Today's world is very stressful. We put ourselves under pressure on a daily basis, at work, at home, at school, and that pressure is never released. Day after day, year after year, the stress ramps up, putting more and more strain on our minds and bodies until one day things simply fall apart: the result is exhaustion, illness or depression. This is the conventional understanding.

However, is that all there is to it? Perhaps there is a more profound and spiritual interpretation of our high stress levels. Let's look a little deeper into this question.

Which Way is Your Heart Going?

Each person has a unique set of gifts which is ideally suited to a particular role in the world, and a character which is perfectly suited to being fulfilled and happy in that role. Another way of looking at this is to say that your Higher Self or Soul has a plan or a purpose for your life. If our lives go in that direction, we are naturally happy.

If, however, we make our decisions based on other priorities, and go in a direction which doesn't quite fit us, this will be spiritually uncomfortable. This discomfort produces stress: it is like trying to fit the proverbial square peg into a round hole.

So how do you know which way is the right way for you? The answer is quite simple. The language of the Higher Self is the language of feelings. When you are on the right path in life, it feels right to your heart. Your heart will be full of joy, motivation and certainty; you will feel inspired and there will be a certain spark in what you do. If you are heading in another direction, your head may tell you that you are doing the right thing, or the sensible thing, but your heart will not agree. You will never be able to find that spark in your life if your heart is not onboard with your path. Without that spark, you can wither inside.

Imagine yourself starting out on your life path. You start moving off in one direction. However, your Higher Self and heart are heading off in another direction. The more time passes, the further apart you get, and as you and your Higher Self are linked to each other, the more stretched you get. By the laws of mechanics, the bigger something is stretched, the bigger the strain, and the bigger the stress. Therefore, if you are on the wrong path, stress will increase dramatically as time goes by. Eventually, you will break apart.

My Own Example: What Not To Do!

In my case, I was forcing myself to be a scientist while my heart knew I was a healer. If I am honest with myself, I knew for years that I was on the wrong path. I took no notice of the signs because my scientific career was more important. I began to suffer with anxiety, severe insomnia, recurrent throat infections, but I ignored them all and kept going back to work. By this time, my Higher Self was screaming at me to stop and get on track, but I still ignored it.

Finally, I became so ill that I had to stop my scientific career. On one level, you could say that my stress level simply became too much to cope with. However, I now believe that my illness was the final desperate attempt of my Higher Self to get me onto the right track in life. The lesson was a hard one and it took me a decade to conquer ME. The fact remains though that now, as a healer, I do have an inner spark that I never felt as a scientist. Also, health and happiness have returned to my life in abundance.

So, ask yourself, are you on the right path in your life? Tune into your heart. What is it telling you? Have you been ignoring its messages? I wish I had listened to my heart sooner! By listening to your heart and acting on its wisdom, you could be saving yourself years of illness and trauma: that's something to think about!

Author's Bio: 

Dr Anne Whitehouse was a Scientist, but lost it all when extreme stress caused her to get ME. Then, despite what the doctors told her, she healed herself. She is now a speaker, transformational therapist and author of You Are The Alchemist - Transform Your Life.

Is stress causing illness and suffering in your life? You can change this by discovering why life stresses you out. Learn how to change the mental programmes that sabotage your life and cause your suffering. Go to to find out how and join Anne online at to have your questions answered.