I listened to a podcast yesterday that reminded me how important it is to reduce stress. We need to do whatever we can, each in our own way, to be peaceful and satisfied in our lives. Stress is not only an annoyance, or something that makes us temporarily feel bad. When we feel stress, our bodies are responding negatively to cope with it, and over the long term it can have harmful effects. Stress leads to inflammation; and inflammation leads to all kinds of bad stuff. When we are stressed for more than a few minutes, we continue to produce cortisol, which also leads to all kinds of bad stuff.
Bottom line, find peace in your lives, however you can. It might mean a change in routine; or changing habits to get more/better sleep; or a change in career. It might be removing people from your life, or adding new ones. It might be practicing some sort of calming exercise, such as meditation or yoga. It might be that some heavy self-introspection can lead to figuring out what is really bothering you, and then some strong will can help you do something about it. Maybe studying and incorporating new ideas into your life could help. Maybe a philosophy like Objectivism could help you discover (or rediscover) your values, see reality for what it is, and thrive in new brilliant ways. Or maybe Stoicism might appeal to you, help you find peace in daily life, and understand the difference between what you have control over and what you do not. And you might just like to sit in a quiet place and take in the beauty of the world, realizing how great life really is.
(Pictured above: Me in one of my favorite places; on a quiet mountain in Switzerland. Taken June of 2005 with a 3MP HP camera.)
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