Well we made it to 2013 and the “End of the World” hype is over. We are officially one month in and the earth as well as the human race is still intact. No asteroids, giant tsunamis, super volcanoes or zombie apocalypses…. Yet!
As a race we humans are obsessed with our own demise. I find it funny how instead of fully enjoying our brief existences on this rock, we are constantly fixated on our own mass destruction. Every few years it seems there is another prediction of doom and gloom on the horizon. The really funny part is that as of now, Yes! We are all going to die!! Maybe not all at once like in the movies, but probably far less glamorously. So I say accept the fact that you are mortal and are going to die!!
This mindset could change your life in a number of ways. First off you may actually live LONGER. You say:”But Brandon how does that even make sense???” Well the stress of constantly worrying about death and what could go wrong is killing you!! Yes, stress is terrible for you and you heart!! I am told that Heart Disease is the leading cause of death in this country(which is actually a blessing that in this country most of us live long enough for our hearts to go, but that’s another story). So when you are stressed your body goes into a primitive defense mode, changing your heart beat which turns out is terrible for your heart.
It’s not you fault though. Not yet, but after you read this article it will be so you may want to stop here…..
Still with me? You sure?? OK Good!
**Disclaimer**: What i am about to talk about is purely the way I feel. I have done some independent Google research, but most is based on a mixture of very deep thinking and common sense.
The reason I say it’s not your fault that you experience these high levels of stress in your every day life are as follows. In this country we are conditioned with fear from birth. Everyone tells us: “You better not do that or else!” Everyone such as: parents, relatives, teachers, religious books and figures, etc. When we get older we(most of us) become television dependent. TV in small doses is fine, but too much of anything will hurt you. On TV there are many causes of stress which you don’t even realize. I’ll talk about two big ones here. First is the News. Some of us feel it’s our duty to be as informed as humanly possible about every thing that is happening on the planet! You say:”Why is this a bad thing?” Well I don’t think it’s such a bad thing to be informed, however information overload can be dangerous. Also the mainstream media’s main tool is FEAR. They mostly tell you about the bad, scary, evil side of things. There are several theories on why they do this: ratings, money, government control. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. This fear, among other things, causes a lot of worrying which causes stress.
The other stress TV brings to our lives is caused by feelings of inadequacy. You see people on TV looking perfect: Tan fit bodies, perfect teeth. They have new clothes, cars, houses, jewelry, etc. These people are always involved in some sort of drama or epic event. After years of subjecting your brain to this stimuli you may start to think that is how life is supposed to be. You compare your life to that of the “TV life” and may feel that your life comes up short. Then comes the worrying about money, image, fashion, popularity. All this worrying about “fitting in” causes tremendous amounts of stress.
So now you know and you can’t “un”know it!! It’s up to you now to be proactive in your own life and cut out the stress. My advice to combat any type of stress would be to take some alone time. Write down what is really important to you and makes you happy. I’m not talking about materialistic things either. I mean stuff like family, traveling, sports, relaxing, pets, etc. Now spend a part of each day focusing on your list and how to make it happen. Instead of worrying about circumstances that are out of your grasp.
An even easier way to combat stress which you can do anytime is breathing! This is going to sound borderline “hippie-ish” but it works for me. When you first get hit with that feeling of stress just stop! Close your eyes(unless your driving haha). Take a few very deep breaths. Think about something that makes you happy. Picture yourself doing your favorite activity and the feel the joy it brings you.
Those are just two methods, but there are plenty out there. make Google your friend and spend some quality time reducing your stress and you may end up living longer. Hope you found this article helpful even in the slightest way. Please comment other ways you have found to reduce stress 🙂