Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Stress Awareness
Urbanology May 2009

April was Stress Awareness month. Most people know that there is a close relationship between stress and illness, but have no idea of just what stress is. I believe that the emotional attachment we have to the “stories” in our head is a major factor contributing to the mental, emotional, or physical tension known as stress. The stories that we play, over and over, in our heads create emotional blockages. These emotional blockages cause stress.

All too often the stories we carry around about what happened, over time, becomes far more significant than what really happened. And when we can’t, or won’t, let go - we create energy blockages, which produce stress. Interestingly, “I am right” and “you are wrong” dialogs are factors found in most of the emotional stress we experience.

Right and wrong is really based on a phenomenon called “collective agreement”. If enough people agree on something it becomes their “truth”. The emotional stress of anger and fear centered on the “I am right” and “you are wrong” factor in any “truth” issue continues until the agreement changes. When the agreement changes the truth changes. When the truth changes the emotional story connected to the issue also changes.

What does all this mean? Simply, that much of the harmful emotional stress we experience due to anger, sadness, and fear is based on what we “believe” to be true. Eckhart Tolle, in his book “A New Earth”, describes the truth as “a number of stories that become a collective agreement”. My point in discussing all this is to emphasize one fact: If you are carrying a story around in your head that’s emotionally attached to anger, sadness or fear - let it go. It’s making you sick.

Learn to turn the voice in your head off. If you accept the fact that what you believe to be true today can change tomorrow, you’ll be more flexible in your opinions and thoughts - which reduces stress. This is very important if you’re in a leadership position. In the ancient Taoist book of Leadership and Strategy, The Huainanzi, there’s a passage that states:

“Those who can become strong leaders must be able to find winners. Those who can win must be strong. Those who can be strong are able to use the power of other people. To be able to use the power of other people, it is necessary to win people’s hearts. To be able to win people’s hearts, it is necessary to have self-mastery. To be capable of self-mastery, it is necessary to be flexible.”
Stress Awareness is something that must be practiced अल थे time.

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