Stress is a widespread problem. Everyone and anyone experiences stress, and to that end, there’s lots of helpful ways to cope with stress and lower it altogether. One effective way to relieve stress is to get to the root cause of it. And according to one inspirational thought leader, there’s one reason behind all stress: fear. So, to get rid of stress, it’s a good idea to address the fear first.

A leader in the self-help movement and bestselling author of Heal Your Body, Louise Hay, helped millions of people improve their lives up until her death in 2017. Hay focused on the mind-body connection, teaching that your thoughts and emotions have a direct impact on physical health and wellbeing.

In another bestselling book, You Can Heal Your Life, Hay teaches that “stress is just fear, it’s that simple.”

But what are we so afraid of?

Hay explains that we can feel afraid about all the constant changes that happen during our life. Another thing we can be afraid of is our own emotions. And chances are, if you stop to think about what you’re really afraid of, you might find that fear is a driving force in life. And if you ask Hay, the reason why you feel stressed.

So, what’s the solution to stop feeling afraid, and to relieve fear-induced stress?

It all comes down to trust. Hay wrote that “When we trust Life to take care of all our little problems, then stress just melts away.”

The next time you feel stress, can you step back and ask what you’re afraid of? Then, try to make the choice release your fear and trust that life will work itself out. To help you do that, Hay offers this positive affirmation for a stress-free life:

I let go of all fear and doubt, and life becomes simple and easy for me.