The World Health Organization believes that stress will be one of the biggest killers of the 21st century. Stress is responsible for millions of lost workdays in the US and UK each year. Stress leads to eating disorders, sleep disorders, heart problems, a multitude of other health problems – stress kills.

And, yet, stress does not exist. You’re suffering from stress simply because you think that you’re suffering from stress. It’s a trick of the mind! Outside events don’t stress you out. Other people are not the cause of stress in your life. How you perceive and react to outside events and people are what is causing you stress. You are the author of your own stress!

But, quite obviously, the good news is that if you’re causing your own stress – you can cause the stress to go away. If you’re creating stress, then you can decide to create something else – a stress-free life.

It’s up to you to decide to manage your mind. At the moment, your mind manages you – you need to turn the tables. The first thing that you’ve got to realize is that how you’re feeling or what you’re thinking right now are decisions that you can take for yourself. If you don’t consciously take the decision to focus on the reality of the here and now – instead of allowing your subconscious mind focus on what it thinks is going on – you will simply continue to exist in the vicious self-perpetuating circle of stress.

So, what you’ve got to do is learn – or re-learn in fact, because we were all experts at it when we were young children – to focus on the real world, on what is actually taking place right here and now. You do this by paying attention to what you’re five senses are telling you – in other words, you’ve got to stop and ‘smell the roses’. You’ve got to come to your senses.

You see, normally, we interpret what our five senses are telling us using what psychology calls our ‘stored knowledge’ – this is a default subconscious behaviour. However, our stored knowledge was learned during our formative years and it tends towards the negative. For example, it is the source of all our perceived inadequacies – the things that we don’t like about ourselves. You’ve got to break this bad habit by simply observing what you see, feel, hear, smell and taste.

Obviously, you can’t practice focusing on your five senses when you’re already stressed. You’ve got to go into training to change the way that you use your mind. In other words, you start practicing when you’re not stressed – preferably first thing every morning.

So, tomorrow morning, take ten minutes. Sit down, close your eyes and just listen. Next day, take ten minutes, eyes closed, to focus on what you feel in your body. Work your way through all of your senses. And start each and every day with five to ten minutes mental focusing. Sooner, rather than later, you’ll come to realize that your perceived stress wasn’t real – and you’ll realize a whole lot more!

Author's Bio: 

Willie Horton has been enabling his clients live their dream since he launched is now acclaimed two-day Personal Development Seminars all the way back in 1996. His clients include top leaders in major corporations such as Pfizer, Deloitte, Nestle, Merrill Lynch, KPMG, G4S and Allergan together with everyone from the stay-at-home parent to sports-people. An Irish ex-banker and published author he now lives in the French Alps from where he travels the world as a much sought after motivational speaker and mentor. All his work, his weekly Free Personal Development Ezine videos and articles, together with his highly-acclaimed Personal Development and Stress Management Workshops are online at Gurdy.Net