The number one challenge that many people in the modern world are struggling with today is stress. It is said that stress is one of the main causes of illness, and in many cases even suicide. What is the main cause of stress? Simply put, it is resistance to anything that is perceived to be undesirable or unpleasant, or alternatively trying to force that which is not, to be. This resisting or forcing is as a result of negative thoughts and perceptions about a situation or circumstance, which in turn cause negative emotions, creating stress. This, in medical scientific terms means the release of stress hormones (cortisol and adrenaline) in the body, creating the fear-based "flight of fight" response. How do you overcome stress? The best way is essentially by learning to accept every situation or circumstance as it is. This may sound like a tall order, impossible to do for some, but as soon as you learn to understand some very important principles in this regard, it will start to make more sense.
It is important to realise and understand the fact that as much as there are physical laws that govern the universe, there are also universal or spiritual laws that govern the experience of life. Unless you are aware of and familiar with these laws, you may continue to live in violation of or resistance to these laws, which are immutable. You then continue to experience the consequences of this violation or resistance in the form of suffering. You are bound to suffer serious consequences should you decide to jump off a tall building, as you will be violating the natural Law of Gravity. The same applies to any of the universal laws of life. For the purpose of this topic, we will focus on one of the many universal laws, namely the Law of Cause and Effect. Isaac Newton’s third Law of Motion, states that "for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." This essentially explains how the Law of Cause and Effect operates.
The obvious question that arises would be how the Law of Cause and Effect relates to your stress levels. To avoid a long-winded scientific explanation, it can be summarised in a nutshell. If you understand and believe in the Law of Cause and Effect, you will learn to realise that every circumstance, experience and event in your life are purely effects caused by something, invariably something that you are responsible for, namely your thoughts, beliefs and expectations. Even if you did not directly cause the circumstance, you cause your own response to it, and if negative, stress will be a possible effect. This is a difficult concept to grasp for those who have been conditioned from young to be victims of life, unable to control what happens to them. However, the reality is that you are potentially far more in control of the circumstances in your life than you may have been led to believe.
As mentioned earlier, stress is generally caused by non-acceptance of and resistance to perceived undesirable or unpleasant circumstances. What role does the Law of Cause and Effect play in this equation? Firstly, apart from the obvious, why do most people tend to resist negative circumstances? Upon reflection, the answer can only be because of the belief that things should be different; that they are not meant to be the way they are. Think about that for a moment. If things are not meant to be the way they are, why should I not resist them? At this point it is important to consider the three options available in dealing with negative circumstances. The first is to change the circumstances if possible. The second is to walk away from the circumstances if you can. If neither of these is an option, the only remaining one is to accept the circumstances. But how can I accept what in my opinion is not meant to be? This is where the potential brain twister comes in. Everything that is, is meant to be. This may be an unacceptable concept for the conditioned victim of life. However, the Law of Cause and Effect alludes to the fact that whatever is, is meant to be. Why? There was a cause that created the effect, therefore the effect is meant to be. To use a simple illustration; when I open a door, that door is meant to be open because I opened it. Although that may speak of intention, the principle applies to whatever the circumstance may be. If you understand the Law of Cause and Effect, you will understand your responsibility for being the cause of the effects in your life, through your thoughts, beliefs and expectations, including your response to possible causes from the outside. Even though you may not be consciously aware of the Law of Cause and Effect, it does not cancel out the Law. Instead, you may cause negative effects in your life through unconscious wrong thoughts, beliefs and expectations and then try to resist the negative effects, which then leads to stress. Whether conscious or unconscious, whatever effect you experience, it is meant to be, as it was created by a cause. This truth may need some time to sink in as it may contradict previous conditioning.
By understanding the Law of Cause and Effect and viewing the current circumstances in your life from this perspective, you will begin to understand that resisting these circumstances because in your opinion they should not be, is not such a wise thing to do and only creates unnecessary stress. They are meant to be, as they are merely the effect of a cause. When you accept the fact that they are there and stop resisting, you will allow the universe or God to provide you with solutions as to how you can effectively deal with the circumstances. First of all, there should be gratitude for the fact that you have learnt a valuable lesson from the experience. Either, there is something in your thoughts, beliefs or expectations that caused the circumstance, or your reaction to the circumstance is causing your experience. Understanding this is empowering as it means that you have the power to change the effect by changing the cause. Instead of expending valuable energy in resisting, you can redirect that energy to explore what the cause was that led to the undesirable effect. You can start by asking questions and examining your thoughts, beliefs and expectations. This is far more proactive and productive than playing the victim and fighting against the effect.
Common sense should tell you that the more you learn about the universal laws that govern your experience of life and learn to live in harmony with these, the less stress and the more peace you will experience in your life. This is the principle of knowledge of the truth setting you free. Instead of remaining a victim of life, you can learn to become a creator of your life. Instead of living at effect, you can start learning to live at cause.