What is Stress?

Stress is short for Distress. There is a mistaken idea around that suggests that we need some stress in our lives. When you are considering stress reduction, consider that there is another way to live without stress and drive. We certainly need to stretch ourselves, but that's stimulation, not stress. Genuine achievements happen when you stretch yourself by doing something you didn't think you could. One woman experienced that sense of achievement when she bought a cover for her car's back light and fitted it herself - not much of an accomplishment you might say, but it represented stretching herself.

With the right techniques, you can reduce the stress of even stretching experiences or learning new skills. For example, many of you reading this will be drivers. You didn't always know how to drive, did you? No doubt when you first started driving you maybe felt overwhelmed with all the things you had to do at once. You started to learn what to do and bit by bit this unknown skill became yours, and you end up driving on automatic pilot, don't you? After you pass your driving exam you learn to drive all over again - by yourself.

There was once a program where a roadside burger seller was invited to 'fake it' as a trained chef, supervising and directing of a group of trained chefs in a competition. Over six weeks of long days, studying and training by two top chefs plus specific acting training, he fooled the competition judges - they thought the fake was another supervisor! Although it was hard going, and he had to learn some skills of the trade, he expressed himself as a 'lucky bastard' to have had such an opportunity. Could he ever have gone back to just cooking burgers after that? Unlikely.

But there is the concept of 'inner game', so here's another of the ways to relieve the stress of even learning a new skill. Train yourself to relax your muscles as you do a new activity, knowing that you will master the skill and become proficient at it. The 'Inner Game' principle suggests that inside you know how to do that skill already. The Universal knowledge is there, think of Wolfgang Mozart, who couldn't have learned what he did, it just came to him.

That knowledge wings its way to you in itself is a basis for making a start and working on something. Choose any way to stretch yourself, because as you do it not only gets easier and quicker (and less stressful), but also it draws creativity to you. It's like that famous quote: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.