Learning to manage your stress or refusing to endure it?

This morning I received an email about “how to manage your stress”. Being easily “Stress-Sick”, I clicked and started reading.

The article said, in a few words, “nothing is stressful but it’s the reaction that we have that makes things stressful”. And even if I find the idea interesting (and pretty accurate, I would say), I can’t help thinking that’s not that easy…

It makes me wondering why it does seem quite normal, nowadays, to make people feel guilty and foolish about everything. Everybody is convinced that they can change, if they really want to. But where does this idea come from? From this silly American Dream sold to the Europeans, insecure and stupid enough to think that a better world where everything is possible (or at least buyable) would be the right answer to their problems? Maybe. Who knows? The result is the same: our citizens hardly believe that “Yes we can” – if we really want it. Including managing our stress.

Don’t take me wrong. I think that’s fabulous that people are trying to improve their life (and, I hope, themselves). As a woman, I can’t be happier that some chicks decided to stand up for their rights and improve their life (and mine, obviously). What’s really worrying me is the obsession of getting better and, moreover, of getting more… And the idea that to do better, you have to do more. Better, More, Better, More. Stressful, isn’t it?

For me, stress is only the result of a high social pressure produced by the world we live in. Clearly, some of us are more sensitive but even if your personality counts, life conditions too. Economical and social position, professional experiences, interpersonal relationships, financial situation… That’s certainly why certain situations are stressful for certain people and some other don’t.

And so, if stress depends more on our environment than our will, what would be the solutions? What would be the alternatives? Being cut off from the stress of the world? Some of us can do it but let’s be realistic; everyone has something that makes it quite impossible, responsibilities he can’t ignore or drop easily, someone he doesn’t want to disappoint and so on. Would human beings still be human beings if they wouldn’t need other people to survive? I don’t think so. Neither Beckett nor Sartre.

But perhaps instead of making stressed people feel guilty about it, it would be interesting to really study and understand society’s responsibilities and think about how it could be changed. We’re talking about political changes indeed, but not only. We could apply these changes on our interpersonal relationships, at work and anywhere else.

I guess what I’m saying if that we should all probably take time to:

– Listen to others and learn to know them (especially when we see them regularly)

– Share and learn from people to be able to really work or live with them

– Make sure that everyone’s opinion matters (especially when it comes about making decisions)

– Help each other and pay attention to others’ feelings (even when they don’t say anything about it)

– Take the time and let people take their time to be sure everyone can make things at his own pace

– Respect other people’s choices, no matters if they don’t fit with ours.

– and so on.

Yes, it’s true, it sounds obvious but one could be surprised how quickly theses fundamentals are frequently forgotten, ignored or disregarded. Especially at the places we spent most of our time.

My point is: if you have troubles managing your stress and if hypnosis, yoga and mandalas don’t work, maybe you should try to impose a healthy lifestyle everywhere you feel stressed. And, who knows, if you keep standing for it, it could, at the end, become a right… Not only for you but also for your colleagues, friends and family.

Because, “Yes, we can”… change the world we live in. Or, at least, try.

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I'm always curious about new things, I love learning and I'm a creative person. That means I need to use my creativity to feel good and happy. That's why I've created Culture Remains and my other website, Naïra.

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