Wednesday, December 05, 2012

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by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths


A reader asked:

     I have anxiety/stress problems that have led me to severely procrastinate long term on many things in my life. What should I do?

     Sorry for the lack of details <_<

Gutman’s response:

     The steps to relieve stress are not at all difficult. In fact, they are rather easy and pleasant to apply. The real problem is that some people are attached to worrying about things that they cannot change. For some reason, certain people cling to painful and negative thoughts, and feel that they would be avoiding their responsibility if they did not concern themselves with these subjects. The truth is that even the most stressed, or the most depressed person can move on to the positive things that are also in their heads, if only they would want.

     The mind can become accustomed to a certain attitude, outlook, and then whatever enters the mind is almost always judged from that point of view. Simply said; when a person is used to to judging things negatively, whatever new thought or scene comes to mind will also be judged negatively.

      To the opposite of this; when a new scene comes to the mind of a person who is used to seeing the optimistic side of things, he or she will inevitably see that new idea as something positive. This does not mean that if the new idea turns out to be a negative thing that he will still see it as positive. It means that the initial outlook is positive.

     When even a rather insignificant problem comes to mind, if you do not let it pass through, it will linger in the back of your head. Then, when another similar thought comes, and you do the same thing, you have two problems lingering there. And so it goes until you become severely burdened by the weight that lingers in the back of your mind. This weight will cause you to view all new thoughts as negative burdens too.

     Here are a couple of ideas of how to get to the positive side of things. But as I said, success is not dependant on these tools. They are guaranteed to work. Success is dependent on you using them.

     Try this simple exercise. Whenever you see that you are stressed, worrying about things that you cannot change, simply try to feel the air passing in an out of your nose as you breathe. Focus only on the sensation of the air. You should be able to feel either its pressure or its temperature as it passes in and out. Whenever any thought comes, other than the feeling of the breath, return to focusing on the breath. Do this over and over again. If you will try, if you will prefer to feel the relaxing breath than to wrestle with the negative thoughts, within a mere minute or two your stress will leave.

     Now comes the second problem. With the stress gone you will most likely ask yourself, “What was I worrying about?” And guess what? Those worrying thoughts will return! So, if you rather feel miserable, you will continue to wrestle with those thoughts. But, if you prefer the relaxed state that you experienced when you followed your breath, then simply return to watching your breath. It’s your choice.

     Next, after you relax for a moment, ask yourself, “What’s going on right in my life?” If you really want to know, you will look and see that there are many wonderful things happening in and around you all the time. You have your eyesight, thank G-d. You have the use of your arms and legs, thank G-d. You are not in the hospital… and on and on…. Thank G-d. This will make you happy, positive, and even physically healthier.

     But as I said, guess who is going to raise his ugly head? The Bad, the Yuck! the stressed one who must cling to the problem side of life. This too is your choice. If you choose the relaxed side, it is not difficult to relax. If you choose to be positive, it is not difficult to think about the positive things that are going on around you. It’s your call.

     Right now, you are in the place that you are choosing.


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