Don't we all need to just stand up, raise our hands and scream at the top of our lungs?
Seriously, who hasn't wanted to do this from time to time?
After all, we're a stressed-out country. We're on deadline, but have an important meeting looming, while waiting in line and late to pick up the kids.
So unfortunately, but understandably, we've developed some less-than-healthy outlets for our stress. Many people are glued to the TV, and we have high rates of substance abuse. And that's not even considering high levels of depression and anxiety.
Well, it doesn't have to be. Certainly, it isn't hard to identify some of the factors that lead to this high level of stress. And the good news is that, in doing so, we're equipped to take our wound-up nature down a couple of notches. So what are these culprits?
We thought you would never ask.
No. 5: Little time off work
What does your job mean to you? How much do you equate your work with your sense of worth? Do you use work as an escape that causes you to miss out on life's other enjoyments?
If you're like a lot of Americans, you do.
Undoubtedly, it's a good thing to take pride in your work. But America is unique, particularly among the Western world, with our reluctance to separate ourselves from our jobs. Untold amounts of vacation time goes unused each year in America -- something the Europeans are confused by.
This attachment to our work serves as a double whammy to our stress. It has us miss out on other, potentially relaxing activities and causes us to narrow our focus, making our jobs too significant and more stressful than they need to be.
No. 4: Too little travel
A narrow focus in life is also both a consequence and cause of a lack of travel.
So here's a nice remedy to our stress problem. Nothing can get you out of yourself like a trip to someplace new, and Americans do relatively little of it. While you can't run away from your problems, you can examine your whole life -- your work, school, local government, church, neighborhood -- and see them through the lens of being on different soil.
Travel doesn't just add cultural or geographic variety, it also reveals history and the change over time that the world has undertaken. The big picture is revealed. This is a freeing realization.
Lastly, you'll learn about yourself. How might you react while in a foreign land? What new experiences will you try? Maybe you'll even learn about your ancestry.
No. 3: Too little time for centeredness
There's a lot of ways to address this one, from meditation to yoga, from prayer to a walk in the woods.
Many of us know that these things are good for us, but the grip we have holding on to our concerns in life has us reluctant to let go -- though that anxious grip is all the more reason we need to find that centeredness.
Since there's little immediate joy to be seen in this, like a lot of resolutions each year, it gets put off.
But don't make this one so black and white. A person can start small, with 10 minutes, and go from there. There's a variety of methods to calm down when the hustle and bustle is driving you batty, and the benefits are enormous.