The Stress of Racism

Stress is often defined as a “perceived” threat (real or imagined) to mind, body, spirit or emotions. When people express “racially” motivated views and perspectives, they are expressing a form of stress (specifically fear, anger or both): They clearly feel threatened. Hearing so many people today describing President Obama as a foreign born Muslim (not to mention a socialist, a communist, and every other name they can muster up) is the “new code” for racism. People who carry signs saying they “want their country back” is also code for racism, despite their claims not to be racist (Freud called this denial). And because it’s not PC to be racist, this form of stress now surfaces in many other ways, such as current Tea party political activism). Racism takes on many forms of behavior, all of which are abhorrent! Sadly, this behavior only promotes and perpetuates more stress for everyone involved: the attacked and the attackers. It could be said that anyone who has an ego is prone for threatening perceptions towards others who are different (Jung referred to this as the Shadow). In the Eastern culture they have an expression which bears repeating… “Domesticate your ego!” Racism may be as old as humanity, but if we are ever going to evolve as a species, we all need to domesticate our egos to eradicate racism from the world. And there is no time like the present.

• Stress Tip for the Day
Take a look deep into your heart and examine your stress-prone thoughts/behaviors regarding race, ethnicity, religion, gender, and sexual orientation. Ask yourself why you feel threatened by people who are different than you? Why is your ego reacting to these differences? Examining your heart is only the first step… resolving these threatening perceptions is the essential next step. Learn to domesticate your ego or it will poop all over the place.

• Links/Books Worth Noting:
Let there be no doubt, racism is quite stressful to those who experience any kind of it. Here are a few websites with more information.

• Quote for the Day:
“Racism is man’s gravest threat to man – the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason.” —Abrham J. Heschel

“Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away, and that in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.” — Martin Luther King

Photo of the Day:
Martin Luther King dedicated his life for equality for all people. In the words of Gandhi, “His life was his message.” Here is a photo of MLK. May this serve to remind us that we all have a dream and must work each day to see it realized, including the elimination of racism.

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Brian Luke Seaward

Author Brian Luke Seaward

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