Thursday, February 24, 2011

Are You Living A Life That Is Worth Living? Part I

By Miriam B. Medina

This is the first part of a three-part series examining how the quality of life has been affected for many people by this recent economic meltdown. Part one examines the difficulties associated with the ramifications of an economic crisis. The current economic situation that exists today in the United States and around the globe has most of us caught up in a daily state of anxiety and panic. Money is scarce and credit is much harder to come by which means most of us are afflicted with the worry bug. These worries constantly follow us everywhere we go. No matter how hard we try, there is no way to get around it. We see our payroll or unemployment checks dwindling faster than usual. Gas prices are sky rocketing, real estate taxes are increasing, rent and mortgage obligations are getting more difficult to keep up with. There are increased heating expenses, food prices are rising, tuition payments are weighing us down and so on and so forth In short, our wallets and bank accounts have been crushed by the current economic downturn. It is a time when people are seeking employment, being fired, or are simply trying to hold on to the jobs they already have. Retired seniors living on social security benefits and fixed pensions are having a hard time coping with the increased cost of living. Not to mention the unexpected issues and calamities that interrupts the normal flow of our daily life.

We're all gasping for breath and worrying as we continue to struggle with ballooning expenses, trying to support ourselves and our families. The broad overall picture looks pretty bleak. Apprehension has been clouding everyone's thoughts. The more one dwells on the difficulties that are occurring, the more they are amplified.

These are times filled with enormous challenges for many people, where the loss or reduction of income has forced them to make drastic changes to their lifestyles. Many believe they are living a life that is, in their opinion, not worth living. Considering that most of us are creatures of habit, we become comfortable with what is familiar to us. After being accustomed to a lifestyle marked by material comforts, personal freedom and wasteful spending, we are suddenly shoved into one that is financially inadequate controlled and oppressive, a life that does not promote a positive attitude or give any reason to start over. The American Dream has been paralyzed, leaving many angry and worried, not wanting to continue to pursue their fabled slice of Americana. Not being able to keep up with the Joneses becomes a humiliating experience, a terrible blow to inflated egos.

These individuals are constantly lamenting about what once was and what they once possessed. Their life is filled with worries and anxieties, where blame-shifting tends to accelerate an already tensed atmosphere. In a house where there is aggression and frequent verbal confrontations, no one benefits from a peaceful existence.

We all know that the constant tension that we subject our body to is dangerous. Our minds and bodies are inseparable, and both will eventually pay the price, causing considerable damage to our health and our quality of life. Worry causes stress.

Stress increases our blood pressure and intensifies the risk of heart attack and the possibility of having a stroke which can kill you. Positive minded Individuals find a high-stress life exciting and challenging because they have the resilience to bounce back from stress. Negative minded people are particularly vulnerable to stress because of their poor coping skills. The slightest problem crushes their self-esteem and confidence in their ability to deal with it.

What happens to each and every one of us does matter, but, more importantly, how we recognize and respond to it says everything about us. Misfortunes that are suddenly thrust upon us can trigger emotions that have the ability to revolutionize the way we live and relate to others. One emotion is fear, which is a steady position or attitude of fright, dread, or alarmed concern, an uneasy feeling that something may happen contrary to one's desires. Then there is anxiety, which is a worrying, emotional state that is characterized by fear and concern for the future. Lastly, hysteria sets in, which is an abnormal excitement, wild emotionalism, or better said, a frenzy.

Still, we cannot change what has happened, but we can decide on how we should respond in order to live a life that is worth living or one that is not.

No matter how painful your life may seem, one has to handle it in a positive, constructive way. By changing the negative attitude to a positive attitude, you will create a new state of existence, which is called "Peace of Mind." All men and women want to live in this state of calmness, living without turmoil, agitation and free from worry.

When a person does not have peace of mind, it is because that individual is experiencing an internal conflict. Conflict creates confusion; it is the total opposite of Peace of Mind. In dealing with worries and stress, we need to be poised, which is being balanced, or better yet, unruffled. When you are, poised you are in agreement with life, ceasing opposition to circumstances, ideas or other people. Being able to detect the actual source of anxiety will help you to have better control of the situation. Then you can take the necessary steps to deal with what is troubling you. Not one of us is a victim of fate. True, there are circumstances that are totally out of our control, but others are of our own making. When we release the tensions and anxieties, we will find inner peace in dealing with life. In part two of this three-part series, we will explore ways to find inner peace.

To be continued: Are You Living A Life That Is Worth Living Part II (a)

To contact:

No comments: