What To Do When We Hit Stress – Or Stress Hits Us


Our Level of Tolerance reflects our ability to withstand and handle stress.

A stressful event or situation is one that falls outside of the Level of Tolerance. 

Since the Level of Tolerance varies from person to person, stress, and how stress affects us, is relative to each and every one of us.

Whenever we encounter a stressful situation that falls outside of the Level of Tolerance, then it is highly likely that we will temporarily cope with the stress in ways we used to cope…


This means that if a past way of coping with stress was to drink excessive cups of coffee, then if the stress is factored outside of the current Level of Tolerance, then we revert to drinking vast quantities of coffee.

If an old way of coping was to pick on people’s faults, then when the stress falls outside of the Level of Tolerance, we may resort to finding faults in others.

The trap people fall into when this happens is to declare, “I thought I had worked through this,” or, “I thought I was beyond coping with my stress in this way!”

I have heard this anguished appeal so many times as a practitioner and therapist, and invariably, it only leads down a path of despair and self-anger.

This is not what is happening.

The reality is that the stress has moved you beyond your current Level of Tolerance.


The relevant question is, what do you need to do to foster your return: the return back to Authentic Self – to a more conscious state, so that you are better able to handle the stress and return to being more useful to yourself, and to others?


Will your Return be through internal work, by proffering inner boundaries – saying ‘no’ to the stress, or providing comfort to ease and settle down the anxiety caused by stress?


Or taking the issue to the negotiating table and journaling or writing down your problem?

Or do you need to bring in outside resources?


Do you need to admit to someone that you are outside of your ability to cope with the situation, and that you need help, someone who can provide a solution, or somebody who is simply able to hear you as you talk about your issue?


Authentic Self experience does not provide a guarantee of permanence, of a safe-house that will forever shield us from stressful situations. We will always encounter stress, and stressful situations. This is one of life’s lessons we are all participating in.

The question is less about how can we avoid stressful situations, but how can we support our return to a conscious authentic state as efficiently and as thoroughly as we are able when we hit stress, or when stress hits us.

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