If you're like most people, you probably think the stress in your life is something you continually have to monitor or manage. Think for a moment about the word "management". For me it conjures up control, systems, strategy or supervision. An underlying assumption within each of these words implies that by "managing" my stress I will develop a better way to deal with the inevitable. But what about the possibility that stress is optional? What if stress isn't something you want to keep around like a mean pit bull on a long leash?

Stress management can, in some cases, be helpful. For instance, you could block out time when you are going to do something more relaxing - carving out time in your life for things that are not stressful. Vacations and weekends are common examples. But what if you didn't need to "manage" your stress at all? This article can give you another way of looking at stress that can practically eliminate your need for stress management.

Stress is Just a Thought
The first and most important point in eliminating the need for stress management is to understand that stress rarely comes from your circumstances. The only way you can experience stress in your body is to think stressful thoughts. Circumstances are just that - things that happen. Stop taking your own stressful thoughts so seriously. Stop allowing those thoughts to be so meaningful to you. Let your thoughts seem simply like just another thought. Then you will naturally gravitate toward your well-being and creativity where it feels really good, centered and relaxing to you.

To prove this first point, you can probably come up with examples from your own life where one time, when you encounter a certain situation, you are able to handle it with grace and ease. Whereas another time, because you have different thoughts or feelings about it - or simply because you are perhaps hungry or tired; you end up feeling stress and anxiety or overwhelmed.

The Faulty Premise Behind Stress Management
The second point is simply that stress management is based on a faulty premise. When you are managing the stressful circumstances and thoughts, you are acknowledging that stress has power over your life and thinking. You are also saying that stress is here to stay so you might as well find a way to deal with it. This way of looking at stress isn't necessarily true.

Stress can sometimes feel like a state of being instead of just a thought or feeling. But when you assume your reality is accurately summed up by your thoughts, life will likely seem stressful to say the least.

There are, of course, appropriate times for stress to give you an important message - like if you are about to crash into another car. Your stress response screams out that you should quickly slam on the brakes. That feels stressful and the response it demands could save your life.

Self Imposed Demands
But most stress in life is not like that. I'm going to go out on a limb to say (after years of exhausting and stressful research) that more than 90% of the stress people feel is self-imposed by the demands they put on themselves. Self imposed demands are simply a reaction to your own thoughts and feelings.

Some of these self-imposed demands reflect what you believe about your role in society, your family or community, like: "I must put on a fantastic Christmas feast or else the relatives will be disappointed." Some of the demands you take on reflect your beliefs about yourself such as "I'm never going to finish that report in time because I've always hated writing reports and I'll probably put it off until the last minute like I always do." And then there are other self-imposed demands that rise from our beliefs about God, the universe, your boss or whatever other outside force you believe has power over you. These demands sound something like "If I don't do _________ just right, I'm going to lose __________". In other words, you don't feel safe and act like a victim of your circumstances.

What Can I Do With My Stress?
The good news is that you don't have to be a reactive victim of your circumstances. What if stress didn't have to be an everyday part of your life? What if you found something even more powerful and compelling to drive you forward? And what if that powerful, compelling thought was one you purposefully created to produce better results in your life? Try shifting your focus from the problem oriented scenario of how to deal with stress, to that of a life purpose oriented approach.

So instead of stress management - change your focus to genuinely living your life purpose. Get started thinking about the ultimate life you would design for yourself. Begin to create the life YOU want - not the one you think someone or something else wants you to be. When you align your inner being to the center of who you are, the need to take on stress will virtually disappear from your life. Being true to who you really are is the best way to feel truly joyful and peaceful within. When you are inspired by your life purpose, you will easily enjoy sharing your inner peace with the world around you without succumbing to the demands of stress.

Author's Bio: 

If you are looking for more ease and joyful living, Susan Merz Anderson is a Professional Life Coach who can assist you to do just that. Find out more about her at Inspiring-Self-Improvement.com