Everyone complains about stress. It seems to be the “monster” that is ruining our lives. We stress about money, time, family, health, world affairs, etc., etc., etc… We try different ways of dealing with it, like a) avoiding it (I am not going to visit your family, they drive me crazy), b) managing it (I have to go for a walk or meditate before I totally lose it), c) toughing it out (if I am just tough enough, I can handle it). These help as long as you do them, but they are so much work, and they always make you feel like you are leaning on a closet that is overfilled, just waiting to burst open at any second. Can you relate?
Innate health is an understanding that can dramatically reduce the amount of stress you experience. It offers a new way of understanding how we experience life. It is not another technique. It is a different way of perceiving the human condition.
So here is the bottom line: We do not experience what is “out there.” We experience our thinking about what is “out there.” I always use the visual example of a comic strip. You know how in a comic strip the person has a bubble over their head with their thoughts or words in it? Well, it’s like that. Your experience of life is determined by your thoughts and feelings in your bubble. That is where you live experientially. You do not experience “out there.” You only experience what is in your little bubble.
We think stress comes from the circumstances of our lives. In truth, it comes from our thinking about those circumstances. When you think your experience comes from “out there,” you feel powerless in your own life. When you understand that you live in the feeling of your thinking, it is a transformational moment.
It is like this: If someone is tickling you, it is very uncomfortable. But if you try to tickle yourself, it does not bother you at all. Why? It is the same tickle. The difference is that you know you are doing it to yourself, so it doesn’t bother you.
What about if someone jumps out and screams at you (think haunted house). It can be very scary. But if you jump out and scream at yourself…not scary at all—even kind of boring. Why? Because you know you are doing it to yourself, and that makes all the difference.
Well, the truth is that you experience your own thinking. You are doing it to yourself.
I used to become extremely stressed when I had a lot to do. I always felt like I was in a “time crunch.” After gaining some of this understanding, it became clear to me that I spent more of my time worrying about what I needed to do than actually doing the things I was so stressed about. I am much more able now to just do what I need to do and not be frantically worried about getting it done. As a result, I am getting much more done with much less stress.
Here’s another example. I was in the airport, and my plane was delayed for almost five hours. The airline generously offered us a $7 food voucher…that we had to wait in line for an hour to get. Before innate health was real for me, I would have gone ballistic. However, I could now see that, regardless of the circumstances, I did not have to make myself miserable. Believe it or not (and it’s hard for even me to believe), I was fine. Absolutely fine! Kind of a modern-day miracle, right?
If, when you get stressed, you can get a glimmer that you are doing it to yourself, then you are on the road to freedom.
Jewel Safren MSW, LSW, LCSW, has over 35 years of experience in counseling, life coaching and public-speaking coaching. She has worked with people all over the US and in Europe, and runs popular personal-growth workshops, webinars and classes. She is recommended by Rabbi Dr. Akiva Tatz; Rabbi Jonathan Rietti, B.Ed, M.Sci.; Rabbi Paysach J. Krohn and Rabbi Mordechai Becher. She lives in West Orange, NJ, with her hubby and two kids, and has two married kids and two grandsons living in California. You can contact Jewel at 862-438-5807 or [email protected].
By Jewel Safren, LCSW