We are told that if we do all the right things that society expects of us that we can lead peaceful and productive lives. I think we have all wrong. It isn’t what is happening in our lives that causes stress and anxiety rather it is what is happening inside our minds that is the true cause. After being in practice for over twenty years I have come to believe that the true source and stress and anxiety is the ego.
Anxiety is generally defined as a nervous disorder marked by uneasiness and apprehension. This can result in compulsive behaviour or panic attacks. Stress is defined as being in a state of mental or emotional strain because of adverse or demanding circumstance that causes a state of strain or nervous tension.
Stress and anxiety, by definition, are the result of underlying emotions. This is where the ego excels. It creates a state of constant emotional turmoil, subconsciously, through a constant inner dialogue of self-doubt and inner criticism.
We have been taught that stress and anxiety can be effectively managed with diet, rest and exercise. While true that it does help physically it doesn’t address how to handle the emotional aspect – the inner critic.