Stressed? Why Our Stress Levels Are On The Rise
Why is modern society defined by ever rising levels of stress?
When Did Our Level of Stress Begin To Rise?
Back in the sixties and seventies, people dreamt of a time when they might sit back and relax more since modern-day technology was finally there to assist with tiresome tasks like cleaning up your home. People dreamed of wonderful developments that made life much easier and basically, better.
Now fast forward to a time where there are smart phones, computers and TV sets that connect to the Internet at the speed of light. In recent years we have seen more advances in technology than any other time in history.
Today, you can start your car without getting out of bed, monitor your home’s security from anywhere, work without going to the office, you can even vacuum your floors without touching a vacuum!
If life is so efficient because of technology, why are we more stressed than ever?
Psychologists, sociologists, and economists have all aimed to identify at which point we began to overwhelmed by stress.
The studies that tackle the “stress puzzle” are intricate in their entirety. Regardless, I’m going to try to summarize the findings for you. Below are some of the key factors that explain why stress is on the rise.
Lack of time to just relax
A lot of the stress in our lives is related to childcare and taking care of our homes. Amazingly, even with today’s modern appliances, we still spend the same amount of time on these activities that we did decades ago. That’s because we have added a variety of other things to the list that aren’t exactly relaxing. Like taking our kids to music lessons, athletic events and other activities. Plus, our commutes have gotten longer because of an increase in traffic!
So even with all our devices to lesson our work load, our time to relax and rejuvenate is sucked up by extra, unavoidable activities and chores!
The addition of work related stress
Currently approximately half of the adults in the US experience equal amounts of stress at both work and at home. The business world is still riddled with double standards. There is still a lot of issues around gender equality and equal pay.
Additional stress is added when society encourages competition amongst co-workers. The work place could be a lot less stressful if business owners encouraged collaboration amongst their employees instead.
25% of all Americans report that they don’t have enough time during normal business hours to complete everything they have to do. To compensate for this, they tend to report to work early and stay late. This type of behavior can lead to burn out keeping you in the third phase of stress we discussed in our Science of Stress article. You can read it here.
It’s important to note that it becomes very difficult to recover from this phase if you are not taking deliberate action to reduce your levels of stress both at work and home.
Single-parent families with one income
According to data released in 2016, the divorce rate in the US dropped thee years in a row, reaching its lowest point in almost 40 years. Regardless, there is still a staggering amount of single parent households. This often results in the parent working more hours to keep up with the cost of running their household. Obviously this situation is extremely stressful because time to destress is almost nonexistent.
The Bottom Line
It is more important today than ever before to make the time to reduce your stress levels. I know that time is already an issue! But believe me, it is time well spent. Within weeks of starting my stress management program I became a happier and healthier person. If I can do it, I know you can too.