Stress in Canada is getting worse. According to a 2018 survey by Monster Canada, the country’s workforce is consistently burdened by the massive impact of stress.
1 in 4 Canadians quit their job because of stress. 17 percent have considered it, and 58 percent of Canadians report feeling overworked, with over one-third of those people saying that their workload is the major cause of their stress.
Other causes of stress for Canadians that were found by the General Social Survey (GSS) in a prior survey include finances or family situations, and they also found that nearly three-fourths (73%) of working adults reported some level of stress.
Economically, personally, financially, and every way in between, we are bombarded by intense stressors at work and elsewhere. There is very little political difference. There are no geographical differences or gender variations. Across the board, people are reporting more intense stress and how the impact of it has diminished their daily life.
MBSR, known as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, is a long-standing regiment of mental healing and effective stress reduction. Though it has roots in spiritual teachings, the approaches to mindfulness now are largely secular.
The strategies of MBSR hinge on a single conceit: awareness. The very awareness of the present moment can reduce stress. It involves a number of concepts:
- A focus on the present helps distance you from the frustrations of the past and the unknowns of the future
- Accepting one’s feelings helps bridge emotional gaps
- An understanding that some things can’t be controlled, and that’s okay
- Feeling body sensations makes one aware of their position in the world, their vulnerability, and how they react
- The ideas of “awareness” and “mindfulness” are integral to the practice. Individuals practice these concepts every day to reduce the stress from the uncontrollable and the unknowable.
Mindfulness in Practice
It is easy to read and study these principles, but how do students actually apply them? It takes a conscious and daily effort to take these things to heart and enact them in your day-to-day life.
Those who are following MBSR will often practice yoga. Yoga techniques will focus on being in the present, including breathing patterns, meditation, and more. Progressive muscle relaxation can cross-over with yoga by focusing on reducing anxiety-prone thoughts and muscle tension together.
All of these components affect your daily life dramatically. MBSR plays with non-judgment, serenity, and joy to support a healthy and stress-free future for you. But MBSR teachers know that stress is often inevitable. The program prepares you with the tools and approaches to combat it when it comes.
This chronic exposure to stress is alienating us from ourselves. It is placing us in a bubble of anger and nervousness. And it is not just what you see and experience every day. The problems arise from the daily rigors of work-related stress, but also finances, politics, social groups, and so much more.
Stress can derive from many different sources. We have to remain mindful of these stakes. We have to remind ourselves that in order to have a more peaceful day-to-day life, we need to manage this stress in a way that is intentional and focused. Without it, we may just stay caught in the noise from every direction.