Stress and Hard Times: Learning Coping Strategies From An Age-Old Source

Judy Lief writes about what Buddhist teachings have to say about stress and asks: “Should stress always be avoided? Can it be productive? What are its symptoms and what is its cure?”

I wondered when posting this if the phrase “Buddhist teachings” would turn people off. But on second thought I believe the helping fields are becoming more open to ideas that come from this tradition. After all, it is as much of a psychology as a religion or spiritual tradition. And who in this field is not looking for help in becoming a better clinician and person?

We all know about the explosion in the interest of mindfulness and its applications clinical work. At our workshops it’s rare for a few hours to go by without some mention of mindfulness. Whether it’s cognitive behavioural therapy, a focus on  mind/body/spirit connections, trauma treatment, using the  MUSE brain sensing headband or new ways to help troubled teenagers, the practical applications of mindfulness are numerous and there is increasingly research to substantiate its benefits

The transmission of the teachings of Buddha to modern psychology and mental health practices makes sense when you consider how it all began. Buddha’s wisdom and generosity of spirit and action were aimed at helping people live a better life and to deal with the difficulties and stress that human existence brings. No wonder the world of helping others through mental health treatment has embraced his ideas about how to lead a more satisfying life.

I hope you enjoy this article. It explores among other things four styles of hope and fear, six patterns of stress and the value of training the mind and heart. Read more here