Signs And Symptoms Of Stress
Nowadays in our society we are always running to go somewhere, we live in a rat race, we are over stimulated. Have a look around and you will find commercials everywhere trying to catch our attention. We are always checking our phone for news or Facebook notification.
Most of us are repeatedly thinking about the problems, small or big challenges, that we have to face in our day-to-day lives, always self-aware and never with our mind steady. Being peaceful has never been so far from our lives. There is always a constant chattering going on within our selves, no wonder we feel stressed.
If you think about it even our posture is affected, the way we carry ourselves, look at people walking on street today and chances are that you are going to find most of them looking at the ground, rushing somewhere and completely self-absorbed. These are just few of the effects of stress in our life.
We might think that the real cause of stress is that we live in a sick society but that’s not completely accurate. I believe that if we would build a better society the way we deal with stress and anxieties will improve but the main cause will remain still there.
“An entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war…our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off. “
The Real Cause Of Anxiety
I Believe that our society is fucked but the real cause of stress and anxiety is that we believe that what we do actually matters, we give too much importance to our self and our problems. We believe that we must succeed and that if we fail we are going to be failures.
We are taking ourselves too seriously, we forget too often that there is just one thing that is for sure in our life and that is we are going to die. We are doing what every conscious creature would do in this scenario: running away from death. We are using our problems and even our hopes to forget the fact that death is everywhere and that life has no meaning at all. Everyone is scared of this truth, how could you not be?
Now this is key to understand why we are feeling so much stress and anxiety:
We make all kinds of silly games to prevent ourselves to see this shocking reality. When you are stressed, anxious or overwhelmed you are just using those emotional symptoms to blind you to the fact that you are going to die, you prefer those feelings instead to face Death right in the eyes. That’s the only option left tough if you want to be free. Is crucial that We realize that every fear is really a fear of dying. I know is a big claim but stay with me for a second.
“Death is our eternal companion. It is always to our left, an arm’s length behind us. Death is the only wise adviser that a warrior has. Whenever he feels that everything is going wrong and he’s about to be annihilated, he can turn to his death and ask if that is so. His death will tell him that he is wrong, that nothing really matters outside its touch. His death will tell him, ‘I haven’t touched you yet.’”
In order to accept the fact that we are going to die we need to swallow another bitter pill: Life has no meaning. As I see it the purpose of life is life itself, maybe you have asked yourself many times: why is there something instead of nothing? If you want to find an answer, try to ask a little kid why is he running wild and having so much fun. I bet 100 bucks that he is going to give you a really strange look.
You will be able to relive stress once you will understand and accept that life in the end has no meaning, that you are actually the one who gives the meaning to it, that you are going to die, that whatever you do has no real importance, you will be relieved of the heaviest burden and you will become present and peaceful. You don’t need to go on living, you don’t have to live by anyone else’s standards but the ones that you, yourself, chose to play this game that we call life. The only way to deal with stress and fears is to escape from your own self-imposed cage.
Stress Free Living
Now is time for the good news tough because once you accept and internalize this fact you will understand that :
You don’t need to go to work, you don’t need to make money you don’t need to get married, you don’t need to go to college, you don’t need to do what your parents force you to do. No more oppression on yourself, your spirit will be so light. You can do whatever you want, travel the world, spend your entire time watching TV, find a solution to the starvation of the third world or you might just simply go on with your life. You will be finally free to live your life fully and as you better think.
If you impose to yourself, or listen to others saying to you, that you must do or be something in order to be happy, you are imprisoning yourself and you will always be stressed. On the other hand if you understand that life is a playground you will be free to play your role fully. You will be able to be everything and nothing at the same time, you will accept to be successful or the worst loser ever without any attachment at all, the choice is yours.
Once you understand and internalize those two concepts, you are going to do whatever you do without attachment and you are going to be free from any outcome being able to handle stress easily.
All I have been talking about so far is actually a real spiritual practice called MEMENTO MORI (Youtube Video): remember at every moment of your life that you are going to die; death is your best friend is going to give everything the right importance. Imagine if you would live your life with death walking next to you, you will be forever peaceful.
I know all this might sound crazy and even pessimistic or nihilistic; but is the complete opposite of what actually looks like. It is the only way to reach actual freedom and to have a stress free life. Just take your time and really think about what I have said and I am sure that you will understand. Even if in the beginning, the last thing that you will admit is that all of this is true, because is fucking scary.
A Simple Way To Reduce Stress
Now I want to share with you a passage from a masterpiece of literature: War and Peace. I read it years back and I consider it one of the best works ever written.
Andrej Bolkonsky, one of the main characters, after taking part in the battle of Austerlitz got himself injured. He Is laying on the ground almost dying and is unconscious but he is still holding in his hand the Russian flag.
When All of a sudden he wakes and opens his eyes and he sees the sky for the first time after what it looked to him an eternity. He has been for so long always thinking about his problems, the war, Napoleon, that even forgot there was a sky upon himself; he was so self-aware that he forgot the infinity and vastness of the sky and the universe.
He forgot the fact that what he called problems and all the humans actions from the greatest to the worst were worth nothing if compared to the sky that was so blue and clear.
While he was having all this epiphanies, a deep sense of calm and peace reached him because he realized how insignificant all his problems were.
Napoleon that was checking the field after the battle ended up watching the scene and exclaimed “what a wonderful way of dying”.
Andrej listened to him and he realized that was napoleon, his hero, but at that point he didn’t really care at all about what was going on around him, all that he could think and be aware of was the peaceful and blue sky upon himself.
When feel overwhelmed we could do as Andrej and look for even one second up to the sky and I am sure we will feel at least a little be better. We will understand that after all we are just spinning on a pebble through the infinity of the universe; our problems, no matter how bad they might look, are really nothing if compared with everything else. Next time you are going to complain about a traffic jam or you are going to get pissed about someone being late just look up and remind yourself of how small you are.
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