We all live stress filled lives. An overload at work, a child that must be picked up early from school for a doctor’s appointment, the jerk in traffic that just cut you off. A thousand little annoyances during the day can lead to a head full of worries by the end of the day. And you still have to make dinner, help the kids with homework, do a load of laundry, and get up and start all over again in the morning. ARRGH!!

So where did all this stress come from? Don’t we have hundreds of nifty little gadgets that have been invented to help save time? Where would we be without the washer and dryer, dishwasher, microwave, and that wonderful computer? We would probably be without that nasty little beeper and always ringing cell phone, also!! We seem to use our saved time to add other things into our lives instead of using this time for much needed rest.

One modern problem related to all of this nifty electronic stuff is that we can never unplug. We are always connected 24/7 and our friends, family, and unfortunately our employers can always reach us. Twenty years ago, most employers would never call an employee at home unless it was a true emergency it was considered an invasion of private time!!! Today, most folks don’t think twice about calling, paging, beeping, or e-mailing any time of day. I myself just got a call on my cell at 8pm last night from my boss asking to get the serial number off of my office key because he needed to have it in a report to turn in tomorrow. Real emergency stuff and never mind that I have already e-mailed him the same information three times!!! We have to ask ourselves how has the world changed so much? The norm is that we allow and expect our home and private time to be interrupted and infringed upon at will.

Instead of coming home from a regular (ha, ha) eight hour workday and relaxing around a nice home cooked dinner and spending time with family a la Leave it to Beaver, the typical day for the average American worker goes something like this:

– Leave work an hour and a half late because the boss had another last minute emergency project that he knew about a week ago but decided TODAY at 3:30 it had to be done before the end of the day.

– Get stuck in traffic due to an accident on the freeway where another poor slob who had the same late workday got in too much of a hurry.

– Spend that time in the car worrying about bills to pay and things that have to be done before the end of the day.

– Stop by the local chicken mc grease fast food restaurant to grab another quick but unhealthy meal because there’s no time to cook.

– Say a quick hello to family members as they all grab a plate of food and run off to their respective rooms, TVs, or computers.

Sit down with a plate and check and respond to all of the e-mails you didn’t get to answer at work because you were so swamped putting out fires while simultaneously helping little Billy with his homework.

– Say a quick goodnight to the kids as you throw in a quick load of laundry, grab a quick shower and drop into bed too exhausted to do more than hug your sweetie and crash.

– Get up the next morning and start it all again.

No wonder we are all stressed out! Many of us have been led to believe that is the way life is supposed to be and we keep on going until we get sick or have a heart attack. Is there something we can do to regain control of our lives? Yes, dear reader, there is.

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Filed under: Stress Reduction

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