Ultimately we do them all, alone or in combination, but interestingly they don't actually work. I'm coming to believe that is because stress doesn't actually exist. It's not a thing. Stress can't be thrust upon you and no one can give it to you. Even what other people do can't make you stressed.
That is not to say that if you take a drug meant to reduce anxiety, it doesn't work. It does. I've seen it. Drugs that remove anxiety work well and help you feel like everything is fine. That doesn't make everything fine. It just makes you less aware. That could be good. And that might not be so good in some cases.
To feel stress or anxiety, you need to be narrating the events you are seeing (I suggest you test this out and see if it's true - it is for me). You have to be telling yourself something. And generally it sounds like this:
This should not be happening to me. (But it is)
They need to stop this right now. (But they don't)
I used to be able to do these things. (But right now I can't)
I should definitely have this handled by now. (Why don't I?)
One example of this is someone said to me the other day "I can't stand this anymore." But the reality was that in fact, there they were, standing in front of me 'standing it'. They weren't happy about it, and it wasn't fun, there was a lot of physical discomfort, but in reality, they were standing it perfectly.
I am not saying pain doesn't exist. It does. I'm just saying we have trained ourselves to narrate our own lives and maybe we'll never stop, but we can stop ignoring the fact we are doing it.
Now, I just want to confess, if I'm in terrible pain, I might very well take a pill. I might need enough relief to think more clearly. I do what I can do and I'm not a doctor, healer, nor a spiritual practitioner who does prayer treatments. It's just very nice to know that whatever happens, it's possible to manage my own stressful thinking without a cocktail.
If I so chose.
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