Modern life is the biggest epidemic of all from the perspective of a lot of people. Ask people who have been around long enough to see how everything has changed since technology and information became more accessible and they will talk about life being simpler once upon a time. But rather than thinking that this is an old-fashioned way of thinking, it is part of a wider discussion we need to have. Modern life is more stressful because of so many different things. Work pressures, social media pressures, and the fact that the world becomes more expensive forces people to take on more work, which means that there is a pressure cooker going on. So what are the biggest components of modern life, the causes of stress, and what can we do about it?
Doing Too Much
We can look at people’s Instagram and Facebook posts to see just how much effort they put into one little photo, and then when we consider this as such a small component of someone’s life, we can only begin to see what sort of pressures they are under. People that work a 9 to 5 job while also trying to do something else like a side hustle or start their own business is overwhelming, or the parents that are trying to work while also making sure that their children have everything is going to be an overwhelming lifestyle.
The problem is in thinking that we need to do all these things at the same time. And it would appear that in order to be ahead of the game in modern life, we’ve got to be Superwoman but the reality is that we cannot excel at every single component of our lives. As the saying goes, jack of all trades master of none. On top of this, the pressure to show off a perfect life is exhausting. You are going to burn out. And for those people who feel that they need to run a business while also being a parent, and potentially working on other projects, do you need to do all of this?
The entrepreneurs can sell their business privately and the parents could reduce their workload slightly, and make a few alterations to their lifestyle so they can focus on the quality of life rather than quantity. And this is part of another question, people working themselves to the bone because they think they need to live a certain lifestyle. With some simple planning, money can be saved, and quality of life doesn’t need to diminish.
Constantly Being Connected
Yes, we’ve all seen the benefits of technology in light of the pandemic, however, we are constantly glued to our phones, and as emails pile up and we’re trying to connect via social media, we are going to feel controlled by our devices. Waking up in the middle of the night thinking that you need to answer emails is not a good way to live. But while checking social media is all about getting that instant dopamine effect, the long-term repercussions of doing this could lead to adrenal fatigue, also known as 21st Century Syndrome. What is the solution?
Undergoing a digital detox, or understanding your relationship with devices. When we talk about the quality of life, we don’t want to look back on our lives and realize that we spent approximately 60% of our day staring at our phones.
Not Knowing How to Combat Stress
One of the stresses of modern life is not being able to deal with stress. That’s not to say that if you are able to deal with stress at every turn that you would live a stress-free life. A little bit of stress is good for us, however, if we are being pulled in so many different directions, or we do not focus on relaxing on a regular basis the fact is that we need to be more aware of how to combat stress.
Many people use stress-release mechanisms like drinking alcohol or eating comfort foods. But these are very poor quality stress inoculation tools. Instead, it’s far better for us to be aware of our stress triggers, and practice relaxing. But it’s also building these things into your life. If you know what calms you down, it’s important to perform these practices but also do them regularly enough to make sure that you are able to cope with life stress. Rather than doing deep breathing when you feel stressed, make it a habit to do this every day.
Part of the problem of modern living is that we do not operate with a preventative mindset, but rather wait until we are burnt out and then look for a solution.
Not Prioritizing Our Lives
We end up doing too much and because we do not prioritize, we end up being pulled in different directions. We all think that multitasking is key to getting ahead in life, but multitasking has been shown countless times to be ineffective, and actually hinders our productivity. One of the best solutions is to “single-task.” When we are being pulled in different directions, we feel like we have a higher workload and we don’t feel any sense of accomplishment. These two things combined mean we get burnt out. What are the solutions?
It’s not feasible to go off-grid, however, the trick is in looking at what you give out to the world. We cannot be everything to everyone, and if we are trying to cater to everybody else, whether it’s through social media or work, we’ve got to take a step back and ask ourselves why we are operating this way. Additionally, learning coping skills to manage your stress and taking action by being a foundation of health will make a bigger difference to the quality of your life. Modern stresses are not going away, and if anything, they will only increase, but this is why we need to turn the mirror on to ourselves rather than thinking that we’ve got to keep up with this rat race.