A new study, released this week, shows that Americans stress levels have been steadily climbing for the past 25 years.
Think about that for a moment:
It's not just that are stress has increased only since the most recent economic downturn. Instead, stress levels have been steadily climbing since at least 1983, despite going through at least two economic boom cycles, an historically unprecedented leap in technology (things like the internet and cell phones and about a million other things didn't even exist then), not to mention our per capita income has increased by approximately 300% since then (meaning we are three times wealthier, on average per person than we were in 1983).
Despite our recent economic troubles, we're still wealthier on average than we've ever been. Technological advances have made life easier than ever, too. Society is also looser and more permissive in many ways, including sexually. Yet, we're exponentially more stressed.
Why is this happening?
Put simply, because we continue to look for genuine happiness and meaning in all the wrong places. No amount of money (and even worse, working strictly for that pay-check rather than out of a deep sense of purpose), luxury goods, fame, power, sex, or anything external can give us lasting satisfaction. The more we chase it, the emptier we feel, the more our stress levels skyrocket.
The solution is to as simple as it is challenging: we have to turn within and connect to our inner well-spring of bliss. In bliss we find all that we seek and it comes with an increased sense of inner peace, calmness, connectedness and joy.
Now is the time to do something, take action, and make changes. If we don't learn how to access the bliss within, our fate will be ever-increasing stress, as well as the profound unhappiness, health problems, and purposelessness that comes with it.
So, if you've been dithering or delaying, now's a great time to begin conducting your own bliss experiment!