A radical idea about stress reduction

Is it possible for us to take a realistic look at our own lifestyles and make a few changes?

by Irene Conlan — 

Is it not interesting that we call those cultures who did not participate in the industrial revolution, the space age, the information age and other so-called advances in civilization — primitive? They hunt and gather food, prepare it, and spend their free time lounging in the sun and playing with their children. We send our missionaries in to evangelize and modernize them so they can become as stressed-out as we are.

On the other hand, we call those who watch the clock, get trapped in traffic for hours, take their children to daycare or hire a sitter, work from dawn to dark so they never see the sun and have all kinds of stress-related illnesses — civilized. The missionaries here are already as stressed as those they want to minister to.

Hello! What’s wrong with this picture? We blame all kinds of maladies on stress — physical, emotional and even spiritual. We find or devise stress-relieving practices, take medication to help us cope, and visit psychologists, psychiatrists and hypnotherapists who charge us fees that stress us even more.

All the while, those we want to change because they are “primitive” are enjoying a less stressful life and bonding with their children. Granted, some have shorter life spans because they do not have all the cutting-edge medical care that contemporary stressed-out society does. They are more likely to die of natural causes. They never have the privilege of being hooked up to tubes and wires in an attempt to save them from a stress-induced illness.

Is it possible for us to take a realistic look at our own lifestyles and make a few changes? Maybe we should become a bit more like our “primitive” brothers and sisters living on a remote island. Let’s see. What can we change that would bring us closer to that life experience?

We can walk to more places and leave our cars at home. This allows us the opportunity to exercise and avoid traffic jams. It also reduces air pollution. A realistic alternative is to take public transportation and relax on the train or bus — we could read or meditate or simply enjoy the ride.

We can begin to think of ways to work from home and still provide for our families. This keeps us out of traffic and the toxic environment of the office, and allows our children to be with us rather than in daycare. But who will do the work, staff the offices and be of service? Count on it, someone else will still work at the bank, waitress in the restaurant, fix the power lines, pick up the garbage and report to the office. But this is about you and me.

We — as in you and I — can take time out to sit in the sun and enjoy our children. We can live in smaller houses, have fewer than 25 pairs of shoes, turn off the TV, shut down the computer now and then, and play with the children. (I can hear moans and groans all the way from your house to mine.)

We can rearrange our priorities a bit and realize there is truly great merit to sitting and spending time with our children and grandchildren. For it is during these times, when we are relaxed and basking, that we will have some of our most creative, innovative ideas, along with a suntan and a blissful feeling of well-being.

Think about it. Progress may not always be found in going forward. Maybe there is something we can still learn from the caveman or the aborigine. At least we can modify our own lives enough to sit in the sun now and then, and take the time to play with our children. If enough of us do that, the world will most certainly be a better place if for no one other than the children — and probably the children of their children. And the stress level will decline — at least for you and me.


Irene Conlan has a master’s degree in nursing, is a certified hypnotherapist and a certified past life regression therapist at The PowerZone in Scottsdale, Ariz. www.theselfimprovementblog.com

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 26, Number 6, December 2007/January 2008.

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