Stressed-out Elephant in the Room

Stressed out
Alex Jovanovic
Written by Alex Jovanovic

What happened to the notion that life and work should be enjoyable and happy experiences? When was the last time you met anybody that is completely at ease yet fully engaged with his/hers existence, work and life?

Stress and its effects are now permeating our daily lives to such degree that they are taken for granted – they are engrained in our psyche and we are convinced that we (and others) cannot function and give our best, unless we are under stress.

First, let us distinguish, what type of Stress we are dealing with.

When I ask somebody, are you under stress now, most often the answer I get is, “of course not”. And they are correct, they are not under the physical, life endangering attack right now – this is the Stress they are thinking about.

However, the Stress that is actually at work is a low level, ever present and slowly growing condition in all of us. And it is caused by, well, everything the modern society is throwing at us. Money worries, family worries, health worries. Worries about others, about politics…and million others. You see where I am going?

Our ancient instincts are not designed for the modern society challenges. Instead of perceiving such situations as non-threatening challenges and opportunities to improve and grow, our bodies react in the only way they know, by getting us into a “fight or flight” state.

To compound the problem, often there is no release from the perceived threat. When our ancestors were running away from the sabre-tooth tigers, they would have the release if they managed to escape (if they didn’t, than it really didn’t matter). For us, the stress reactions seem to be not only everlasting, but they accumulate.

And that brings us to where we are now. A generation of people who do not fully enjoy life or work.

But here is the good news.

You can have a life that is free, enjoyable, productive, and stress free. If you want it – and that is the first step. Allowing your mind and giving yourself permission to accept a notion that there is another way – being fully engaged, productive, successful, and yet stress free. Only once you step over that threshold, the door can be opened for you.

When you do, let me know.