A new perspective - don't take my word for it - see for yourself.
The old model of stress has us believe that our stressed state comes from the circumstances, people, events outside of us that cause us to experience discomfort. You may have heard of the Stress Test which determines how much stress you are suffering from, based on the circumstances you have experienced. Whether that be a new relationship, moving house, loss of a loved one and so on. Each type of stress is given a score and you add them up to determine your level of stress
The old model suggests that we pick up stress from these circumstances, people, events. Going to these places or events. Being around these people and circumstances.
The old model also suggests that different places have less stress, such as out in nature or undertaking a yoga class.
And once we are back in the stressful environments the stress comes back. We are taught and learn to change, control, fix, escape the circumstances. Escaping may be using food, alcohol, drugs. This is usually a temporary fix to feel better, until we find ourselves in another circumstance that causes us stress
Trying to change our circumstances or environment is exhausting because it is never ending. There are so many variables involved. I know! I used food to feel better whenever I didn't like what was happening in my life. It helped in the moment and caused more problems to deal with once the escape and high wore off.
What if it was simpler than that?
What if there is an innocent misunderstanding about stress and how our human experience works that no one ever showed us?
What if our experience is NEVER coming from outside of us.
How could that change life for us?
What if our experience is 100% of the time coming from our own thinking about the event, person, job, circumstance and that the discomfort we identify as stress is actually coming from the feeling we have about our own thinking.
What if: We feel our OWN thinking?
Let me give you an example by asking:
How is it that several people can get onto the same plane on the same flight on the same day, and some individuals will have an exciting experience, others will have a neutral experience and others will be fearful and anxious the whole flight?
Some passengers may even be feeling anxious for days leading up to the flight - even though the plane is no where in sight.
How is it that some people can find a particular person at work completely irritating and stressful and yet others' don't even notice them?
How is it that we can be aware of a spider or mouse in the room and some people will scream and run out the door and others' will either leave it be or pick it up and release it?
How is it that we could easily walk across a plank that is on the ground and just as easily walk across it if it is lifted 20cm off the ground but feel completely paralysed if it is lifted off the ground by 10 m?
The plank hasn't changed, your feet haven't changed, your ability is the same. The only thing that has changed is your OWN thinking about it, and what it means.
Your thinking about it has changed and your mind/body feels your different thinking.
What if 100% of the time, our human experience of life is always coming from our personal thinking about the outside world, and that we feel our OWN thinking about it?
What if we are actually experiencing our OWN thinking about the flight, the person, the spider, the plank?
When our thinking is fearful we feel those fearful thoughts and when our thinking is neutral so is our feeling. The biological machine that is our brain, does not know what is real or imagined so responds according to what is focused on.
When we understand where our experience comes from, we can see our experience for what it really is. So that when we feel anxious, scared, lonely, bored all it means is that we are having anxious, scary, lonely or boring thoughts and experiencing the feeling of those thoughts. Its such a relief to know that people, situations or events are not actually creating our uncomfortable feeling.
Here's another common example:
Your friend tells you - "So and So makes me feel guilty (or angry or sad or frustrated or ....)"
What if it is actually your friend's own thinking about "So and So" that is making them feel this way - that they are creating this experience of "So and So" internally by their personal thinking. Realistically, how does "So and So " make your friend feel that way? Do they get into your body, do they inject you with a substance that your body responds to ?
Or it simply that they are feeling their OWN thinking they have about "So and So"?
Lets just pause here while you take that in.
The great news is - we can chose whether to engage with those thoughts or whether to dismiss them. Just as we are dismissing 100's of other thoughts that flow through us every day. We don't even notice most of them, we give them no attention, and they continue to move through, like clouds passing across a blue sky. Constantly moving and changing. Not meaning anything unless we stop and focus on them and believe the cloud thoughts.
Its like we are identifying with a dream or engrossed in a TV show, as if its real. When we come back to the NOW, (whats physically real infront of us - the couch the TV , the curtains,) we can wake up from the dream. Coming back to the NOW means we drop out of our personal thinking. In the NOW - look around, and notice that there are no problems. It's only when we go back up into the movie screen of thought in our mind, that looks and feels real that the problems come back.
Uncomfortable feelings are a great alarm bell to wake us up that we are temporarily caught up in some form of uncomfortable thinking about the past, or made up thinking about how the future will play out.
Thoughts are like watching a movie about us. We can have movies about the past or movies the mind makes up about how the future might look. Neither are solid or real, just as you cant go into a movie or into the TV and change what happens with the characters,
So what does this mean for us?
When we see our experience for what it really is, we can relax -
there is nothing to do, and everything to see.
If 100% of our experience comes from our OWN felt thinking, then surely all problems, habits, stress start from thinking too? Don't believe me - see for yourself.
Seeing that thinking is a process not a solid object, is such a relief.
When we understand how our own experience works and that it is universal - to every human, its easier to see it in others' too.
We can see an angry person is having their OWN angry thinking, and that THEY are feeling that thinking as solid and real. The body reacts to the thinking and behaves in an angry way.
See if you can notice how thinking comes before a feeling and thought/feeling comes before a behaviour or habit or action/reaction.
Don't take my word for it - see what you notice for yourself.
Id love to explore this with you further.
Email below, and book a free discovery call today
Mind & Body Wellbeing Coach
Freedom comes from experiencing the understanding for yourself. No strategies required.