“Less is more” expresses the notion that simplicity and clarity lead to a less stressed existence.

“Less is more” expresses the notion that simplicity and clarity lead to a less stressed existence. Unfortunately our culture has moved further and further away from adopting this modality. We now go through our days as if we are in training to do as much as we can in one day. We are literally on call 24 hours a day. I doubt whether there is anywhere on earth that one can go and be free of some gadget that can trace your whereabouts.There might be, but we would have to be able to go there and absent ourselves from the anxiety of not being connected. Our brains are being rewired to “need” the stress that comes from being overwhelmed.Yes, that sounds crazy, but over the years we have adapted to seeking more and more adrenaline highs from lives filled with constant pressure.

This is emotionally similar to being on a substance that gives you a high but then makes you its slave. The chemistry of stress can initially give you a rush; but after a while, it begins to erode your body, mind and soul.

There are options that can make life easier, but they’re rarely taken seriously. What would it be like to meet someone who shares how relaxed they are. You would more than likely think they’ve been medicated. Most conversations are riddled with tales of exhaustion and lack of free time. As you listen you start to feel as if you’re on a runaway train and are helpless to pull the cord so you can jump off and save yourself.

I’ve written about this subject for several years, as have many others. There are reams of research papers on the subject and over three billion dollars a year is spent on either healing or preventing it. What I find interesting is that the media rarely mentions stress now even though it is at an all time high. I believe that has happened as a result of how society has accommodated itself to it. After all, you are supposed to be stressed. It identifies you as a mover and a shaker, even though the moving and the shaking may be a signal that your mind/body are on the verge of collapse.

The realization that symptoms you are experiencing i.e. headaches, backaches, gastrointestinal problems, and more could be the result of an overextended life is the first step to living a more balanced life. Try to understand that periods of rest no matter how small can help to refresh and invigorate your brain. Take sometime to remove yourself from your gadgets and to connect with family and friends in “real time”. Seek to delegate so that you don’t have to be the “center of the universe”. You only have one life to live, learn to live it well.

About lorettalaroche

An international stress management and humor consultant whose wit, and irreverent humor, has, for over 30 years raised the humor potential in all of us. She is on the Mass General advisory council for anxiety and depression and was recently awarded the National Humor Treasure Award. Loretta writes a weekly newspaper column called, ‘Get a Life’.

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