By Kenneth Justice
~Over the weekend I spent a few hours at the beach and I really had a great time. I LOVE hanging out at the beach.
Ever feel stressed? Try feeling stressed at the beach; you’ll find it’s difficult.
There’s something about the water that is so relaxing; the sound of the waves, the calmness of the beach, and even though the place was packed with people I didn’t feel that they took anything away from the beauty and awesomeness of the experience…..if anything the people on the beach enhanced the experience because they too were enjoying themselves and at peace.
The chances are if you live in the Western World than at some point in your average week you deal with stress.
Over the past weekend I read a number of articles about stress and our lifestyle here in Western Culture compared to other cultures and the simple fact is that our lifestyle and culture is structured in such a way that stress is a major problem for many of us.
—) Driving automobiles tends to be stressful
—) Working at a desk job tends to be stressful
—) Being disconnected from nature tends to lead to stress
I also read a number of blogs over the weekend by Ex-Pat’s (people who have relocated to other parts of the world “ex-patriot’s”) and I found a consistent theme behind each of their decisions to move; they wanted to distress their lives.
The simple truth of the matter is that our lives can be and often is; very stressful.
Western countries like the United States have this way of creating cities and lifestyles that disconnect us from nature……and while I love being in a big city; I also really LOVE being outdoors. I love walking through the woods, hanging out at the beach, or exploring mountainous countryside’s.
Stress has this way of affecting our lives negatively
—) Stress affects our mood
—) Stress affects our sleeping patterns
—) Stress can even affect our skin
Each of the blogs I read over the weekend by Ex-Pat’s contained a similar theme; ‘ever since we left our busy lives in exchange for a more simple way of life….we are so much happier!’
I don’t want to overemphasize the problems in the Western World and make it seem that things are worse here than they really are…..
But I also don’t want to pretend that we’ve created some kind of utopia with congested highways, constant electronic devices all around us, ridiculous work deadlines, not enough vacations, and not enough time spent outdoors.
No…..I just don’t believe the Western World is utopia.
But that is not to say that I believe non-Western countries are utopia either……
But I do think that those little underdeveloped countries scattered around the world have a lot to teach us about a healthier lifestyle
Let’s face it; statistically you are more likely to suffer from some kind of socio-psycho disorder if you live in Western country than if you were to live in a third world country. You are more likely to be taking some kind of prescription drug if you live here in the West than if you lived somewhere else……
Sure, third world countries often struggle economically……..but what is so great about economics in the West lately????
Ever since 2008 we’ve found that the little dream of economic affluence that us Western Countries had created was nothing more than that…..a dream.
In 2008 all of those dreams came crashing down
—) Do I have a job that makes a good living——-Answer: yes
—) Do I own a nice house ——-Answer: yes
—) Do I live a comfortable life ——-Answer: yes
But so what?
I envy the lifestyle of Ex-Pats who live a simpler life
It’s not that I want to sit on the beach for 10 hours a day…..but I would love to take a couple hours a day and walk along the shore every afternoon without feeling rushed and without feeling that I’m going to have a bigger work log because of my tardiness.
I think we have to be very careful when we look ‘down’ on third world countries. Even the term ‘third world’ might be a poor term to use because it somehow connotes an idea that they are somehow less than us……
Maybe they aren’t ‘less’
Maybe their lifestyle is actually better than ours and we’ve been fooling ourselves for the past 100 years
Maybe I’m wrong….maybe smart phones, road-rage, office cubicles, cement everywhere, and ugly strip malls is utopia and I just can’t see it……
I think I’ll have another cup of coffee now as I go to work
P.S. here’s one of the blogs i was reading over the weekend