Nearly everyone who you talk to these days will complain about being “stressed out.” Thirty years ago, no one ever even used this term. Today, however, it is a staple in most conversations. We often refer to ourselves as being “stressed out” when we talk about our careers as well as our personal lives.
Recent studies seem to demonstrate that even children are “stressed out.” Small children, who shouldn’t have a care in the world, are becoming “stressed” as well because of activities at home or at school. In many cases, they are simply inheriting the stress from their parents.
Psychologists who deal with “stressed out” individuals blame the current situation on everything from the foods we eat to our society. It seems that we are doing “too much” and, as a result, end up becoming burned out.
We all experience stress during our time on earth. There is a difference, however, in being constantly stressed out and experiencing stress due to a certain situation. Anything that dramatically disrupts our lives can become a cause for stress. Most people recover from the stressful situation after it has been resolved or over a period of time.
Other people tend to get stressed out all the time. In fact, their entire life appears to be one big stress factory. This is extremely unhealthy and is gradually taking its toll on society. Each year, billions of dollars are spent on symptoms of stress. There are loads of prescriptive medicines on the market today that try to address stress and anxiety. Millions of people are on some sort of medication for “stress.”
What is it that has happened in the past thirty or forty years that has caused millions of us to become a nation of stressed out individuals? Is society expecting too much from us? Maybe we are simply expecting too much from ourselves? Why are so many people suffering from the following:
Social anxiety disorder
Obsessive compulsive disorder
Years ago, no one ever even heard of these conditions, now they are featured in every magazine you encounter. There is a huge market to treat both depression and anxiety, which usually go hand in hand and are the offspring of stress.
Pharmaceutical companies are churning out different anti-depressants all the time. These are said to be ‘better” than the other anti-depressants that they discovered a year prior. Thirty or forty years ago, no one would have even heard the term “anti-depressant.” If you used that expression in those days, people would think you were perhaps talking about something to do with your car!
In 2008, it almost feels like every single person you encounter is “on something” for stress, depression or anxiety. All of them can neatly be lumped into the same category and are caused by stress.
Stress is frequently the root cause of all of the above psychological disorders. It also affects us physically as well. Stress has been linked to every disease known to man, including heart disease and cancer. Clearly, it is not a good idea for people to be under stress. But, as human beings, we are going to experience stressful situations. There is no avoiding this fact. Therefore, in order to really be able to help cure ourselves from being “stressed out” we need to know how to do the following:
Identify stressors that affect our daily lives;
Eliminate the stressors of which we can free ourselves;
Learn to deal with stressful situations in a healthy way
If you are one of the millions of people who are feeling stressed out, you must take a look at the reasons why you are stressed out and try to do what you can to eliminate as much stress as you can from your life. If you continue to be “stressed out” you will most likely find yourself taking some sort of prescription drug for one of the above disorders. Taking prescription drugs for stress does not mean that you are “crazy.” As a last resort, you are probably better off taking medication than allowing your body to be racked by stress.
Life is far too short to go through it being stressed out. And chances are that you could shorten your lifespan significantly if you continue to be “stressed out ” through the daily course of your life. This is particularly true as many of the things over which you may be stressed are minor, but have been blown up in your head to be far worse than they actually are.
Here’s a thought: what would it be like to actually go through life without being “stressed out” over everything and without drugs or medications?
I’m all ears!