Two Secrets to De-Stressing

In order to return to our natural, calm state, our job is to take away what is preventing that natural state. It's not about adding in - it's about taking away.
Here are a few insights on dealing with stress at a fundamental level.
What do I mean by 'at a fundamental level'?
Well, there are many layers to stress, and there are actually two types of stress; INTERNALLY induced, AND EXTERNALLY induced.

Internal Stress

Internal stress is anything we do to ourselves which has very little or nothing to do with anyone else. It has to do with our personal habits, lifestyle behaviours, daily actions, which keep us perpetually stressed, even though we keep saying we want to be calm and peaceful. In other words, we perpetuate our own stress – it is a habit which is akin to an addiction. We are unconsciously addicted to our stress.

External Stress

External stress is caused by anything ‘external’ to our body – ie environment, events and people. External stress is caused by the stress response being triggered inside our body due to an external event which is often beyond our control. For example, someone nearly runs you over on the street, or you find out you lost your job. However, the stress response is still internal, as that is only ever where it can be.
Therefore, whether stress is ‘internal’ or ‘external’, it’s always ultimately internal, which leads us to ask the question ‘why am I always so stressed, and why can’t I stop being stressed?’
This was a question I asked myself one day as I sat on my front porch, wondering why the heck it was I couldn’t sit still for 5 minutes and relax. Why was I ALWAYS so stressed, even thought I kept saying I wanted to be relaxed?

Addicted to Stress

And then it hit me like a brick.
I WAS ADDICTED TO STRESS. And had been for years.
Because the unconscious habit of being stressed had been set up at a very early age, by the age of 7 in fact.
Because as a child it didn’t feel safe to relax, or be relaxed. I never felt safe in my home environment, and so I UNCONSCIOUSLY kept myself in the ‘fight-flight’ (stress) response in order to try and feel safe. The stress (sympathethic nervous system response) is after all a safety mechanism, to keep the body alive – literally.
So from a very early age I was always afraid (fear = stress) – protecting myself emotionally and physically.
Finally I saw why I was stressed: at a fundamental level IT WASN’T SAFE TO BE RELAXED.
So unconsciously I was keeping myself safe by keeping myself stressed. This meant that I HAD to (unconsciously) devise ways to keep myself stressed.
This is where the ‘internal’ and ‘external’ stress comes in: unconsciously, for years, I had developed lifestyle behaviours where I would stay stressed, so that unconsciously I was feeling safe.
Habits like always running late for appointments (because that keeps me nicely stressed), packing at the last minute to go away (keeps me stressed), back-to-backing all my appointments (that keeps me nicely rushed), over-working and never giving myself time to rest… the list goes on and on.

What it takes to de-stress... for good

So, in that moment of revelation on the front porch, I made a vow: I was going to do whatever it took to de-stress.
Why was this so important?
For several reasons:
1. I recognized the discomfort this ongoing stress was causing me internally – physically, mentally, emotionally.
2. I could feel the damage this ongoing stress was doing to my body and health.
3. I knew it was the missing piece in why I wasn’t able to fully recover from CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome)
So I committed myself from that day to investigate stress like never before.
I watched every little thing that I did which caused my autonomic nervous system to either go into the stress response, or perpetuate the stress response, or aggravate stress which was already there.
Every…. Little…. Thing.
Little did I know that this journey of ‘de-addicting’ myself from stress would take 3 years!
3 years of daily observation and change-making. But I did it. I changed the pattern, and in so doing, I got myself better.
And at the end of those 3 years, I started to discover there were deeper levels of fear which needed clearing (that’s another story) and also that my natural state inside is to be completely calm at all times, no matter what is going on externally (also another story).
But this was the start of my journey to re-discovering my natural state of peace, calm, joy and harmony within. It truly is an inside job.
And the good news is, once you know how and what to do, it can take a lot less than 3 years.
However, I do need to say, in my observations of people recovering from chronic illness, de-stressing at a fundamental level takes longer than reversing symptoms of illness, because our built-in stress response is intimately connected with our basic survival instincts. It IS our survival instinct.
But the good news is, once we understand why we have a stress habit, and what to do to de-addict ourselves from our own stress, our lives change irrevocably for good!

De-stressing programs

One of the main focuses on the teachings from the Art of Health is how to bring the body back into its natural state of 'calm and relaxed'. Note here I say a return to its 'natural state'.

In order to return to our natural, calm state, our job is to take away what is preventing that natural state. It's not about adding in - it's about taking away.

These programs will help you de-stress for good, as long as you are ready to put in the work required to make the necessary changes:

EAL3 'De-stress your Life' Program

This program is a comprehensive training in how to reduce and eradicate both 'internal' and 'external' stress from your life. It is a 5 month self-guided online program giving you the tools and skills to reduce stress and re-train your body and mind into living in calm. 

12 Steps to De-Stress

A short, simple program of self-help tools you can immediately implement to reduce the stress response. 

Tao Health Qigong trainings

A natural side-effect of Qigong is to still the mind and relax the body. Check out the trainings on my Tao Health Qigong website


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