For decades, Gabor Maté has been changing minds about addiction, stress, trauma, and illness. In this address, he takes a sharper look at the three components of stress, and how knowledge of ourselves can reduce our suffering.
“We all tell ourselves stories, and these stories often run our lives.”
That’s an idea you may have encountered before. But in this brief talk, Dr. Gabor Maté applies that familiar idea to the realm of emotional pain. The Hungarian-Canadian physician is known and loved worldwide for his insights and compassion regarding addiction and psychological trauma. Here, he breaks stress down into its component pieces to help us understand what we’re experiencing. And in so doing, he reveals a hidden nugget of opportunity—to know ourselves better, to learn how we’ve diverged from the “true self” we want to be.
It’s that very divergence—trying to be something we’re not—that Maté holds responsible for the worst, most inescapable kinds of stress in modern life. And simply recognizing that fact offers a starting point for recovery. If we also become more conscious of how our thoughts, beliefs and feelings respond to external sources of stress, we can gain even more control.