In the theme of being stress free this week, I wanted to post this great stress article from Louise Hay.
Stress is a fear reaction to life and to the constant change that is inevitable. Stress has become a catchword: we use it as an excuse for not taking responsibility for our feelings, above all our fear. But if you can equate stress with fear—and understand that feeling stressed is really a fearful reaction—you can begin to eliminate the need for stress in your life.
A peaceful, relaxed person is neither frightened nor stressed. So if you’re feeling stressed, ask yourself what you are afraid of. Most people have a long list of worries, with things like work, money, family, and health at the top. Your concern then becomes how to eliminate the fear and move through life feeling safe. You can start by doing your mirror work and practicing positive affirmations. When you do this, you can replace your negative, constricting thoughts with positive thoughts that create peace, joy, harmony, and a stress-free life.
There is an expression I like to use a lot: the totality of possibilities. I learned it from one of my early teachers in New York. This expression always gave me a taking-off place for letting my mind go beyond what I thought possible—far beyond the limited beliefs I grew up with.
As a child, I did not understand how much of the criticism grown-ups heaped on me was not deserved. It was their reaction to a stressful or disappointing day. But I accepted their criticism as true, and the negative thoughts and beliefs about myself that I internalized were limitations that conditioned my life for many years. I may not have looked awkward or dumb or silly, but I sure felt it.
Most of our beliefs about life and about ourselves are formed by the time we are five years old. We may expand on them a little as teenagers and maybe a tiny bit more when we are older, but very little changes overall. If I were to ask you why you hold a certain belief, you would almost certainly trace it back to a decision you made when you were a young child.
So we live in the limitations of our five-year-old consciousness. These limitations often stop us from experiencing and expressing the totality of possibilities. We think things like I’m not smart enough. I’m not organized. I have too much on my plate. I don’t have enough time. How many of you are letting limiting beliefs stop you?
You have a choice to accept these limitations or to go beyond them. Remember: the limitations you feel are all in your mind and have nothing to do with reality. When you learn to drop your limiting beliefs and allow yourself to move into the totality of possibilities, you will discover that you are good enough. You do have what it takes. You can handle whatever is on your plate. And you have all the time you need. You can see all sorts of possibilities, and you are capable of remarkable things.
Let’s affirm: I become more confident and proficient every day. There are no limits to my abilities.”