent post, Thank you.
:smile:
And so true.

mo g
26-04-2011, 11:53 AM
Talk about timing. You actually posted this today just as I woke up extremely stressed but I didn't have time to comment lol. Gave me a whole new slant on things. Ta muchly.

Mo

TwelveOhTwo
26-04-2011, 02:04 PM
I think you posted this just for me! :) This was just the thing I needed to hear. Thanks so much!

Silver
26-04-2011, 02:54 PM
Not bad a/c, ty.

Cumbria
26-04-2011, 04:54 PM
I loved reading that, work is stressing my out a lot and this has given me a nice insight as to why

Spiritlite
26-04-2011, 05:02 PM
Beautiful and excellent post thankyou am printing it out now.
Spiritlite.

Mountain-Goat
27-04-2011, 03:54 AM
~smiles~ Ah, a burst of joy in my heart when what I have seen can help another fellow traveller.

I've been exploring the whole self empowerment/self control-increase in freedom thing ever since my healing of depression.

And may I say, Bruce Lipton's words and insights in his Biology of Belief book...life changing stuff !
His stuff has clarified many things I didn't fully understand and, has shown even more connections in this beautiful thing called life.
Onya Bruce !

Mountain-Goat
27-04-2011, 04:51 AM
This has been wafting through me today since this morning.
Here's a rough first draft crystalisation of what I saw.

Love is infinitely more than your definition of it.
Your definitions are not the end, they are starting points/points of reference from which one explores to discover what is beyond them.

You are infinitely more than your current definition/evaluation of yourself.
Your definitions/evaluations are not the end, not the sum total of yourself.
They are starting points/points of reference from which you explore to discover what is beyond them.

Please, go take a look, you will not be disappointed.
I don't know how long you have to look, how long you have to journey, but if you are anything like me,
you may have to look for a while before you see how awesome and beautiful you are.
But, by the time you have seen these things, the time taken becomes irrelivant.