Since the dawn of man, we have all been linked through one common stomach churning feeling: STRESS. It seems that through our evolution from knuckle dragging (some of us are still stuck here) to upright walkers, we have taken the idea of progress quite seriously. Our fast paced culture is truly a heart attack waiting to happen. Collectively we are all pushing the limits of our minds and bodies, trying to keep up with the speedy pace. It's as if we're still gripped by the prehistoric fear, that if we stop, we may just get eaten up by a saber tooth tiger.
I'm definitely dating myself, but do you remember how the Flintstones got their car moving? To move the vehicle forward, everyone seated had to start running on the spot. For the dramatic effect and humor, the car would stay in place, sputtering and shaking, until whoosh... in one quick movement, it would zoom off down the rocky road. This memory rolls back to me every time I get overwhelmed with stress. It feels like it starts slowly, puttering along, seemingly not having an effect on me. Then as the day moves on and I continue to ignore my stress levels, the feelings of anxiety, frustration and irritation goes zipping off out of my control. As I allow my emotions to cruise further down a winding turbulent road, I'm in 5th gear and there is no way for me to come to a full stop without crashing. What I've come to realize is, that I need to catch myself before the stress starts to shift into second gear. And that can be a huge challenge.
DIFFERENT SOLUTIONS - SAME OUTCOME
I am convinced that in order for us to change our habits with stress, we need to understand what causes our stress. This is tough, because it requires us to be fully present as we move in our day. However, one of the beautiful things about evolving spiritually, mentally and emotionally, is that we now have a more advanced awareness of what is going to bring us peace. There is no simple answer. You and I may find our solutions in very different places. But the results are the same. We need to find ways to take a deep breath, step back and observe what is causing us to get out of control. Then we can try to avoid or at least minimize what or who it is that drives us crazy.
We are built to run, hunt (vegetables of course!) and work hard. But we also now live in a time, when many of us, can and should, take a few minutes out each day and enjoy the fruits of our labor. We have grown, evolved and blossomed into modern man. We need to move past the simple thinking that life is merely to survive. Instead, if we give a few minutes each day to cultivating less stress, we can learn to cherish and appreciate the moments that make up our existence.