Overcoming Stress With Inner Strength

It’s important to remember: overcoming stress is possible by relying on your inner strenth


When challenged, any one of us may ask ourselves, “How am I going to get through this?” I’ve been there often. Trust me, lessons learned. And after overcoming stress myself, I’ve now come to practice mindful self-inquiry with the question, “What is the source of my strength at this moment?”

Is it from a balanced, peaceful center? Is it no-holds-barred and aggressive? Is it resigned, passive or manipulative? If we can go deeply into this inquiry time and again, we come to that place where we’ll notice where we’re drawing our strength from and, in time, be able to connect with the source of strength that can sustain us long term.

My life changed forever when my husband and I lost our son. Devastating at the time, it set me on a path toward discovery of my true inner strength. This deep inner work has served me well through the years, especially as of late—my husband being in a debilitative, life-changing accident; my dad suffering a grievous injury, then leaving his body; my mom having a heart attack followed by a stroke; siblings having critical health issues; my pet companion being diagnosed with cancer, and more…


Today, my deep inner work enables me not to spiral into despair. I powerfully resolve to live a life of balance and fulfillment. How? I breathe, dive in and connect with my higher self or spirit—that field of infinite possibilities, of potentiality, of pure consciousness that flows through us. This is the eternal layer of being that is spaceless, timeless, ageless, limitless and fearless! It is the part that has always been here and always will be. This is the real you.

Every one of us will face our share of traumas, shocks and tragedies in our lives—along with the regular daily stressors and assaults on our equanimity and stamina.  It’s how you allow them to affect you that matters. You have a choice. So the question is: How will you face them? How will you react?

When buoyed by spirit, there is less chance that anxiety, anger or depression will have the upper hand. The key is to not feed off your fears. Fear drains us of hope and our ability to cope. There is great strength in knowing that whatever troubles you face or despair you may feel, a sense of peace will flow over you when you make a connection with the essence of your being. I promise, you will find centeredness amidst adversity of any stripe.

We can come to a place where we have the ability to keep our attention firmly centered on the layer of our being that is our source, our essence, yet still mindfully engage in our activities and skillfully function. This level of consciousness lets us remain steady, no matter what storms are brewing around us, a steadiness that only comes when you’re able to observe your emotions without judging or identifying with them. With this strength we remain resilient and follow the path of least resistance—ie, “go with the flow” as they say in Taoism.

Strength always radiates from our centered being—from the layer of our being that is pure consciousness. This is a prime tenet of all inner work, and it doesn’t really matter how you find it as long as you get there. You can connect through healing breath,  movement or by tuning into the heart center/chakra.  Any contemplation that allows you to go into that deep inner silence where great healing resides can get you there, because that core of strength is within all of us, and will show up on its own when we keep remembering to turn to it.

By: Mary Beth Janssen

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