About stress

Stress: A Natural Outcome of Unnatural Mental Situations

When our lives are filled with numerous activities, when there’s a lot ‘happening’, and when we feel we need to react to various situations simultaneously, a scenario of ‘pressure’ emerges. We initially state that we are ‘busy’. Later, we mention that we are ‘too busy’. Subsequently, we feel we lack the time for relaxation, mental space, and the activities we genuinely wish to do or deem essential. This pressure can be externally imposed, like in work situations, or internally felt and stoked, devoid of any external influences. Such mental pressure can influence our bodily state, leading to a (chronic) hormone imbalance. That’s stress.

Only in a harmonious state between ourselves and our environment do we not experience negative tension. Only in a harmonious state between our desires and aspirations is there an absence of pressure. However, when our life and work circumstances aren’t harmonious with our inner self, dissatisfaction arises. Continuous dissatisfaction and pressure result in stress. Understandably so, because our true nature is that of Conscious Understanding and Happiness, and we might have deviated significantly from it.

What Do We Do Ourselves?

When our current situation does not align with our beliefs, or if circumstances demand more than we can manage at that moment, there’s a discrepancy between our inner world and the external world. Our genuine wish to act correctly seems to be thwarted by the given situation or the people involved. It then becomes challenging to maintain a connection to that situation, leading to a feeling of conflict. Only in connectivity can we wholly commit to ‘the cause’. And our inner understanding of ‘correctness’ makes it hard for us to accept ‘incorrectness’. This results in a tension rooted in inner purity that screams for a resolution. And if a solution seems impossible…


We also have various beliefs that we’re unwilling to let go of, contributing to dissatisfaction and tensions. These beliefs, often based on conditioning, might not be completely right and are rooted in identification. These collide with life’s unavoidable circumstances: societal facts and situations that can’t be changed overnight. They also clash with others’ beliefs, again often rooted in identification. As long as we don’t observe this, this kind of stubbornness will become our undoing, especially if it persists. Self-imposed beliefs about situations limit our flexibility. The same goes for beliefs about ourselves. Mostly not entirely accurate. The limitations imposed on our genuine potential will eventually make us unhappy because stress is a feeling of unhappiness, overload, and not realizing one’s potential.
So how do we overcome this?


What can we do in this situation to become more harmonious and experience more satisfaction? A lot!
And what should we particularly avoid? Perhaps even more…


We can immediately start with a few activities:
Remember ourselves and be fully present.
– Connect with the situation by first accepting it as it is. Acceptance may follow later.
– Observe the situation, including ourselves and our feelings in that situation. So, exclude nothing.
– Connect with people by truly listening to them, taking them seriously, and looking at them with fresh eyes.
– Put ourselves in others’ perspectives while observing their inner states.
– Not react instantly to situations or words (from a reflex or conditioning) but take time to consider.
– Take our own reaction to situations seriously and examine this inner emotional reaction during a quiet moment.
– Occasionally say ‘yes’ when inclined to say ‘no’, and vice versa.


We can immediately stop several activities:
– Refrain from complaining and blaming.
– Stop self-justification.
– In stress situations, don’t fuel the mental bok, but lead it away from the oats chest.
– Stop doing multiple things at once. Focus on one thing. Quality multitasking is an illusion, especially when stress is lurking.
– Don’t follow a fight or flight tendency but surrender to ‘what is’, especially by letting go and dedicating what gives you the feeling of stress give up and dedicate.
– Stop fearing the pressure others seem to impose on you.
– Occasionally say ‘no’ when inclined to say ‘yes’, and vice versa.


© Michiel Koperdraat