Self-Management Over Stress-Management

Stress is misdirected energy.

Stress is energy directed inward that would be more usefully directed toward that which we want to accomplish, achieve, or affect.

This does not mean that we should displace our stress outwardly.

Stress directed outwardly tends to manifest as anger, frustration, and all other forms of counterproductive negativity.

By the time we feel stressed, we have already mismanaged, misguided, and misdirected the external forces acting on us such that they are now acting against us.

We need to learn how to effectively deal with the forces coming at us that cause us to feel stressed before they become stress.

This means we must learn how to better manage ourselves, our space, and our priorities in a way that does not allow external forces to negatively affect us.

This requires integrity, flexibility, and focus.

When we feel stressed by the goings on in our lives, before simply accepting that life is stressful or thinking the world must change in order to accommodate our mental-emotional needs, it would be far more productive to look at ourselves and where we are lacking in one of these three ways.


Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.

Robert Van Valkenburgh is co-founder of Taikyoku Mind & Body and Kogen Dojo where he teaches Taikyoku Budo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

All photos by Robert Van Valkenburgh unless otherwise noted.

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