According to a report published in the Washington Post in January of this year: "54 percent of Americans are concerned about the level of stress in their everyday lives".
Juliet Schor Pd.D, author of Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline of Leisure explains that for the last 30 years the trend in working harder and working more has escalated to the point that the average American works 200 hours a year more than they did in the 1960s. That's the equivalent of 5 extra weeks of work per year.
But there are still only 52 weeks in a year so where does that time come from? Dr Schor says it comes from what was previously sleep time, leisure time, and what she refers to as the "time for self" category.
It’s easy to see how these areas get pruned back for the sake of working more, but these areas are essential to our health, immunity and sense of well being; and the high price of eating into them is already showing up in reports of increased anxiety, heart disease, impaired memory, and poor immune response.
Either Way it’s Costly
Last summer Scientific American Mind magazine ran a feature on burnout. It told the story of Larry who worked a 60 hour week. One day, Larry came home from work late and collapsed on his own doorstep; he had vertigo, chest pains and difficulty breathing. Larry was 28.
Studies have shown that we can work long hours as long as we look after ourselves. Two of the simplest ways to do that are to commit to walking for 20 minutes a day and learn to practice some simple relaxation or meditation techniques.
Here are some of the stress busting resources we have to offer on Living by Design:
Step-by-step guided relaxation mp3s
The FREE Beautiful Calm Meditation eBook
The Beautiful Calm full relaxation and stress reduction mp3 collection
These mp3s were made for busy people who don’t have tome to read books or attend classes to try and figure out what to do. Just download, sit back and listen and we will get you started with effective stress reducing breathing exercises in under five minutes.
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