Do stress-causing situations, political news, and difficult people drain your energy and diminish your well-being? If so, it may be a good time to attend Liz Weiman’s upcoming class “From Stress to Serenity” starting on March 21st at 10:00 a.m..
We spoke with Liz Weiman to find out if it was really possible to overcome stress on an ongoing basis.
WIH Reporter: What would surprise us to know about the stresses in our lives?
Weiman: It is surprising to realize how much of the stress we experience is not caused by the upsetting event or the difficult person, but by our own thoughts about these apparent stressors. Once we carefully examine and begin to question the stressful stories we tell ourselves about the person or situation, we empower ourselves with a new freedom to effect real change, both in ourselves and in the world.
WIH Reporter: If stressful thoughts are the problem, how can we stop them?
Weiman: The first thing is to simply notice how often our thoughts involve stressful stories about the past or the future. By nature, thoughts about the past or the future are based in memory or projection, both of which can be permeated with fear, regret, and other negative emotions. Once we see how often our thoughts revert to past or future, and how they cause stress, we can begin to ground ourselves in various ways using the reality of this present moment.
WIH Reporter: What about the difficult people in our lives? They can be family or workplace associates that cause trouble for us. How can changing thoughts change them?
Weiman: We can’t control the behavior of other people, but we can open our mindsets to other perspectives regarding them. Einstein said that you cannot solve the problem at the level of the problem. By reacting in kind to the chaos and disorder caused by difficult people, we are engaging at the level of the problem, and often end up prolonging the situation. Instead, we can turn the focus back to ourselves, and begin to expand the lens through which we are currently viewing this person.
WIH Reporter: But in today’s world of overwhelming change and upheaval, is it really possible to move from stress to serenity?
Weiman: Rather than describe it as movement from one state to another, I would portray it more as connecting with the well-being and serenity that always resides within us. Just as we know that the sun is always shining, even when heavy clouds temporarily prevent us from actually seeing it, so we can access the unnoticed (but never absent) inner well-being that is always available. This shift in focus can be life-changing, allowing us to approach stressful situations from a more centered, serene, and compassionate place.
WIH Reporter: What is the format of your class?
Weiman: We use class discussion, video presentations, and handouts featuring the multi-faceted perspectives of behavioral science, psychology, eastern philosophy, and more. We learn specific ways to help overcome all the negative obstacles to peace-of-mind. Since this is a limited-enrollment class, the smaller group is able to share their struggles and their insights plus practice the techniques in a supportive and energy-enhancing environment.
Liz Weiman’s class begins on March 21st at 10:00 a.m. For more information, or to register, click here.