The root cause of stress is fear, as all fear is the threat of losing our attachments. If we’re attached to a desired outcome, anything that threatens it will be something we fear. The fear of losing control underpins stress, for example, and creates frustration over what can’t be controlled. As desirable as it is to be in a position of control, our attachment to it ultimately creates a fear that can manifest as stress, worry, anxiety, and panic.
Fear brings disorder into our experience when it is within us, and it’s an energy that suppresses consciousness.
Activation energy is the force required to get you from doing something when you’re on autopilot (such as habits, routines, procedural awareness, or relaxing) to doing something new. It is a manifestation of willpower. When we are in a state of fear (stress), our activation energy is diverted toward doing things to ourselves that are primarily against our will.
Running late for work and caught in a traffic jam? You can either become frustrated and upset because you fear arriving to work late (which brings you no closer to your goal of getting there on time), or you can accept the present moment and use it as a learning lesson to leave earlier next time. You can also choose to enjoy the unexpected free time in the morning and listen to a podcast or some music. There are many choices you can make in that space of time that can affect or degrade even the most minute increments of your personal development.
Stress causes you to divert attention and willpower away from your initial goal, bringing you no closer to it than when you began. In a state of stress and fear, your willpower gets diverted toward the threat, not the goal, and this is against your own best interest. Time is currency, so pay attention to what you spend your time on.
Now of course there are valid situations where your willpower MUST be diverted toward dealing with the threat or there might not be any willpower left for you to use in the future!
There are two types of fear: survival based fear and ego based fear. Ego fear includes fear of rejection, failure, humiliation, loss, uncertainty, lack of control, etc. These fears are not real, but may feel so to you. Ask yourself, what’s the worst that could happen? Is it death, the loss of freedom, a loved one suffering? If it’s none of those then you’re too attached to an outcome that is not essential to your wholeness. When we’re mindful of our awareness, extraordinary things await us on the opposite side of fear. Believe.