There is an objective reality and a subjective reality. The objective reality is what is actually happening in our lives, the subjective reality is the way we perceive that reality. In other words, the way we perceptually and emotionally respond to the circumstances of our lives.
Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. Painful events are most likely to happen in life, our subjective response to the pain that causes suffering. When we don’t accept the pain, when we become angry, resentful and respond with similar emotions, we don’t allow the pain to run its course and we can get caught up in ongoing trauma. We can feel powerless to come to terms with setbacks and just throw in the towel, become hopeless and plunge into despair.
People can have a meaningful, happy and fulfilled life no matter what pain they suffer. Some of the happiest people you can meet have suffered dreadful events in life, and some of the most depressed are people who suffered very little pain in comparison but their response to the pain is different. Many things can happen over which we have no control, however, nobody can take away control over the way we respond.
If there is a problem in the objective reality, we have one problem. If we create a negative response to it, we now have two problems. We have one on the outside and another on the inside, isn’t one enough? Whatever challenging event happens in your life whether you are angry, stressed, anxious or laugh about it, it is still the same.
“The problem” itself is not the problem, the problem is our perception of “the problem”. So, if your life is stressed what is happening outside of you in not the problem YOUR MINDSET is the problem. No matter what life throws at you if you have an empowered mindset you will make the choices to respond to setbacks in a way that creates a meaningful life your yourself. Gifts are often parcelled as problems by the universe, what might seem as a tragedy when it happens could turn out to be a blessing in disguise when viewed years down the line.
Why do different people respond to pain in different ways? The way we respond to the events in life is determined by the way we have learned to respond to events since we started out in life. Most of our responses are the result of modelling the responses of significant others in our lives. The responses we picked up in family life are major contributors to the way we respond. If significant others became stressed, anxious, etc. we have a tendency to respond to events in a similar fashion. For instance, the children of depressed parents are six times more likely to become depressed than the kids of parents who don’t suffer from depression. It hasn’t to do with a gene, they simply have picked up particular patterns of responding to events.
However, nothing is written in stone in the mind, we can transform old, limiting response and respond in a new way to whatever pain we are likely to suffer. The awareness that such change is possible is the necessary first step to taking action that can truly transform our lives.
Stress and your emotional health
Stress can lead to clinical or bipolar depression, serious anxiety disorders, serious cognitive dysfunctioning and personality changes such as hostility, anger, defensiveness, suspiciousness, problems in communication, social withdrawal and impulsivity. If a high-stress level doesn’t manifest in emotions problems it may instead manifest in serious physical problems, including cancer.
Stress and your physical health
When people exercise, have a good diet, sleep well, don’t smoke, etc and still develop illnesses, they believe that this is something that just happens to them. Everything that happens is cause and effect, the development of illness is no different.
Physical symptoms are a signal to you that there is a problem at a deeper level. Disease is a result of unease in the system when you become disconnected from your authentic self. You become disconnected when you live a life that is alien to your basic human needs.
If you are not in a healthy relationship, not expressing yourself creatively, doing work you hate, overcome by pressures of life, not having a real meaning in your life etc, the body starts to dysfunction. Your mind, heart, and soul that supports your physical health. An ongoing high level of stress WILL eventually lead to physical illness(es) unless it has already found an outlet in serious emotional problems.
Why do some people recover from the same illnesses that kill others? Some people who develop illnesses deal with the stressors that caused the disease. They might leave the stressful job, end an abusive relationship or whatever that caused unease in the system. Those people can make a complete recovery.
The physical symptom is not the problem, it is a symptom of the problem, which is the disharmony within the person. If the problem is not resolved, new symptoms will recur. The answer to physical illness is not outside you, it is within you. Of course, medicine has its place, but without inner change, medicine is fighting a losing battle in the long-term.
IN CONCLUSION: Our mindset becomes manifest in our happiness, our emotional and physical well-being or the lack thereof. It is wise not to ignore stress.