What causes stress? You might think it is your job, your kids, your spouse, or your parents. And these things can certainly be trying. But stress management experts have discovered it is your beliefs which cause stress.
Think about it. Not everyone doing your job is suffering stress the way you are. Not everyone with kids is shouting at them. Pick almost any apparently stressful situation and you’ll be able to think of people who would deal with it calmly, as if it wasn’t stressful at all.
Beliefs cause stress
Qualified health professionals with over 30 years experience, including 10 years specialising in stress management, have identified fourteen core beliefs that are common to people suffering from stress.
A belief is just a thought you keep thinking. The trouble with beliefs is that we think them so often that they feel true. And when that truth conflicts with the situation we find ourselves in, we get stressed. Simply put, if you change your beliefs, even without your life changing a jot, you can stop feeling stressed.
Until recently, changing your beliefs would fall somewhere on the scale of difficult-to-impossible, even working with a skilled psychotherapist. But recent developments in Energy Psychology have made it achievable, and now a new technique, called Release and Replace, makes it possible to free yourself of unhelpful core beliefs in around half an hour. (To find out how, read this).
So what are the 14 core beliefs which experts say are the root cause of stress, and how can you change them?
“My past affects my present.”
With this belief, we tend to believe that something in our past is the cause of our present problems. We believe that as a result, this is how we are, and we are helpless to do anything about it.
“I cannot cope on my own.”
With this belief, we tend to think we need to depend on someone or something stronger than ourselves. We will tend to feel more stressed when there is no-one to depend on except ourselves.
“I’m afraid of losing control.”
If you have this belief, you will tend to worry, when you are stressed or anxious, that you might be going mad. You might fear that you will have a nervous breakdown and/or be admitted to hospital.
“I need love and approval to feel worthy.”
With this belief, we feel must have love or approval most of the time, from everyone who is important to us, or we don’t feel worthy.
“I need to be free from discomfort at all times.”
The discomfort we fear could be physical or mental, or both. With this belief, we can become stressed about situations which we belief will cause us discomfort, even though very often they turn out not to be as bad as we thought they would be.
“I mustn’t make mistakes.”
With this belief, we have high expectations of ourselves. We tend to believe that we MUST achieve success and be thoroughly competent in everything we do to be worthwhile. If we make mistakes, we can feel we are a failure as a person.
“I need to be certain, and in control of all situations.”
With this belief, we believe people and things should turn out better than they do and that things must always go well. But the world runs on probability and chance, and knowing this, while holding this belief, can make it hard to enjoy life, and cause us stress.
“I have no control over my emotions.”
With this belief, we tend to think that our feelings are caused by external pressures such as other people and therefore we cannot change the way we feel.
“The world is not safe.”
With this belief, we tend to feel anxious or hypersensitive when faced with risky, uncertain or potentially dangerous situations. We worry about them constantly and are on our guard in case they might happen. This state of hyper-alert causes us stress.
“It’s easier to avoid life than face its difficulties.”
We might have this thought from time to time, but when it becomes a core belief – something that feels permanently true – it becomes problematic. In truth, trying to avoid life can often lead to more complex problems than if we had dealt with issues when they arose. For that reason, holding this belief can be the cause of great stress.
“Bad behaviour should be punished.”
With this belief, we tend to think that people, including ourselves, must not do anything wrong and that those who behave badly (including ourselves) should be punished. Of course some acts are inappropriate or antisocial, people who perform such acts are behaving stupidly, ignorantly, or neurotically. But if we hold this belief, we believe they should be punished, even though punishment does not right the wrong, and does not help them change.
“The world should be fair and just.”
The belief the world should be fair and just is not an unreasonable belief. But because it is idealistic, and because the world is not always fair and just, it can cause us great distress.
“People who don’t get upset are not compassionate.”
This belief is usually linked with a belief that you SHOULD get upset about the kinds of things that upset you, and other people should too. Anything less would make you an uncaring, uncompassionate person.
“Things, or people, are not as I’d like them to be.”
All of us experience this thought sometimes, but when it is a core belief we will tend to be very reactive to frustration. Changing this belief won’t make people, or your situation, bend to your desires. But it may help you feel more accepting of others, or to change something that is within your control, so that you experience less stress.
How to stop being stressed out
It’s as simple as this: reprogram the beliefs that cause stress, and you’ll be less stressable. How can you change your beliefs? Check out the PSTEC belief eraser – a downloadable audio track developed by one of the UK’s top hypnotherapists, Tim Phizackerly. Try the basic PSTEC audio tracks for free here. And, if you want to know how you can use PSTEC to make your life hugely better in just ten minutes a day, download this free e-book.
Imagine what it would feel like to be a person whose reaction to stress is… being automatically calm. Imagine a life where stressful situations don’t stress you out.
Now don’t imagine: take action!