according to the american psychological institute, about 1 out of every 3 american workers is chronically stressed. That's approximately 50 million of us. if your job is wearing you down, you can take comfort in the fact that you aren't alone.
but why are we so stressed?
The answer to that question is more complex than it seems. Our "professional" stress isn't simply due to heavy workloads, pressure-filled agendas, and out-of-touch bosses. Our stress problem points to a certain sickness of the soul. Instead of living out our creative dreams, we often have to pretend to care about a professional existence that we don't feel emotionally connected to.
Lost in a haze of mind-numbing meetings, rote activities, lengthy commutes, and petty coworker problems, our lives can begin to feel like the opposite of vibrant and spiritual. Many of us are sweating at jobs that are less than satisfying just so that we can live check to check. Put simply, it can begin to feel as if our jobs are sucking the soul out of our daily living. We might become fatigued, angry, anxious, or depressed. Life might begin to seem painful or, worse still, totally mundane.
Many of us might have difficulty truly connecting with or even recognizing our life's greater spiritual picture because we are shell-shocked from work stress and deeply distracted by the ultra-literal milieu of our professional existence. We want to feel more alive and more spiritual on a daily basis, but where can we begin?
WE CAN START BY MAKING
OUR "GRINDS" LOVELY
* WE CAN BEGIN TO RECLAIM LIFE'S MAGIC BY MAKING A SIMPLE RESOLUTION TO TRANSFORM OUR GRINDS INTO SOMETHING WE OWN INSTEAD OF SOMETHING THAT OWNS US.
* WE CAN TAKE SIMPLE STEPS TO MAKE DAILY LIVING NOT ONLY MANAGEABLE BUT LOVELY, AND THAT MEANS THAT WE STOP WISHING AWAY LARGE CHUNKS OF TIME AS WE WAIT FOR THE NEXT WEEKEND, VACATION, OR WINDFALL TO FEEL SATISFIED.
* IF WE ARE PROFESSIONALLY UNFULFILLED AND/OR SUFFERING THROUGH SOME OTHER LIFE CHALLENGE, WE CAN CERTAINLY HOPE AND PLAN FOR GRAND CHANGES IN THE FUTURE, BUT WE MUST FIND TINY PIECES OF MOTIVATION, HAPPINESS, AND SPIRITUAL INSIGHT IN THE PRESENT SO THAT EACH "TODAY" CAN BE MADE ENJOYABLE.
SO HOW CAN EVERY DAY BE ENJOYABLE?
Our every day (even "dull" or stressful ones) can be made enjoyable by approaching our working life (and all of life) from an enlightened spiritual perspective that puts striving, disappointments, and anxieties into the proper perspective.
When we approach each day with a spiritual focus, we can then let that focus teach us how to be more gentle with ourselves and with the world around us, and we can begin to make true health, needed rest, present-moment living, and creative fulfillment our priorities at all times--even and especially during particularly dark or hectic periods.