Internal Causes Of Stress: There Are No Negative Events

by Doc Orman, M.D.

There are no negative eventsThis week, I’ve been revisiting three very common internal causes of human stress.

I first wrote about these causes in the context of holiday stress, back in November of 2011. 

I mentioned, at that time, that each of these causes is active all year long, so I thought I’d revisit them now, since it’s been a while.

You can read about the first of these internal causes here: Failing To Clarify Agreements & Expectations.

And you can read about the second one here: There Are No Stressful Events.

In my previous post, I put forth the proposition that there is no such thing as a “stressful situation.” Today, I want to suggest to you that there’s also no such thing as a “negative event.”

Yes, there are many events that happen in life which we consider negative.  However, the negativity does not come from the event itself.

Events Are Never Negative

We often think that certain events are inherently negative, but they are not.  Events are one thing, and our assessments and judgments about them are quite another.

I know it sometimes appears that very destructive or traumatic events really are negative, but the negativity is something we add to the event, even though we may not be consciously aware of doing this.

The proof of this is actually very easy to discern.  There are always some people who regard certain so-called negative events positively.  For example, the stock market crashes and some people get extremely excited.  They see huge possibilities for future gain, whereas most people experience only pain and loss.  Same for the recent housing market collapse.  While most people were busy licking their wounds, savvy real estate investors start licking their chops.

The point here is not to say that certain events can’t have negative effects upon you.  Rather, it is to always be clear that the events themselves, and your perception of negativity, are two entirely separate things. 

The negativity never lies in the event itself.  It always lies within you…and that’s very important to always keep in mind.

Why Is This Distinction Important?

Once again, when we mistakenly assume that qualities such as “negativity” or “stressfulness” are part of events themselves, we give up much of our power to exert direct personal control over our emotions and our future possibilities.

When you falsely believe that negativity is part of events themselves, there doesn’t appear to be much you can do about it.  On the other hand, when you correctly understand that the event is one thing and that any negativity results from your own automatic, internal responses to it, suddenly you now have choice in the matter.

Do you want to continue viewing this event as negative?  Might there be some positive aspects that you didn’t recognize initially?  Are there things you could do in response to this event that could turn it into a positive later on?

These choices won’t be available to you as long as you believe that negativity is set in stone (i.e., is part of the event itself).  In other words, you lose personal power to control both your immediate feelings and your future destiny.

Practice This Skill Whenever You Can

The more you practice conceptually separating events themselves from your assessments of negative (or positive) qualities, the more you will regain contact with your natural power to change and control your feelings and outlook. You may also discover that there are many ways you can benefit from events or situations you once thought were inherently negative or stressful.

 

 

 

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