In our modern day pace and hustle of life everyone thinks of stress as a necessary part of their everyday life.
But is this the truth?
Stress gets a lot of bad publicity and yet most people only understand what they mean by stress and do not actually know what stress is.
The definition of stress in relation to people is in simple terms:
“A person’s ability to cope with the demands placed upon them”.
This means that people naturally have different thresholds to what they find stressful and different perceptions of their ability to cope with stress. Which makes a lot of sense as people are different and what I like to do can be different to what you like to do.
What I specially want to point out here is that stress has everything to do with a person’s perception – that is how they see themselves, how they see the world and how they see their place in the world (where they fit in). This is reflected in the second part of the definition ‘the demands placed upon them’.
Lets break this up into parts:
- ‘the demands’ – a demand can be something that you perceive as a neutral request / instruction or it can be seen as a massive pressure that infringes your human rights, and anything and everything in-between.
- ‘placed upon them’ – a lot of stress, in my opinion, is caused through the person believing that they have no control and that their control has been taken away from them.
I done my thesis, for my BSc in Psychology, on “Perceived Control and Children’s Engagement in School”. What I expected to find was that the reason why children went to school and worked hard was because they believed that it was important to their parents and that they wanted to please they parents – this is called an external reason / belief in Psychology. What I actually found was that the main reason was the child wanted to learn and do well in school – this is called an internal reason / belief in Psychology.
This is important because it shows that when the child does something for their own reasons, rather than to please someone else, their perception of how much control they have increases and this in turn increases their engagement and therefore increase their success in school.
The ONE thing you need to know about STRESS is:
You cause the stress in your life.
You do this by:
- Not making choices about what you want to do and how you want to do it – taking Autonomy.
- Not taking responsibility for your actions
- Playing the role of victim, rather than owning responsibility for what YOU may perceive as ‘needing to be done BY YOU’ and doing it in a light hearted joyful manner.
Just ONE more thing ;-):
When you are the most stressed you will often not fully appreciate how much it is effecting you, you may even not realise that you are stressed (which is the case for MOST people).
Stayed tuned for my next blog post about how this recently happened to me.
ps: By the time you get this I will be on my two month retreat in Portugal as part of the Awakened Life Project.