Uncategorized The Shadow of “Stress Reduction”

People are obsessed with “stress reduction.”
Supplements, services, interactions, meditation – in our collective conscious they are constantly related to how effective they are in reducing stress.
It is because it is easier for the ego to not have to consciously deal with the stressors and stress in our lives. Instead of considering, wrestling with, integrating, and transforming it, the ego dismisses it to the Shadow, the “dismissed” part of the psyche where it is hidden, swept under the rug.
Without stress, our bones and muscles would not grow, problems and puzzles would be abandoned, inner growth would not happen.
Yes, blaming it on external stressors and stress is easy, gauging whether XYZ is useful for stress reduction is easy… because it allows distancing oneself from taking responsibility for oneself. It bunts, punts, shunts the responsibility of growing to someone else. Yes, we all need help to do this, but looking for a someone or something else to do it FOR you is ultimately an avoidance, a dismissing of facing and considering stress by sweeping it under the rug.
Then there’s this term “resilience.” Now, I don’t know where this term came from exactly (in terms of being used with “stress” … I’ll look into it later) but to me it essentially is a way to suggest something to oppose stress and its effects.
Here, an opposition (resilience) to an opposition (stress) is counterproductive. It potentially allows for another way to excuse oneself from being with stress.
An appropriate amount is stress is helpful, healthy, and holistic.
Too much stress is not.
So if “reducing stress” is limited and limiting, what is another way to consider this?
Integrate and transform stress.
Consider stress as potential energy that if not honed appropriately by body-mind-spirit will be stored and can be converted to unhealthy experiences; we all can describe what “being too stressed” is like.
My bottom line: it is not about stress reduction. It is about practicing integrating, converting, and transforming the potential energy of stress to healthy experiences. It’s not easy but deliciously fruitful.

Dr. Francis Yoo

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