mental health

Stress. What is it good for?

Absolutely nothing, my friends!

I have been an annoyingly laid-back person all my life. And all my life, people have had something to say about it. I’m not lazy (much) and I’ve always worked hard at everything I’ve done. But I am quite a chilled person, when I’m not panic-stricken or depressed. It’s a choice. I choose to be that way. My mind isn’t a very laid-back place, and I try my hardest to avoid things that will make that worse. But people will always see that as a bad thing. Always.

For whatever reason, stress is seen as a sign of success in our increasingly messed up world. We live in a world where you can’t truly be considered successful until you work 27-hour days, nine days a week. Until you live in a suit and spend every day glued to a computer or a phone. Until you have the most high-pressure, high-intensity job it’s possible to have. Only then are you successful.
But what does that even mean? What does being so stressed you can barely function actually achieve?
Nothing! Nothing positive, anyway.

And that philosophy has caused a lot of arguments in my life, actually. I’m the first to admit that I’ve taken the easy route in life sometimes. When all my friends were choosing to study difficult university subjects they knew they wouldn’t enjoy, I was the one picking subjects I knew I would love, regardless of their difficulty. But people don’t always see my side, especially the older generation. It’s laughed at, it’s ridiculed, it’s frowned upon, it’s practically witchcraft.

I just wish people understood that you can work hard without giving yourself a heart attack. Is this a bit preach-y? Maybe. But, you know what, I truly think the world would be a much calmer place if it were the case. And now for full hippy-mode, a quote from John Lennon that sums up my entire outlook on life:

When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.

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