In my opinion, the common definition of stress is incorrect: The dictionary definition is – “a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances: he’s obviously under a lot of stress | [ in combination ] : stress-related illnesses.”
This concept of stress demands that the sufferer be a victim of the circumstances in their life. I have had clients who are stressed by the thought of getting out of bed, and those who struggle with “the harsh demands of daily life” on the other hand I have coached people who juggle family life with business and levels of activity that many of us would be in awe of… without a hint of stress.
My definition of stress is; “Stress is a result of resisting whatever is occurring in the moment, and is amplified by emotional intensity.”
Other words for Resistance in this application could be, “opposition to, hostility to, aversion to, refusal to accept, unwillingness to accept reality as it is rather than how it “should be”. The degree of pain will be in direct relation to the distance between what you think it “should have been” and what is actually was, or is.
I believe that the problem is not stress, it is resistance, the inability or unwillingness to accept what is going on, which interrupts the flow and causes friction, physically and emotionally.
A successful athlete has the ability to assess the challenges they face in the moment and the level of training they will need to meet the challenges ahead. The unsuccessful athlete complains that the competition is too tough, or the race is too difficult and quits.
Every life has pressure, some are similar and others that are unique to each life, and it is how this pressure is accepted or resisted that determines how effectively and easily it flows.
My equation PxR=S is a simple tool to check the degree of your level of resistance to whatever is going on in any given moment.
The opposite of resistance is acceptance, and an equation that describes the relation of acceptance and flow is A=F for Acceptance equals Flow.
If you identify a part of the first equation which seems to be the cause of the stress, that is the pressure or what you are resisting, (R) then you can use any number of tools to reduce the intensity and allow for a new perspective to evolve. This activity introduces choice and allows for a new level of acceptance of the issue.
When you change any part of the equation, you change the entire equation.
Acceptance provides a calm centre from which to consider your choices and to make the best ones for you in the specific situation.
Many of my clients have defined acceptance as surrender or quitting, and they believed that struggle is an essential part of life.
As they began to see that acceptance is not quitting or throwing in the towel, but is really the act of seeing the situation as it is rather than through their unconscious patterns, they began to thrive and their lives opened to the flow.
Those who were willing to suspend their belief in struggle and the belief that life was united against them observed many changes, among them; better health, less stressful situations, more opportunities, and more pleasure in life.
If you, like me, want to live with more happiness and purpose, with a sense of fulfilment and achievement, then try accepting your life as it is and the people in it as they are, that is when change happens.
Andy Bryce, Founding EFT Master
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