15 Paradoxes Relevant to Stress Management

During the week as I was teaching a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course, I came across these paradoxes.


15 Paradoxes Relevant to Stress Management

The 15 paradoxes relevant to stress management are from the book Know Thyself: The Stress Release Programme by Dr Craig Hassed.

As I was teaching this week, the most relevant for me was 7 and 9. What about you – which are the most challenging, pertinent and resonant for you at the moment? –

  1. Self control comes with conscious relaxation, not tension. It is a ‘letting go’ rather than a ‘holding on.’
  2. What is pleasant or easy is not always what is best for us and what is difficult or uncomfortable is not always bad for us.
  3. Self blame will slow the process of self-development, not speed it.
  4. Being less concerned about the result helps to remove the pressure and so makes it easier to work with the process effectively.
  5. As much as we aspire to happiness we hardly ever allow ourselves to experience it.
  6. Our search for happiness is a search for something we already have.
  7. We cannot and need not make the mind still – trying to still the mind by force has the opposite effect. We can experience stillness by not being moved by the movement of the mind and senses.
  8. What we practice we get good at, whether it be getting stressed, or finding peace of mind. Unfortunately, we often practice things that are unhelpful and avoid practicing things that are helpful.
  9. The present moment is safe. Dreams about the past and future can be like a dark forest in which we get lost.
  10. More is not necessarily better when it comes to most things in life.
  11. Avoiding a need consumes more energy than meeting it.
  12. True freedom is attained through the intelligent application of self-discipline. A lack of discipline is not a free and happy state.
  13. We can feel lonely in company and at one with ourselves in solitude.
  14. In giving we receive.
  15. Knowing oneself is the first thing. Without knowing our self first we cannot and will not truly understand the nature of stress, nor can we attain the lasting happiness or freedom which we are searching for.


Want More Information?

You can read more about these paradoxes in Craig’s book –


If you are ready to reclaim your courage and take the next step towards freedom and opening your heart, why not join our Toolkit?


Reference –

Hassed, C. (2002). Know Thyself: The Stress Release Programme. Melbourne, Australia: Michelle Anderson Publishing.



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