Sunday, February 23, 2020


From this posting:
Stress is something we choose to do to ourselves in response to life situations we choose to consider non-optimal.
Consider the unattributed vaguely Buddhist line about how "Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die". Similarly (and even more foolishly), stress is like drinking poison and expecting the universe to feel guilty.

The posting linked above goes on to note that
...when a stream of surprise and turmoil exceeds our thresholds, many of us reflexively clench against it, so it gets stuck. "This is not happening!" we hoarsely cry out to the universe, lacing our systems with elective stress, as the universe blithely continues its business.
And this posting notes that:
It all has to do with how firm one's preferences are. In other words, how you'd like things to be, versus acceptance of how they actually are. The universe is a machine devised to rub the wrong way against preferences, regardless of how we try to insulate ourselves. And life is about endlessly rediscovering this - ala Groundhog Day - until we finally think to try a more sane and grown-up approach.

My GPS is sanest of all. "Recalculating!" she exclaims, with cheerful equanimity, even when her most insistent demands have been ignored.
Consider the reed

If you have trouble recognizing that stress is always self-generated - that the world itself has no access to the machinery beneath your hood - you can see the case built up gradually by working through the links at the bottom of that last posting.

In terms of perceptual framing, framing itself doesn't create the stress. We certainly can choose framings less likely to impel us to stress ourselves, but however we frame it - including the popular framing of "Total Hell Every Second" - the stress reaction is entirely optional.

For more definitions, see all postings labeled "definitions" here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

FWIW, this is a great book on stress:

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