Stress And Truth: What Does This Explain?

by Doc Orman, M.D.

Stress And Truth Part 2In my first blog post this week, I began a conversation about the relationship between stress and truth.  In that discussion, I voiced my opinion that:

“…much of our stress and unnecessary suffering comes from either not telling the truth (both to ourselves and/or others) or from not recognizing the truth about various aspects of life/reality.”

I then provided four brief examples of why I believe stress and truth are deeply connected:

  • Problems that result from intentionally lying.
  • How negative emotions often result from faulty beliefs/perceptions.
  • Problems that result from being in denial.
  • Problems that result from mistaken ideas about how life really works.

Expanding The Conversation

Today, I want to share a few things that I believe this deep relationship between stress and truth helps to explain.

Why So Many Stress Relief Programs Don’t Work

We have so many more stress relief programs today than we did ten years ago, yet our stress levels have increased rather than decreased.  I don’t think this is a mystery.  How many of these programs teach people to become better at recognizing and telling the truth?  How many help people become more connected to reality?  How many show people how being disconnected from truth/reality is causing them to needlessly suffer from problems and stress in their lives?

Maybe there are some programs that do this, but not many.

Why Stress Is An Increasing Problem Today?

While I’ve already answered this above, let’s examine the degree to which knowing and telling the truth are valued in our society today.  Short answer…they are not valued at all.  Longer answer…acknowledging and telling the truth is definitely under serious attack today.

There are many powerful institutions in our society which have completely turned their backs on valuing the truth.  Politicians, advertising agencies, the legal profession, academia, unions, the teachers’ union in particular, and our beloved media.  Almost every type of popular media…there’s hardly a truth-teller in the bunch.

And then there’s all the rest of us who know we are being lied to every day, day after day, and behave as if this is ok.  Talk about denial—we actually believe that being surrounded by so much lying every day is not costing us anything.  Well, I  believe that it is.

Why We Find It Difficult To Understand And Control Our Emotions

Another consequence of our dwindling ability to recognize and tell the truth is that this renders us not very good at understanding or controlling our emotions.  Road rage, suicide bombers, domestic violence perpetrators, emotionally reactive kids, emotionally reactive parents—all this emotional lack of control is being fueled, at least in part, by refusing to tell the truth.

But it doesn’t stop with these extreme examples. The same dynamic spills into most of our lives and keeps us emotional prisoners, although we are not usually aware of this.

Why So Many People Are Uncomfortable With Truth

There’s an interesting pattern that’s becoming more and more apparent—people become frequently upset because they aren’t very good at telling the truth, yet when anyone does reveal the truth to them, they immediately become upset and rebel against it.  I guess the two have the same basic origin—a profound reluctance to embrace telling the truth—but I find the pattern interesting anyway.

The very same struggle that gets us into trouble in the first place is the same struggle that makes it so very difficult for us to escape from our self-imposed limitations.

Why We Don’t Need More Stress Management Programs Today

My conclusion here is that we don’t need more stress management programs today—what we desperate need is more truth telling programs. 

Unfortunately, even talking about the truth is difficult for most of us to confront, as I’m sure many of my statements above might have provoked some type of  negative responses within you.  Part of this comes from semantics—me as the speaker and you as the listener not understanding the same thing about what “telling the truth” entails—but part also comes from other sources, both deep within us and deep within our society.

And I’m not speaking about telling the truth here in some religious or spiritual sense.  But rather in a more practical and down-to-earth sense of “what really works” and “what can we agree is true about life.”

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Also, if you’d like to view all the stress relief Kindle books I’ve published on Amazon, simply click on the link below:

http://ormanstressrelief.com/kindlebooks

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Grazina A. Szewczyk May 29, 2013 at 9:14 PM

I love this article, and totally agree with it. How very often we could avoid unnecessary stress, anger, misunderstanding jut being true to our values and expressing what we know and believe in without beating around the bush, white lies, big lies and all that rubbish.

And unfortunately, the moment you reveal the truth to people who’re uncomfortable with it, they may become annoyed or hostile.

Great insights, I’m sharing on our Facebook Cure and Heal page.

Reply

Doc Orman, M.D. May 31, 2013 at 1:25 PM

Grazina: Thanks for your comments and your perspective.

Reply

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