Today we ask that you understand that almost all of the stress you experience is created inside your mind.

Nothing out there is causing it.

For example: you may have experienced different levels of reactivity to the same events.

Sometimes the sound of a baby crying will be very stressful for you.  Other times it will not trigger anything.  Sometimes driving a car stuck in traffic will be very stressful for you.  Other times it will not trigger anything.

An event that triggers stress for one person will not trigger stress for another.

Why is this so?

Most of what you experience as “stress” occurs within the mind.

Much of it has to do with mental associations.  If your memories were wiped out, you would find life in general to be less stressful.  Think about this.  If you had no specific memories associated with crying babies, or traffic jams, or credit card bills, would you find them stressful?  There might be a very mild stressful feeling, but certainly nothing on the level that you experience normally.

This is because the crying babies, traffic jams, and credit card bills do not create the stress.  They are essentially neutral.  The stress happens as the mind processes the experience, and then links it up with negative associations.

This is a form of conditioning.  If you experience an electric shock every time you eat cherries, pretty soon you will find yourself averse to eating cherries.  Even when the shocks no longer come, the aversion will remain.

But there is good news.  The mind is incredibly plastic and fluid.  It is entirely possible to undo conditioning through conscious awareness.  In short, you can get over your aversion to cherries.  You can retrain the mind to understand that no harm will come to it eating cherries.

Similarly, you can retrain the mind not to experience stress in traffic jams or paying credit card bills.

This is not a pipe dream.  It is very doable.

All it requires is staying conscious.  You learn to notice your reactive patterns, and you do not allow them to take over.

There are many effective ways to do this.

But before such work can begin, you must first acknowledge that almost all stress is not externally triggered, but rather occurs inside the mind.