How to Dissolve Stress in 3 Minutes

By Duane Krip

Wonder if there was no such thing as a stressful situation? Would you feel stressed? The logical answer is no. Situations, as such, have no inherent meaning. Thus, meaningless events can’t make us feel stress!

I propose that, what we feel as stress is nothing more than a meaning we give to a situation or an event, not the even it self. Change the meaning and the stress disappears!

The way to look at it is to view that meaning as an ‘occurring’. An occurring is how life appears to you in any given moment; the unconscious, automatic meaning you give reality as you perceive it.

There is reality and then there is how you perceive it. Reality is what you see and hear NOW but how you perceive it can paint a whole different distorted picture.

As an example: Your company sends you a plane ticket summoning you to a meeting tomorrow inWinnipeg. The only information given are instructions go to a specified hotel near the airport for the meeting. You fly in at 10am. The meeting is at 11am and you fly home on the next flight out. Panic ensues as your mind races toward every negative possible reason and outcome. You see yourself unemployed tomorrow at this time. Tightness grips your chest and a sick feeling settles into your stomach as you wonder why this is happening to you.

This, by the way, is a true scenario I experience 20 years ago when working for Maple Leaf Foods. As you can see, the reality was that I received a plane ticket for a meeting the next day. That was it, everything else was my occurring; the meaning I was giving to the situation, an illusion of my own creation.

The reality of the situation and how it occurs to you are two totally different things and most of us NEVER make a distinction between the two. Events in reality are occurring to you in specific ways moment to moment all day long. What most people never realize is that what they think is reality is only a meaning in their mind. Because we usually don’t distinguish between reality and how it occurs for us, we think the meaning we are giving our occurring is the same as reality. IT IS NOT!

Here’s the good news! Because they are different, we can dissolve the occurring meaning we give to reality so that reality has a neutral occurring for us. When we are able to do that, stress and anxiety also dissolve.

Here how you can dissolve stress in 3 minutes!

1) First, notice you are having a negative emotional response to an event. (i.e. my panicked feeling when mailed the airline ticket)

2) Then, notice the meaning you made up to produce that emotion. (i.e. I jumped to a conclusion I was getting fired)

3) ?Then clearly distinguish between the event and the meaning in your mind.

4) Notice the feeling dissolving.

Every time you can heighten your awareness and distinguish between the event and the meaning in your mind you will lessen and dissolve stress. This works for every kind of situation, even if the reality were that you got fired! YES! Even if you got fired!

You get to choose the meaning you attach to the event. A firing could mean that you are a washed up failure, if that’s what you choose to attach to it. Or you can view it as a new beginning; an opening to endless opportunities. Ultimately, you have the power to choose.

I wish I would have known this 20 years ago. It would have saved me 24 hours of agony. I arrived inWinnipeg and took a cab to the hotel. Upon walking into the meeting room I noticed a few new faces among my group of colleagues along with the glaring absence of others. That morning I learn I was part of the new sales team in a restructuring following a merger with another food company.

Dissolving your occurring regularly can positively change every aspect of your career an life. So, why not give it a try for yourself?

Think of a recent event that resulted in a negative feeling. Distinguish between your feelings, the meaning you are giving the event and the actual event in reality as follows:

1) Notice the negative feeling you are having.

2) Notice the meaning that is producing the feeling.

3) Distinguish between the meaning and the event

4) Notice how the feeling has changed.

Post your results in the comment section below.

Have a great week!

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One Response to How to Dissolve Stress in 3 Minutes

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