How to Reduce Stress in Your Life

Stress is a killer. Despite knowing this, people continue to create stress whether it is for yourself or being attracted to stressful situations. We like to think that it is apart of life.  Stress is a natural part of life. But, we can place undue stress in our lives through our choices and reactions.

I recently read a Chinese Proverb that said, “Tension is who you think you should be.  Relaxation is who you are.” What does this mean? It means that we can create tension by creating a picture in our mind of who we should be and then trying to make the world fit that picture. If the picture in your mind differs from the reality of your life, you can find yourself suffering. The easiest way to ease tension is to get very real about who you are and where you find yourself. It requires taking responsibility for your situation. As long as you blame other people, you let go of control for your situation because your situation can’t change until they do. The reality is that every person in your life is there because you invited them or allowed them in your life. And every person has their own agenda, issues and stuff to work out. If your friends are full of drama, it’s because you are attracted to drama. If you like drama, then own it. If you don’t like drama, then your friends have to grow with you or you have to grow without them. But, there is no way to keep dramatic people in your life while minimizing drama. This is a recipe for stress and every person in your life is a projection of something you believe about yourself.

Let’s also look at the choices you are making. If you have financial stress, how are you spending your money?  Are you buying love, affection or admiration with your money and then finding that you barely have enough money to pay the bills? Are you trying to live a millionaire lifestyle while you only have a few dollars in the bank? If you want to know what your priorities are, look at where you spend most of your money. What are you trying to hide with your money? Your relationship to your money is another projection of something that you believe about yourself.  For most people, money equals security and freedom. If your relationship to your money is unstable, it mirrors your own insecurity.

If you have relationship stress, you may think I am going to say that you need to work it out with your partner. That’s incorrect. You need to start with yourself. You are the biggest problem in your relationship. Why is that? Whatever your partner is or isn’t doing, you are allowing it to happen. You have to take responsibility for the person you chose to be with. You have two choices in any relationship: work it out or leave. Anything else you do in the relationship is selfish manipulation and control. Working it out requires letting egos die, becoming selfless and being willing to do whatever is necessary to repair the relationship. It takes honest communication, vulnerability and trust. If you aren’t willing to do anything I’ve just said, then you probably should be choosing the second option which  is leaving. You are bringing the stress to the relationship.

Life isn’t simple. There is truth that there will be stressful situations that occur as a part of daily life because bad things happen. It’s important to see how you contribute to the stress of life. If you can look at yourself and make some corrections to your choices and actions, you can ease the stress in your life. You may be placing undue stress on yourself by setting expectations for your life and expecting it all to work out without focusing on the part you play in it. You may be the roadblock. Who are you in your life? It might not be who you think you are. Take a deep look.

“We have this weird thing in the world where you don’t get insulted for what you do, you get insulted for who you are.” ― John Green