Coping With Stress: How We Benefit From Knowing Stress Is Just A Word (Part 1)

by Doc Orman, M.D.

In previous posts, we established that stress is just a word and that human beings never suffer from stress.

We also established that stress is a word that stands for problems in life, and when we think we a suffering from stress, we are really suffering from one or more very specific problems.

Now, you might be thinking “big whoop”–knowing “stress” is just a word and that it stands for problems is merely a trivial semantic point.

Yes, I know it might seem that way, at first glance, but I assure you it really does make a difference.

You see, we’ve been trained by our society to lump all our problems together and think of them as one big problem called “stress.” Then, we are encouraged to search for solutions to this composite problem (i.e. stress), such as eating better, exercising more, using relaxation techniques, taking medications, etc.

Not The Best Approach

This coping strategy, while very popular today, is not the best way to go.  It might be ok if all you want to do is deal with the symptoms of your problems, but if you want to address root causes, you’ve got to think differently.  You’ve got to get very specific about each individual problem you might be having, because individual problems often have individual causes.

Thus, the difference between thinking your problem is “stress” and breaking down your difficulties into individual discrete “problems” is the difference between dealing with symptoms and dealing with causes.  And this is not a trivial difference.  It is also not just a matter of interchanging equivalent or similar words.


Here are just some of the benefits you can gain from always reminding yourself that stress is just a word:

  1. You’ll stop making the mistake of thinking your problem is stress.
  2. You’ll start focusing instead on the real problems in your life. This will force you to define your problems more specifically.
  3. Instead of asking “How can I deal with my stress?” you’ll begin to ask more focused, problem-specific questions.
  4. Your answers to these problem-specific questions will be much more useful in helping you deal with “stress.”

So you see, it can make a world of difference by taking your focus off this mythical entity called “stress” and putting your focus where it rightly belongs…on the specific problem or problems that are troubling you.

In the next post, we’ll continue to explore these benefits. In the meantime, if you haven’t signed up for my free monthly stress relief newsletter, you should do so.  Each month, we explore one specific hidden cause of stress, and then each week between issues, I’ll send you a brief email to further expand on that topic.  So it really is an ongoing training program about the hidden causes of stress, and I think you’ll find it very informative and helpful.









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