What stress is caused by and why you should give a damn

I’ve recently seen people on social networks sharing or saying something to the effect of:

  • “Stress is caused by giving a f*ck.”
  • “The less you give a damn, the happier you will be.”

These statements are misleading, at best — and, at worst, simply false.

With regard to the first:

Stress is not caused by giving a f*ck. Stress is caused by trying to have power over things that are beyond your control. There’s a difference.

The act of saying “F*ck it, I don’t care!” is simply an acceptance that you are no longer going to try to change something that you couldn’t control anyway. It’s not the caring that’s the problem, it’s a problem with misdirected focus and an emotional attachment to an outcome you had no power over.

It’s like worrying — the mental process of worrying about something accomplishes nothing.

“We have a saying in Tibet: If a problem can be solved there is no use worrying about it. If it can’t be solved, worrying will do no good.” – Dalai Lama

It is the same with trying to have power over things you cannot control. If you have no power over something, there is no use trying to control it.

I think to encourage people to not care about things is a step in the wrong direction. The world doesn’t need more people who don’t give a f*ck or who sit by and do nothing when they have a chance to make a positive difference. We already have those in abundance.

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