How To Relieve Stress In 2 Simple Steps 

Stress Management sucks.  It assumes a “You can’t get rid of it, so you might as well live with it” attitude.

Weak.

Once you move to ‘relieving stress’, you just took a major step toward feeling better and being more effective (eventually you’ll start eliminating stress… but we’ll get to that in another post).

To keep it simple, there are two generalized situations that cause stress:

  1. Direct threat to your life:  Car bearing down on you (why didn’t you look both ways?)… Lion attempting to eat you (how did you find yourself in the savannah?)… Crazy person attacking you (he always seemed so quiet…).  These are situations where your body justifiably attempts to limit intellectualizing (trying to figure things out), and maximize your ability to run or fight for your life… hence the term “fight or flight response.”  Fortunately (for the majority of my readers), these situations tend to be rare in your life.
  2. Stuff you don’t like:   Annoying job/financial situation (annoying boss, annoying co-workers, annoying bills), annoying relationship situation (annoying husband/wife, annoying boyfriend/girlfriend, annoying kids, annoying friends, annoying family), annoying health situation, etc.  The word ‘annoying’ is used intentionally… because next to the possibility of dying right now… the other issues are just ‘annoyances’… are they not?

So the vast majority of the stress we feel is based on situations we don’t like… which leaves us one obvious option:

Accept the situation.

There is one tremendous fear that usually arises from this:

But if I accept it, I’ll never be able to change it.

Incorrect.

The more you internally accept a situation, the more you will see it clearly (which is the real change)… the more you will allow yourself access to creative solutions… and the more you will be able to fluidly carry out any necessary actions.  If you are in New York and you want to get to L.A…. pretending you’re already in L.A. won’t get you there… calling yourself wrong, bad, or evil for being in New York won’t get you to L.A…. accepting you’re in New York is the only way to know where to start to select appropriate transportation to L.A.

What we call stress is what stands between us and enjoyment of any/every moment of life… what we call stress stands between us and clarity about our situation… what we call stress stands between us and effective action.

One primary element of stress is resistance.

So how do you quickly relieve stress?

 Here are the two magical steps:

  1. Discover what you’re resisting
  2. Stop resisting it

Can it be that simple?

Let’s try it and see.

Step 1

What don’t you like about what’s going on right now?… this can be external circumstances or what’s going with you mentally or emotionally.

We all have resistance… it doesn’t make us bad, evil, or wrong… it’s simply a part of the human condition.  The beginning of freedom is to accept this, and begin to notice what you resist in general… and what specifically you are resisting right now.

You might notice sensations in the body you’re resisting, images or sounds in the mind that you’re resisting, or just a general impression of what you don’t like.

Just notice what you can for right now, and move to step 2

Step 2

What if, just for a moment you were to completely relax around those thoughts/feelings?

What if you could just observe them?

What if you could accept them completely?

What if you could welcome them into your experience?

Can you imagine letting them go completely?

Notice it, accept it, let it go.

If you haven’t already… try this with something unpleasant in your experience right now… see how much you can let go of resistance… then notice how much of your energy is freed up to enjoy life and/or solve the situation.

Remember… Relieving and ultimately eliminating stress is the simple step between where you are now, and all the experiences you want in life.

So take a little time to play with the 2 step process… and notice how powerful your results are.

keep smiling,

Benjamin