Report Abuse


Skip to main content

A Major Cause of Stress

By Margaret Paul Phd

Discover that stress is NOT being caused primarily by people or situations, but by your own thoughts and actions.

We tend to think of stress as something that occurs because of outside events, such as having financial problems, relationship problems, health problems, or from having too much to do. Certainly events such as these are challenging, but they are not the actual cause of stressful feelings.

Stress Is An Important Message

Stress is your inner guidance's way of letting you know that you are thinking thoughts or taking actions that are out of alignment with what is in your highest good, or that you are trying to control something that you cannot control - such as how people feel about you or the outcome of things. Stress may also be letting you know that something in your body is out of whack - you are on medications or substances that are affecting your brain and causing the stress, or you have eaten foods such as sugar, processed, or pesticide-laden food that is causing brain toxicity, leading to feeling stressed.

When you are operating from your wounded self and trying to control something over which you have no control - such as others' feelings and the outcome of things - your stress is letting you know that you are hitting your head against a wall and not accepting reality. The opposite of stress - inner peace - is the result of accepting what is, learning to take loving care of ourselves in the face of what is, and practicing gratitude for the big and small blessings on this incredible journey of life - even in the face of all the challenges. And as many of us have experienced, gratitude offers us a stress-free way to manifest what we want, and works far better than trying to control others and outcomes,

Beyond Stress

Wallace Wattles, the author of the 110-year old book, "The Science of Getting Rich," states that "Man [and woman] may come into full harmony with the Formless Substance [this is what he calls God] by entertaining a lively and sincere gratitude for the blessings it bestows upon him [and her]. Gratitude unifies the mind of man [and woman] with the intelligence of Substance, so that man's [and woman's] thoughts are received by the Formless Intelligence through a deep and continuous feeling of gratitude." He states that when you frequently contemplate the mental image of what you want, "coupled with unwavering faith and devout gratitude," you set in motion the creative forces of manifestation.
Your stress is letting you know that you are doing the opposite of this - you are using your thoughts to create what you don't want and to try to control others and outcomes rather than to co-create with Spirit.

The major challenge here is about being in faith that all of this is true. You might know that this is true from the perspective of your loving adult, but your wounded self likely doesn't believe it.

  • It is very easy for the wounded self to come in with thoughts of bad things happening, which moves you out of faith and gratitude and into stress.
  • It is very easy for the wounded self to focus on how to try to have control over others and outcomes, which will always create stress.
  • It is very easy for the wounded self to turn to junk food and other substances that bring the body out of balance and cause stress.
  • It is even easy for the wounded self to try to use Inner Work and gratitude as a way of controlling God!
It is so important, when opening to learning and moving into Gratitude, to make sure that your intent is to be loving to yourself and others, WITH NO OTHER AGENDA, rather than using Inner Work as just another way to attempt to control others and outcomes.

Stress Is Your Friend

Stress is your friend in that it is instantly letting you know that you are off track in your thinking and/or behavior. Instead of ignoring your stress or pacifying it with various addictions, which will ultimately cause more stress, why not do Inner Work and attend to it with a deep desire to learn about how you are off track?

When you really think about it, it is strange that our society tries so hard to get rid of stress with medications and addictions, instead of learning what it is trying to tell us. When you really get that stress is your guidance's way of telling you that you are "off the mark," (in the original Aramaic Bible, sin is translated as off the mark) in your thinking and/or behavior, you will attend to what you are doing to create it, rather than ignore it or try to get rid of it.

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process - featured on Oprah, and recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette. Are you are ready to heal your pain and discover your joy? Click here for a FREE Inner Bonding Course, and visit
Hi! I research topics such as self-development achievement and mental health. I have a passion to use my life experiences and research to help others reach their full potential.