Roger Harty: Stress – What Is It?

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rsz_roger_hartyIF one is to succeed in life, it is important to have the right answers, but in my opinion it is of far more importance to ask the right questions.

A great question to ask is –‘what is stress?’

I think it would be fair to say that stress is one of the most talked about issues in our world today.

On a daily basis, billions are being spent on treating it. It is costing the economy billions in lost revenue while at the same time it is a multi-billion euro source of income for doctors and the general medical and holistic therapeutic professions.

Even the tourism business is now getting in on the act when we watch the prolific growth of spas, hydrotherapy and other holistic treatment centres popping up all over the world.

They are all treating stress. If you again asked the question ‘what is stress?’ I really wonder how many of them would be able to give you a reasonable answer.

Very few I would suspect, which would in turn beggar the question ‘if they don’t know what it is – how can they treat it effectively?’

Ok enough of postulating – what is stress? To really understand stress and all it’s connotations we have to appreciate the importance of the abstract.

For instance air is abstract. In normal circumstances you can’t see, hear, taste, touch or smell it but I would challenge anybody to live without it. You can’t.

Air is only really important when you can’t access it. A simple experiment is to put your hand over your nose and mouth and within a few seconds you will realise the importance of it. Yet air is abstract.

Another example is energy – again you can’t see, hear, taste, touch or smell it . Yet when we don’t have energy in our bodies we are dead! Energy is abstract.

Stress is abstract – you can’t see, hear, taste, touch or smell it. But yet it is this most taked about subject. What is it?

Ok enough is enough – The best definition of stress ( from a working point of view) is that Stress is ‘Being Here —And trying to be there’, so therefore to live a stress-life we should learn and more importantly apply the concept of being here (and not trying to be there).

This is the basis of the book ‘The Power Of Now’ written by Eckhart Tolle (which has at this stage sold in excess of 30 million copies).

It is the power of living in the moment, which by my above definition, will in turn lead to stress-free living which is the true definition of happiness.

I was introduced to this book about 10 years ago, but I must also mention that it works best when listened to as an audio book.

In fairness to Eckhart Tolle he gives the credit to the essential message of Jesus Christ when He says ‘I am (is) The Way The Truth and The Life come follow Me and I Will give you rest. This was a guarantee of stress- free living.

‘I Am’ means to live in the Present moment. (I inserted the bracket (is) to help with understanding). It is not ‘I was’ or ‘ I will be’ so therefore it is the power of living in the ‘Now’ which is the same as living in the ‘I am’ space.

The application of this basic message will in turn lead to stress-free living (which is another word for ‘rest’).

Love the message simply because it is The Truth and because it is The Truth it Works. Love and follow the Message which will in turn make us love the Messenger.

It is now so chic to talk about mindfulness and mindful living but do not forget the original advice was given to us circa 2000 years ago by a man from Galilee.

Next week I am going to write about the difference between Success and Happiness.

• Roger Harty is a life coach and can be contacted on 087-6128336, on twitter at @Innerjoyz1 or by email 

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