By Leo Gura - May 9, 2014 | 7 Comments
How to permanently reduce stress over money, relationships, and work.
Hey, this is Leo from Actualized.org, and in this video I’m going to talk about stress management.
Let’s talk about how to manage your stress. So many of us are stressed these days, and we’re stressed about all sorts of things. How do we bring that stress under control? Wouldn’t it be nice to create a life that is stress-free, that gives you peace of mind, stability and equanimity?
Equanimity means calmness of mind, evenness of mind that can last out throughout the whole day, no matter what happens, no matter what the circumstances are, you can still remain calm. How do we go about creating that?
Let’s actually dig in, and take a look at what stress really is, how it’s created, what areas in your life are most affected by it, and give you some solutions for how to tackle this problem at the root, at the core.
The Root Causes Of Stress
None of us like to feel stressed, but so many of us today are overwhelmed, for various reasons. Either relationships have us stressed, or money has us stressed, or lack of time and work has us stressed, or other areas in our lives. Those three, I would say, are the pillars.
Let’s take a look at what stress is. What is going on when you’re stressed? It’s a chemical response. It’s a series of emotional responses within your body, but also a series of thoughts that are going on at the same time. That’s ultimately what stress is. If you actually do an introspection to your own consciousness when you’re stressed, and you just observe yourself, that’s what you’re going to find.
You’re going to find that you have thoughts that are coming up and you’re going to have emotions that are coming up. Probably, those two are going to be intermingling together. That intermingling is fairly complex. Your thoughts will be creating negative emotions, and then your negative emotions will also be creating negative thoughts.
It creates this downward, negative spiral, where these two forces feed into each other, and they create this perfect storm of shit in your mind, which then gets you all anxious and stressed out about whatever it is you’re stressed out about.
That’s what’s going on. It’s important to wonder is stress an internal condition, or is it an external condition? Where is it going on? Really think about this. Don’t listen to what you’ve been told in popular culture, or what you read in some book, or what some guru told you — listen to yourself. Listen to your own experience, your own consciousness.
When you are stressed, is that because your life is going to hell, externally, you’re not getting what you want out there, and that’s why your life is stressful? Or is your life stressful because of what’s going on in here?
The Problem Is Inside
If you do some introspection, and you do it very honestly with yourself, what you’re going to find is that even though it seems like the problem is out there in the external world, it’s actually in here. The stress is coming up and being created in here. It’s always operating on the inside, in your internal reality, not in the external reality.
This being the case, it’s important. Some people will project the problem out into the external world. That’s our gut reaction. That’s what we do. We tend to say “Well, that person, she’s got me stressed. My boss, he’s got me stressed. My kids have me stressed out to hell. The lack of money I have, I can’t pay the bills, that’s stressing me out. My business problems, bad clients, stuff going wrong, legal issues, that’s stressing me out.”
The problem with that is that if you project everything out there, then you’re really leaving yourself powerless. You’re a victim in this situation. You’re not taking responsibility. If you don’t take responsibility — you can choose to do that — but then you’re going to stay stuck in this situation. You’re going to let things keep stressing you out.
That’s probably one of the reasons you’re overwhelmed right now, if you are. If you’re very stressed in your life, and you’re watching this video, hoping for some relief, the first thing I’ve got to tell you is that probably the reason you’re so stressed is because you’re blaming everything outside of you for your stress.
Two Very Different People
That doesn’t mean certain situations aren’t inherently more stress-causing than others, but still, look at this. One person will go into a work situation and have the boss yell at them, and he’ll be completely stressed. Or maybe he has a presentation he has to give to the company, and he’ll just be stressed out of his mind. He won’t sleep that whole night.
He’ll worry. He’ll wake up in the morning. He’ll have a problem, he’ll run to the bathroom a couple of times because his stomach is upset. He won’t be able to eat. By the time he gets to work he’s such a nervous wreck he’s biting his nails and all this is going on. He’s getting stressed because of the presentation that he has to give to his boss and to the company.
That’s one person. You can also take another person, put him in the exact same situation and he’ll sleep like a baby. He won’t even think about the presentation. He’ll just walk in there and do whatever he needs to do. What’s the difference there?
The difference is not the situation, it’s the same situation, the same boss, the exact same company, the exact same presentation that needs to be given, the exact same stakes on the line. Maybe millions of dollars on the line.
One person will be a nervous wreck, and another person will be completely calm, cool as a cucumber. What’s the difference? The difference is what’s going on in here. It’s about attitudes. It’s also about the experiences you cultivate. It’s the self-mastery that you have. It’s the emotional control you can develop.
It’s various techniques you might have to manage your stress. It’s the way you’re thinking, very critical. The way a calm person thinks is very different to the way an anxious person thinks. Their thought patterns are completely different. Their view of life is completely different. Their visualisation of situations is very different.
It’s important to start to recognize this. This is not some contrived situation. You can even do this little experiment with your own self. You might say “Well Leo, how can you compare two people? Sure, one person might be — maybe he grew up better. Maybe his father didn’t beat him. And this person grew up with a shitty childhood and of course he’s stressed. Isn’t that natural?”
Look, you can do it with yourself. Find a situation in life that used to stress you out like hell. Now, if you put yourself back into that same situation, you’re going to laugh. You’re honestly going to laugh, because you’re going to be back in that situation. It’s going to be laughable to you that you were ever stressed about it.
Think of a situation like that. Maybe it’s a first date. Do you remember how nervous you were when you were dating for the first time, or the first few times? Every time you sat down you were so nervous with that girl or that boy. Now when you do it, if you dated dozens of people, now if you do it it’s nothing. You don’t even think about it.
Do you remember the first time you ever wrote an email? How stressed out you were about writing an email? Just like a simple email. You might sit at the computer, typing up an email to some company or some resume you’re sending out, and maybe this is the first time you’re using the computer and using email.
You did that, and you would spend sixty minutes. You would spend ninety minutes crafting an email, and it was just a four line email. How stressed and nervous you were about that? Now, what does it take you to write an email? You just shoot it off, you don’t even think about it. It’s full of typos and stuff, you don’t care.
What changed in those situations? What changed was your psychology. Your experiences developed. You matured. You developed some self-control. You also developed detachment from that situation. You became at ease. You’re not stressed by it anymore.
All that’s showing you is that it’s internal. I need to prove to you that it’s internal. You need to prove it to yourself. As long as you believe it’s out there, you’re always going to be a victim. You’re always going to be stuck. That’s a very important distinction. It seems external, very deceptive. Think and look at how deceptive your mind is here.
Common sources of stress? I would say they are the following: money, lack of time and relationship problems. These three are the mother of all stresses. What I want to do here is give you some practical things you can do to start to fix stress in each one of these situations.
I coach a lot of people that come to me with stress around one of these areas, and then we do a lot of coaching, and invariably, stuff tends to happen. I see the actions people start to take, so you see patterns start to emerge. These are some of the patterns I’ve seen emerge.
Ultimately, because we’ve been talking about the inner-outer world distinction here, and we’ve been talking about the fact that stress is internal, ultimately, to deal with stress on a long term basis you need to start to cultivate more positive attitude, start to drop the negative thinking, do things like that.
The best way to do that is to do deep personal development. All of the videos I’m releasing to you guys, I have a lot of videos that talk about the inner psychology of things. Definitely start to check those out and start to learn from those.
Here’s something a little bit more practical, a little bit more immediate, more action-based. A lot of people are stressed over money. They don’t have enough of it, they’re fighting for it, they’re struggling with it, they can’t pay the bills. How do you overcome this stress?
Ultimately, I am about fixing your life. I master my internals, then I master my externals as well. Sometimes, it goes the other way around — I master my externals first, then the internals will come up to it. I’ll develop that over time. Sometimes the internals take a little bit longer to develop.
For example, the action that you should be taking with your money — if you’re having money problems at your job, what’s the solution? It’s obvious. You know it, but you don’t want to take responsibility. Get a better job. Do what it takes. Do the hard work it takes to get a better job, to earn more money.
Get an education. Go get some extra training. Go send out twenty resumes. Go spend a couple of hours polishing your resume. Go get some recommendations so that your resume looks better. Build a portfolio. Whatever you’ve got to do — get a better job. The money, then, is not a problem. It’s not going to stress you anymore.
It’s not going to be the end of your stress, but it’s going to be a solution to this nagging stress and this nagging external circumstance you’re having all the time, which is a job that’s paying you too little, so you’re always struggling. Fix that. Don’t ignore it, fix it.
Lack Of Time
The next one is lack of time. So many of us are strapped for time, we feel like we need more than twenty four hours in a day to get everything done. Our work and our boss is driving us nuts. How do we deal with this? Here’s the ultimate solution.
The ultimate solution is: you’ve got to slow down. You might be taking on too much stuff. Slow down. Look for ways to slow down. I’m not saying this in some nebulous way. I’m saying it very practically. Look for ways to slow yourself down. Look for ways to reduce your task lists. Talk to your boss, ask him if you can do less, because you’re feeling overwhelmed.
If you’re working for yourself, and you’re self-employed and you’ve got this whole laundry list of things you should’ve done two years ago, and you’re catching up with it — start cutting stuff back. You have to start slowing down, cutting stuff back, giving yourself more time, more room to grow in your life.
A lot of times, we want to accomplish everything in six months, all our goals in six months. It doesn’t work that way. What you’ll usually find is that in those six months, you’ll accomplish only a small percentage of your goals, and you’ll even build up more goals, so now you’ve got the goals you didn’t do, plus the new goals you’ve created, so now you’ve got even more to do.
It’s more and more. You’ve got to start to slow down. Give yourself more time. Be more patient with the whole process. You’ve got to start being very ruthless with your cutting. You have to be a very ruthless editor of your own life. Start cutting out the stuff that is not essential to your life.
I have another video called Time Management, you might want to search for that, which covers that topic really well, about how to get more time in your schedule. You want to focus. You want to pick one task you have on your list and focus on it. Don’t worry about the whole list. Looking at that whole list is just making you more stressed.
You’ve got to focus in. That’s what’s creating overwhelm for you, when you’re not focused and you’re distracted, and you feel like you have to just touch one thing, then touch another thing, then touch another thing, not get anything done, do everything half assed. It’s making you feel bad. It’s making you feel miserable about the quality of work you’re putting out.
What it’s doing is making you multitask. As you’re multitasking, you’re driving yourself nuts, you’re driving yourself frantic and stressed. You want to singletask. Focus on a single task, get that task accomplished, then move on to the next one.
Do it at a pace where you’re comfortable, where it’s sustainable, where you can sustain that over a long period of time. Put into place whatever circumstances you need in your life to do that.
The next one is relationships. This is such a big one. This one even has further subcomponents to it. I would say there are three subcomponents to relationships. People have stress in relationships in the following areas: with family, people have massive stress with their intimate relationships — with their girlfriend, boyfriend or spouse — and then people have tension at work — co workers or boss-employee relationships, or business partners.
These are the three areas of relationships where you could be having massive stress. Let’s take a look at each one of those and give you some options about what kind of actions you could be taking.
Ultimately, the mother of all solutions for relationships are the following — make sure you’re not doing this. Number one: stop blaming other people for your relationship problems. This is so difficult to admit to yourself. You have to admit to yourself and take responsibility for all your bad, stressful relationships. You are responsible for them.
That doesn’t mean the other person isn’t doing something they shouldn’t be doing, but that means you are responsible. You are responsible for being in that situation. You are responsible for putting yourself in that situation. You’re responsible for allowing that situation to continue.
I’m not blaming you, I’m saying you’re responsible. I’m saying you have control over the situation, you have power there. Do not make yourself a victim by blaming the other person. This applies to family, this applies to intimate relationships, this applies to co workers.
I don’t care how bad it is. I don’t care if your wife or your husband is abusing you. I don’t care if someone in your family is abusing you, or if you’re really getting mistreated at work. It doesn’t matter. That’s irrelevant. What matters is that you take responsibility.
The reason you keep getting mistreated, and keep getting physically abused is because you fall into this victim mode, and you blame the other person. That blame game has to stop. That’s number one.
Stop Trying To Control People
Number two is that you have to stop trying to control people. That’s the other huge mistake people make. They try to control other people. You can control yourself. You can control external circumstances in your life. You can set up a nice house. You can build a nice garden. You can start a family.
But you cannot control people. Don’t do this. It doesn’t matter where. Don’t control people at work. Don’t try to control people in your family. Don’t try to control your kids, or your parents. Don’t do that. Stop playing that game. Don’t try to control your spouse or girlfriend or boyfriend.
When you try to control people, when you try to manipulate them, when you try to get them to do things you want them to do, you’re playing a losing game. It’s going to make you so stressed, so frustrated, because you’re giving all of your power away. All of your power’s going away when you do that.
Here are some little solutions, action items you can do, with regards to relationships. First of all, with family, the solution is — if you’ve got someone who’s really bothering you in your family, focus on yourself. Focus on your own direction in life. Forget about family for a second.
Focus on your own direction. What are your own priorities, your own values? Focus on that, focus on what you want to create. In intimate relationships, what are some action items you could take? One is you can be more loving. That’s the point of an intimate relationship. If you can’t do that, you should break up. These are the two items.
You’re either going to make a choice between being more loving and accepting of that person, or if you can’t do that, and you think that the relationship is totally sour and it’s not healthy then break it off. Have the courage to break it off. I know it can be tough, but have the courage to break it off, because it’s getting dysfunctional.
With co workers, what can you do with co workers? Again, you’ve got two options here. One is to focus on your own direction. Stop paying attention to what they’re doing. Stop paying attention to what they’re telling you. Focus on what you know is right, what you should be doing at work, and just focus in on that. Put your nose to the grindstone. That’s one option.
The other option is to quit. If you really find you’re in a toxic work environment, and your boss or an employee of yours, or maybe even a bunch of people are colluding against you, and you’re having office politics problems, and you keep getting embroiled in that all the time, and it’s causing a lot of stress for you, you’ve got to be honest with yourself.
Maybe it’s the environment you’re in. You could be in a toxic company. You could be in a toxic division. You could be around toxic people. Those people might not be healthy for you in the long run, especially psychologically. Get yourself out of that situation. Why are you staying there?
Those are some of the action items you can be taking with family, intimate relationships and co workers. I’m going to give you the mother of all solutions, the absolute root of how to manage your stress. Ready for it?
Do Not Worry About The Outside
We’ve already touched on it with the family. It’s grounding yourself in yourself. This is what has to happen. The reason you’re stressed is because you’re so worried what’s happening out in the external world. You have to ground yourself back into your own values, your own principles.
That’s why I talk about value identification. It’s so important. Having a life purpose is so important. If you have a life purpose, it’s really hard to get stressed. It’s very easy, for example, for me now to manage some of my stresses, and I do have a lot of stresses, but now that I’m very in touch with my life purpose, I know exactly where I’m going.
If a stress is distracting me, sometimes I will get distracted. I might spend the whole day stressing about something. The next day, I’ll reground myself. Everyday, I bring myself back to my purpose. I do this very consciously. I know that when something is distracting me, maybe someone says something nasty to me, or something didn’t go quite the way I wanted it to in my business, it doesn’t matter.
Ultimately, I’m looking twenty years down the road at what I’m doing with my life, what I’m creating with my life. I’m focusing on what I’m creating. People can tell me whatever they want. They can dissuade me in whatever ways. Circumstances could’ve come in, people could come and steal my money or whatever, and those could all be bad situations, but still.
There’s a calmness I get from knowing I have a direction and I’m going to do whatever it takes to get to where I want to go. I’m on a path. I’m on a mission. I’m on a hero’s journey. That’s what you need to be on. If you’ve got that in your life, a lot of the stress is going to melt away from you. It’s going to be a lot easier for you to manage your stress.
A lot of the other, more advanced stress management techniques I have will attach to this backbone. Think of it as building this giant skeleton. You have the backbone, which is your life purpose, and then onto it you can attach these other little techniques. Together, you can create this very robust skeleton.
Otherwise, what’ve you got? If you’re just using a little technique here and there, those techniques are not going to go with the root of it. The root of it is that you’re not a creator in your life. You’re letting other people come in there and do whatever they want with you. You just go along with the flow.
You’re like a leaf blowing in the wind, and you’re blowing in whatever direction the wind is blowing. That’s not how you create a successful life. You’ve got to have a life purpose. If you’re interested more in life purpose, either hit me up for coaching, that’s my forte, that’s what I coach people on, but also check out a lot of the other video I have about life purpose that can give you some insights about how to figure that out for yourself.
That’s it. That’s how to manage your stress. If you follow these principles then you’ll find your stress dropping significantly. Go ahead and post me your comments down below. I’d love to hear what you think. Please like this. If you like this video, click the like button for me right now.
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