How Do You View Stress? (Part 2)

by Doc Orman, M.D.

How Do You View Stress (Part 2)This week, I promised to reveal one of the biggest causes of stress in our lives, and in our society, that most people almost never recognize.  It is an internal cause (i.e. within us) of stress, which is one reason why it gets such little attention.

As I said in my first post this week:

“…one of the biggest internal causes of stress in our lives is not a direct cause of stress itself.  It is actually a “meta-cause” in the sense that it has more to do with the way we think about stress, whenever it begins to trouble us.”

Today, I’m going to reveal exactly what this widespread hidden cause of stress is, and if you take this discussion to heart, it may just change the way you look at stress forever.  At least that’s what I’m hoping this blog post will do for you.

Going Right vs. Going Wrong

From a very young age, we are taught by our society to believe that things in our life are either “going right” or they are “going wrong.”  For instance, when we feel stressed, we’ve been taught to believe things are not going right (i.e., they are going wrong). And when we are happy and not feeling stressed, we are encouraged to attribute this to things “going right.”

This “going right/going wrong” dichotomy is so ingrained within us, that we take it for granted and almost never give it a second thought.  Also, we rarely challenge the assumption that when we are stressed, things must clearly be going wrong.

Does Anything In Life Ever Go Wrong?

I know this question seems silly at first glance–“Of course things go wrong—all you have to do is spend a few days in my shoes, and you won’t have any doubts about it!”  Yes, this is what most of us have been taught to believe.  But think about this idea for a moment.  Is it really true?  Does life ever really go wrong?  Or is this just our agreed upon (i.e., socially-conditioned) way we’ve been trained to judge events in life when they don’t go as we might like?

Feedback vs. Failure

There’s another way to look at life when things aren’t going our way.  This is called the “feedback perspective.”  When it looks to us that life is “going all wrong,” we can consider this as some type of failure (of ourselves or of life) or we can consider the same set of circumstances as representing “feedback” instead.

“Feedback” simply means that life is always giving us helpful, reliable information about the quality of our interactions with it.

Thus, when you look at anything in life, such as being stressed, from a feedback perspective, you reject the notion that anything is going wrong.  Instead, whenever you are feeling stressed, you assume that life is turning out exactly the way it should turn out when you’ve been interacting with life in faulty, ineffective, stress-producing ways.

Say, for example, you’re feeling frustrated or angry because you can’t get your computer to function in certain ways that you want.  Maybe you’re working on an important project in your favorite word processing program and the formatting keeps going haywire. Or maybe you’re working with a spreadsheet program and you’re struggling to get some graph to display properly.

One way you could choose to look at these situations is that something is going wrong, or that you are failing to accomplish your task.  And if you looked at these situations in this way, you would certainly have lots of company, and no one would ever criticize you.

However, there’s another much less common way you could choose to look at these very same circumstances. You could choose to adopt the philosophy that if your computer is not acting the way you want, you must be interacting with it in ways that might be preventing it from allowing you to achieve your desired results.

Perhaps you didn’t bother to learn all the detailed nuances of your word processing or spreadsheet software.  If this is true, it should not surprise you then to discover that your computer doesn’t always behave as you want.  In this example, by not working properly, your computer is giving you accurate, reliable feedback that you are not interacting with it in the most desirable or effective ways.

Which Perspective Has More Value?

As mundane as these simplistic computer examples might be, we can apply this same logic to any type of stress.  Whenever we are having any type of problems in life, or whenever we are feeling stressed in any way, we can either consider that some aspect of our life isn’t working the way it should, or we can adopt the opposite perspective that life actually is working exactly as it should.

While these two perspectives are clearly entirely different ways of looking at the same factual events and circumstances, they each can have very different effects upon us.  When we believe that things aren’t working as they should, or that we are failing at achieving our goals, we indoctrinate ourselves into a negative, disempowering mental/emotional state.

On the other hand, when we choose to view our “failures” and stress as nothing more than feedback, both our mental and emotional states are usually much more positive and optimistic.  After all, if it is our own faulty behaviors, or concepts, or theories, or strategies, etc., that are keeping us from achieving what we want (or being free of our stress), all we have to do is figure out what we need to correct and then correct it.

The standard view in our society, however, is that we either get the results we want from life and are successful, or we don’t and we are failing.  This is our classic win/lose duality.

From the feedback perspective, however, it’s a win-win world we inhabit.  Either we get the results we want from life and we are successful, or we don’t, and this gives us valuable feedback (from life) that we need to make corrections.  This means we are always fully on the path to ultimately being successful.

Stress Can Be Viewed As Nothing More Than Feedback

What would your life be like if you always viewed your stress as feedback?  What if instead of thinking (and feeling), when you are stressed, that things are going very wrong, you changed your viewpoint to the belief that life is acting behaving precisely and perfectly just the way it should?

Your life would be pretty different, wouldn’t it?

Well, I believe that stress always is providing us (including you and me) with valuable feedback—if we elect to view it this way—and that it can be a “wakeup call” that prompts us to look for and discover exactly how our thoughts and/or our behaviors might be producing (at least in part) the problems we are experiencing.

Viewed in this way, stress could become a blessing in disguise for us if it leads us to uncover hidden stress-producing patterns (within us) that we could learn to correct, and thereby have much less problems and stress as time marches on.

So, is that how most people you know choose to think about stress in their lives? Nope.  Most people do not look at their problems and stress in life as either feedback or as a wakeup call. And that, my friends, is one of the main reasons why we continue to have an expanding stress epidemic.

Please take some time to think about this very common hidden cause of persistent stress, both in your own life and in our society as a whole.  And while you are at it, also think about how you might start to take advantage of this feedback perspective, which is always available to you, anytime you wish to create it.

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Free Downloadable Four-Book Stress Relief Library

To get your own complete download of this entire four-book Stress Relief Secrets REVEALED library, go to and download it right now.  Also, when you get these four PDF e-books on your computer, don’t just let them sit there!  Don’t promise yourself that you’ll eventually get around to reading them later.  That usually doesn’t work, and it’s very likely you will never, ever get around to reading them. And the information they contain is way too valuable and useful for you to miss out on any of it.

Once you do download these four e-books, I’m going to send you an email every day, for the next seven days, to support you in reading them all.

Go to right now and submit your best email address. Then, you’ll get an email asking you to confirm your intentions. When this email arrives (if you don’t see it within 10-15 minutes, check your spam folder), please click on the highlighted link and you’ll go directly to the download page, where all four e-books can be downloaded as one composite .zip file.

Best wishes and happy reading (and learning)!

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