MY LIFETIME FOCUS REMAINS THE HUMANITIES. AFTER MANY YEARS OF ACADEMIC WRITING AND A TWO-YEAR LAYOFF FROM BLOGGING, I HAVE RE-KINDLED MY INTEREST IN THE NONFICTION GENRE. I ENJOY POSTING A GREAT DEAL ABOUT THE HUMAN CONDITION FROM MY PERSPECTIVE AND WELCOME ALL COMMENTS FROM READERS.
I was asked to do a little research on a few issues that, while common, seem to lessen the quality of life for many people. In doing so, I have realized how common afflictions can alter the enjoyment of a person’s life to great extremes, without apparent cause or warning.
Over the course of my writing and teaching career, I have spoken to so many people who suffer from anxiety and stress. What has always concerned me is the manner in which most people view their own stress levels.
Anxiety and stress are quite normal in human existence. They are simply an everyday part of human life. Personally, I liken anxiety to fear. During many years of studying Eastern philosophy, I learned to appreciate fear and befriend it. It keeps us alert by making us always aware of our surroundings. It allows us to proceed with caution when necessary. It enables us to avoid conflict in life.
Despite my acceptance of anxiety and stress as normalcy, I do understand how these factors frequently exacerbate in some people to the point where they become overwhelming. When this occurs, the results can be startling. Productivity levels decrease tremendously, and the quality of life appears to diminish.
Many people who suffer from extreme anxiety and stress are unable to pinpoint any identifiable reasons for their feelings. The result can be sleeplessness, muscle tension, restlessness, irritability, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, sweaty palms, and numerous other symptoms that seem unconquerable.
My research reveals that one of the most common sources of anxiety is work- related or task-related stress. People simply take on more than they can handle. In short, they have not learned to say, “NO.” There is nothing wrong with deciding not to take on new tasks until you are ready. Even in the new world of multi-tasking in which we live, it is far better to handle one or two projects well than it is to attempt several projects and perform poorly. The latter tends to increase anxiety and does not help anyone.
Saying “no” need not be a big deal. It is unnecessary to be rude. A straightforward statement that you are tackling too many problems at the moment is all it takes to make a person understand your situation. Most people appreciate your honesty.
And best of all, it dramatically reduces stress and anxiety levels.