The average person today probably has access to more luxuries than ever before in human history. We have the wisdom and digital entertainment of the world at our fingertips courtesy of the internet, central heating in our homes, sofas, access to tasty snacks from 24-hour supermarkets, selections of home goods from sites like Bathroom Takeaway, and more.
Yet for all that, there’s a stress epidemic going around, with huge numbers of people feeling overwhelmed by the challenges and difficulties of day-to-day life.
Luckily, there are things that can be done to tackle this issue and restore some sense of calm and balance to our existences.
Here are a few hidden sources of stress that might be afflicting you.
Social media can be a great thing, for a whole host of different reasons. It allows us to maintain contact with distant friends and family, organise and coordinate events months in advance and with laser precision, and, of course, enjoy the interesting photos our acquaintances choose to share from their latest holiday.
For all those benefits, however, social media can also be a tremendous source of stress and unease.
For one thing, spending too much time on social media conditions us to constantly obsess over how people perceive us, often leading to anxiety and self-doubt if our latest profile picture doesn’t get enough “likes”.
For another, the constant stream of exciting-life-updates can lead to us comparing ourselves ruthlessly to everyone we know, and feeling depressed if we don’t seem to measure up.
Consider cutting back on the social media. Maybe force yourself to check the sites for only 10 minutes a day, or even only once a week.
Coffee may well be the most popular drink in the world, and if it doesn’t take the number one spot exactly, it surely can’t be far off. No matter where you go in the world you’ll find you’ve never more than a few minutes from the nearest steaming pot of wake-up-juice.
And while coffee is delicious, and associated with various health benefits, it’s definitely possible to have too much of a good thing.
Excess caffeine intake spikes production of the stress hormone cortisol, meaning that if you’re a heavy coffee addict, you might be in a constant state of stress and anxiety, for no other reason than your choice of beverage.
Cut back to a cup a day, or switch to a drink like matcha green tea, which balances the stress-inducing caffeine with the relaxing L-Theanine.
If coffee is often abused like a hard drug, it’s largely because too few people are getting enough sleep on a nightly basis.
It’s easy to see why this could be the case. On one hand, there’s work that needs to get done. On the other, our evenings can easily be spent surfing the web, watching TV, or hitting the local bars with our friends.
As tempting as it is to squeeze every last drop of entertainment out of our free time, however, there are some real benefits to getting an extra hour or two of shut-eye a night.
Put simply, sleep deprivation messes up our hormone production. It makes us more stressed, more likely to fall ill, less mentally sharp, and it just drains a lot of our vitality overall.