There are many reasons for people’s stress these days as a lot has changed in the world in the last several years. We have lived through the worst of the COVID 19 pandemic, we are feeling the effects of climate change, economic inflation is rampant and the war in Ukraine shows no signs of ending. These issues affect everyone on a global scale but most of them are beyond our control.
There is, however, a deeper underlying cause of stress and anxiety which most people do not address. This is existential stress. What do I mean by this? Existential stress is caused by not living in harmony with what is truly meaningful to us and our higher mission here on the planet. You see, most people do not choose the lives they are living but live by default. Their path has been chosen by their parents, the education system, societal dictates, available opportunities and host of other external influences that are not necessarily in our best interest.
Have you truly stopped and looked at your life and asked yourself, is this the life I want to be living? Do I enjoy my career? Am I with the right partner? Am I living where I want to live? Do I live each day with passion and purpose? If you are in constant stress and have never asked yourself these questions then maybe you are trying to manage the symptoms of your stress but not the root cause.
You see, it does not matter, how how much sleep you get, how drastically you change your nutrition, how much exercise you get or how much you meditate. If you are not living true to yourself and why you are here on the planet at this time in history, then you will continue to suffer with stress. We have to live in alignment with our true self and if we are not then we will continue to suffer with stress and anxiety, which is the meaning of existential stress.
Does this mean that we may have to make drastic changes in our lives? Yes and no. If you know or have a feeling that you are not living in alignment with who you truly are then you need to start asking yourself the right questions. The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the quality of the questions that you ask yourself and the answers to those questions.
In next week’s article, I’ll discuss how to start asking yourself the right questions. In the meantime, give some thought to the question of whether you are living in alignment with who you truly are. If you do not know how to determine this then stay tuned for next week!
Dr. Nauman Naeem