Stress and anxiety are not new. Previous generations had to deal with infectious diseases, going off to war and surviving a combination of perilous harvests and economic disasters.Yet all the evidence points to rising levels of stress. Despite unrivalled standards of living, a constant state of hurry has somehow become the norm. Why? What causes our twenty-first century epidemic of anxiety?
Let’s begin by excluding a few common causes. First, deadlines and workload. Many people have always worked hard. Second, risk and uncertainty. A soldier going to war has to cope with considerably more uncertainty than a Millennial looking for a job. Third, setbacks and disappointments. There’s never been any shortage of these… some of them bringing their own dark gifts of character and stamina.
So what IS different now? In the book “The Self-Worth Safari”, I have referred to the rising expectations we have of ourselves, fuelled by constant (i.e. hourly) comparison with seven billion of the world’s inhabitants. It’s not just the social media; it’s the preoccupation with self that gave rise to social media in the first place.The economy thrives on your expectations of you. We have become a culture where Self is now raised to the status of a Deity, where positive affirmations are the new litany, selfies are our statues, and Future Potential is the promised Afterlife. As long as you buy our product, join our health club, get our qualification etc. Expectations of self are powerful allies in the consumer process. Self-esteem is easy to sell and, on that wave, they can sell you anything.
So what if you suspect you don’t measure up? Hello Stress and Anxiety. Particularly Anxiety. Stress usually has an object: such as a deadline missed, a lover lost or a threatened redundancy. Anxiety can bubble away in the background even where there are no clouds on the horizon, particularly when a person doubts their ability to “measure up”.
In the webinar “Dealing with Stress and Anxiety”, we look at some of these forces. At the core of the approach is unconditional self-worth, rather than conditional self-esteem. Once we start to live that distinction, anxiety starts to reduce and our capacity to deal with stress is increased. We will examine:
- 12 classic symptoms of stress
- The difference between stress and anxiety (and why this matters)
- How low self-worth magnifies the problem
- A fresh perspective on solutions, via self-worth
- 8 practical things you can do to reduce anxiety
- Stress in a team environment: what to do?
“If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster / And treat those two impostors just the same”, then you are well on your way to a better life ahead. The benefits of self-worth not only include energy and resilience: our capacity to act is also enhanced. We discover new lightness and joy even in everyday tasks or meetings. Most of all, we are liberated to be fully ourselves, without the burden of proving anything to anyone. Even to the person in the mirror.
To join the webinar “Dealing with Stress and Anxiety”, click here