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Will our lives ever be stress free?

The complicated system we have evolved into, the problems and challenges we have introduced, the pollution and population explosion - is that how it is meant to be ? Is that the direction which we will ever head to, in line with the ever increasing entropy equations? Why is it that this "struggle" for survival that became the deciding factor, according to Darwin? Why didn't it be something much more beautiful and stress free that pushed the world forward.

  • Oct 16 2013: I agree with Da, that emotional stress does not necessarily follow the pressure imposed on people. Your attitude is more relevant to the level of stress than the weight or severity of the pressure. My life experience trained me well to reduce stress level to minimum during the struggling phase of trying to make a successful and meaningful life out of my work. One just strive to hard working toward one's goal, and persevered even if one had a failure or two. During these times, I would make monetary or consulting contribution to personal or charity organizations whenever possible, but I would not worry about the misery of my fellow man which wouldn't have changed due to my personal feeling of co-misery with them unless the contribution is within my ability.
    My suggestion is that you do whatever possible to alleviate the human misery. Your stress doesn't alter the fact of human misery or devastation, your action may help..
  • Oct 15 2013: It is often said that the difference between stress and pressure is that stress is the emotional response when pressure mounts and one is unable to cope. By that token, the way to rid stress is either to 'cope better' by increase the ability to deal with pressure e.g. share the task, or to change the emotional response. Stress is a choice.

    You may be interested in this talk:
    http://www.ted.com/talks/kelly_mcgonigal_how_to_make_stress_your_friend.html
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      Oct 16 2013: What you saying is partially true, yet you completely ignore the cause, the 'pressure' itself.

      Of course I could try to 'cope better' with a bitter cold wind which was blowing at me. I could try to suppress my sensation of coldness, I could exercise for my muscles to warm up, I could add additional clothing or group together with other people so that we somewhat shield and warm each other ...

      OR

      We just close the window and light the fire-place.


      In Joseph's question I see what I have observed myself in my society. People are getting more and more stressed out as their economical environment is forcing them into more and more work, of which the people themselves are not the ones who benefit from that. More and more people are forced to have two jobs, because one job alone doesn't pay enough anymore to maintain their income. Companies reduce their workforces strategically, yet expect the same or even more productivity of the remaining workers.

      'They' argue they have to do it to stay competitive on the global market, yet if one looks at their rising benefits and the overall increasing inequality of wealth distribution, we could know this isn't true.

      So the question is, does it makes more sense to the people in stress to learn to 'cope better' with it, or wouldn't it be smarter to question and change the very system, which is causing this stress in the first place?

      I rather close the window, than to learn to cope with unnecessary coldness.

      Stress is as much of a choice than our breathing.

      Stress is part of our vegetative self protection mechanism to avoid physical as well as mental damage. It is a signal to trigger a change in our behavior, so that we distance ourself from the stressor itself as soon as possible. This is natural and comes for a good reason.

      Stress only becomes a problem to us, if we have no better alternative to go to. And in modern societies, this seems to be the case for many people.
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      Oct 16 2013: Al companies I ever worked for in my lifetime rather sooner than later reduced their workforce and raised their production rates, which significantly boosted the stress level of all remaining employees ever since. At the same time, the profits these companies made jumped up accordingly, which made it obvious, that 'global competition' was just an excuse.

      Do we have to accept rising pollution for other peoples profit? Especially if those people are just a minority and can easily live at places which are nice and clean?

      Do we have to accept stagnating or falling wages to perpetuate this stress producing system? Or should we rather change it to create a better alternative for the majority to choose from?

      It is no coincidence to me, that the use of psychotherapeutic drugs is skyrocketing in all industrialized nations, as more and more people simply can't cope with their stressors anymore. This is no question of choice for them, but to stay functional. To function in their more and more demanding jobs and to somewhat function in their more and more degrading family structures.

      Yet this medication doesn't heal the disease, it only patches its symptoms.

      So to me, we rather choose to close the window and light the fire-place, that to choose to cope with any unnecessary cold winds in our homes which are man-made by just a view and from a very cosy distance.
      • Oct 17 2013: Even with your suggestion stress is still a choice.

        Of course it's better to close the window and light the fire, that was not my point. My point is you can close the window and light the fire calmly and not stressfully.

        Let me use another example: Anger or hatred is not a necessary part of a successful vengence. You can plot your revenge cold heartedly without being hot headed.

        Changing your emotional state to a more positive one when you're struggling for ways to cope/adapt/manipulate the environment is the key.
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          Oct 17 2013: As long as we agree to close the window and light the fire-place, I am on your side. :o)

          On your example I would go even one step further, as I consider anger or hatred as highly contra-productive to the success rate of vengeance, as we can not think clearly while our blood is boiling. Hopefully nothing ever put to practice.

          The reason for my veto was, that I find more and more people have no access to this 'key' anymore due to their highly demanding environment. It takes effort to remain positive if your surrounding isn't. This effort needs resources to be maintained and those resources need to be recharged from time to time.

          Given the rising numbers of alienation between people in modern societies and failing family structures, the places for individuals to recover and to regain their strength get viewer and viewer. And at some point the key may just brake and with it the individual.
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    Oct 21 2013: i think stress gives life meaning.imagine yourself not worrying about anything.wont you get bored after a while?
    actually i think you can have a stress free life but you wont be a successful person.because noting will be important to you anymore
  • Oct 20 2013: Look at definitions.

    Pressure is the ratio of force to the area over which that force is distributed.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pressure)

    In psychology, stress is a feeling of strain and pressure.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stress_(psychological))

    In continuum mechanics, stress is a physical quantity that expresses the internal forces that neighboring particles of a continuous material exert on each other.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stress_(mechanics))

    So from here, I will make the observation that to the individual experiences pressure from external events. These might be perceived as forces that provoke action or response of some kind. Further, I think stress is a measure of how an individual internalizes this pressure through feelings, reacts to it, and is able to control the feelings and still function rationally and normally. As with mechanics, the individual has to allow the pressure in for it to be something that induces internal stress. The feelings and reaction are different for each person. The relationship between pressure and stress in the individual is dependent on knowledge, experience, up-bringing, and perhaps even body chemistry.

    Now I would like to point to something that Wayne mentioned below. The pressures may have changed through time, but the relationship between pressure and stress has remained the same. Instead of being eaten by a predator, struck down by invaders, or sickened by spirits of some kind, we are now fearful about financial competition, lawsuits, and political instability. The world is getting more complex, but we also do not worry about some things. We are less worried about being killed by invaders, dying young from disease, starvation, or exposure to the environment in some way. we now know what is over the horizon, in outer space, and can communicate instantly around the world.

    My guess is that our stress handling capacity has not evolved. We just have more tools now to cope with it and try to justify their use.
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    Oct 19 2013: As for you being concerned about the greater scheme of things heading towards disaster, stressing still won't help. Either find a way to make a contribution or find a way to ignore it. Just stressing will only harm you and assist no one else.
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    Oct 19 2013: It is all up to the individual. I, like most people, try to be or look to be stress free. But there are people around me who like to be stressed out and come out at the end with flying colours.
    If you are amongst those like me who do not like stressing, here's a tip- next time you feel real stress, just take a mental snapshot of yourself. Now, when finally the result to whatever you are stressed about comes out, think back and remember your state in this snapshot. If you succeeded in your endeavour you will realise that all that pressurising yourself didn't really change the outcome.
    Alternately, let's say you failed. Now you know what needs to be done differently and you start working on it. Even in this scenario burdening yourself midway through the task has little bearing on the end result. Only your actions matter, so concentrate on the right here and right now rather than stressing yourself about the future or result or possible disasters. So to be stress free just go ahead and do what you have to do and let your work take care of the result.
  • Oct 18 2013: It's impossible for our lives to be stress free.

    It depends on the individual's life experience and character to be feeling stressed over a matter.
    For example, some may feel so stressed over their exams because the grades determine your future so, and even lead to their depression but people like me just simply don't give a damn.
    Especially children, they feel stressed even over something that we (general society) consider significantly minor like their ice cream falling onto the ground.

    It is normal to feel stress and it is okay.
    Everything is life is not necessarily connotated negatively or positively. Even if there is something that most of us define it as absolute good/bad, there will always be someone to refute it eh?
    Whether you harness it to your advantage or let it be your downfall, that is then up to you.
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    Oct 17 2013: I'd like to say that there should be some healthy stress in our life. With it we stretch ourselves and learn to know what success and satisfaction are.We know how to concentrate and focus on our goals or to create new things to solve other stress.
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    Oct 17 2013: i think the satisfaction and the world you were talking about they can't be both in same time ,the satisfaction need happiness to be perfect ,the happiness need more then comfort ,if our world is far from the comfort it's impossible to have the perfect satisfaction without stress ,the stress depend everything we're conscious about it and come from everything we aren't conscious about it ,from it the stress free if only the man set free his unconscious.
  • Oct 17 2013: I agree with DA as well. Have the humility to ask for help or lessen the pressure by changing our demands. Many need at least two incomes because they have a huge mansion, wear the latest fassion and gadgets and make many holiday trips.
    Get things in perspective and decide what is our motive for wanting something. Do we really need it or is it just "looks"?
  • Oct 16 2013: What if we could eliminate competition totally?
    • Oct 18 2013: We would have to replace it with something else.....something more powerful.
      Any idea what that something could be?
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    Oct 16 2013: I think it's impossible until one dies.
  • Oct 15 2013: Probably not - every life has some pressure - farmers worry about weather, timing, etc. Hunter/gather worry about bringing in enough food for the family.

    I think it is just that looking back we forget the pressures of prior ages