Why are there so many stressed people today? Is stress just a problem of modernity?
The stress alert system in our body is very important to make us act in times of danger. Thousands of years ago we ran away from the danger of turning food to our predators. A quick response to a dangerous situation kept us alive and allowed us to pass our genes on to future generations. However, today, we are at the top of the food chain and we are no longer in danger. So, why are we so stressed?
The Industrial Revolution of the late 18th century dramatically affected the way we see and do things today. To fully exploit labor, the time it took to produce an item was measured. The start and end time of a working day was strictly controlled. Time has become much more critical compared to past ages and is getting more and more so. For example, if a company takes more than 2 days to respond to a customer's email, this can be viewed as sloppy. People expect things done for yesterday. That must be why express delivery companies like FEDEX and DHL are being created here and there.
Before we had the risks of the environment, now we face less tangible risks: the time associated with the idea that we have to fill our lives with doing, doing and doing. I am for example writing this article late at night when I should be in bed. I do this because I hope that tomorrow there will be one less thing to do. What does your mind tell you when you think of a day without electronics, in complete silence, just contemplating the moment? This is the legacy we received from the Industrial Revolution that dictates that doing is more important than being. It tells us that we should excite our mind and body with new foods, clothes, events, decorations etc. This same stressful legacy can be extinguished when we start and recognize it in our daily lives and say NO to it. So, do you accept this challenge?
To access the Focko online magazine where this article was published, click here.
Eve specialises in Yoga and Relaxation for students and professionals who lead stressful lives or who are simply looking for a different perspective. She loves to write her thoughts in varied media and genres.