Since the beginning of time stress has been the center of human life and activity: Finding food & shelter and keeping ones offspring out of harm has provided all the adrenaline and stress that anyone needs. However today, in the West at least, a lot of our stress is of our own making.
We like to take on responsibility to set ourselves challenges, to push ourselves onwards and upwards. For most of us, if we are strictly honest with ourselves, stress is much more exciting (and dare I say ‘fun’) than relaxed inactivity.
I have just spent the good part of a sunny weekend loading and unloading my trailer with chopped firewood and stacking it up in my woodshed ready for the winter. And why? I do not need an open fire to keep away tigers and other predators after dark, and my house is centrally heated by an extremely efficient natural gas boiler. So what’s the point?
For our ancestors, sitting around the fire, staring into the inner flame listening to the crackling and hissing of the logs as they burn, was probably the only chance they ever had to relax and de-stress at all. And perhaps it is this basic primeval desire that remains today?
But now with the Spring well and truly here, maybe it is a good time to think about re-learning how to do nothing. No TV, no debates, no cooking, no cleaning, no emails, no reading, no nothing for just a few minutes everyday?
Learning to share, and to momentarily delegate, some of our responsibilities might take away some of the fun and the reward that comes from stress, but in return it means one can stay chilled and open, more receptive to new ideas and different ways of looking at life.
Have a good week,