The world we inhabit today is a fast-paced, frenetic place, we seem never to have enough time, particularly for ourselves. All this rushing around and trying to keep so many balls in the air all at once is taking its toll.

Back in the times of our ancient ancestors, things were a little different. Life back then was hard and no doubt brutal, but it would have been a lot simpler. The main concerns would have been focused on food, water, shelter, and companionship. Today we have those same concerns, but a whole lot more besides, the kind of thoughts that rush through our mind today is not, ‘will I get eaten by that sabertooth tiger when I go out to hunt today’ they are more like ‘Will I be able to get through the terrible traffic and get the kids to school on time and then manage to get to work before I’m late (again), otherwise the boss will be on my case (again), oh and that women in HR who seems determined to make my life hell, would just love to fire me.

The deadline for that contract is up today! I hope I can get it finished in time, I might have to put in some overtime to According to Gallup data, three-quarters of employees dislike the job they have, and more than half are actively looking for new jobs. But what is causing this unrest? Many employees believe they are overqualified for the jobs they have and want a role that better reflects their academic achievements. The problem is of course that there are only so many jobs available at the higher levels and this makes competition for these jobs fierce. This leads to feelings of stress and anxiety as employees feel underappreciated, overworked, and in danger of not being able to get better jobs due to the immense amount of competition. But what else makes working stressful?

Not having enough time to do the things you want or time to spend with your family or friends

❑ Fear of losing your job

❑ Fear of not being able to find a better job

❑ Having to work overtime or more than one job just to pay the pills

❑ Having a boss, supervisor or work colleague you don’t like

❑ Having a very large workload o Having a job where you must reach or maintain certain targets

But work is not by any means the only cause of stress and anxiety, it can come from many other places too. Events that occur during childhood can often manifest themselves as anxiety, worry, stress, and depression in adult life, these things include

❑ Emotional or physical abuse

❑ Losing a parent

❑ Neglect

❑ Being bullied or excluded socially

❑ Exam stress

Other causes can be:

❑ Not having a job

❑ Being poor

❑ Being homeless

❑ Losing a loved one or someone close to you

❑ Being lonely or isolated

❑ Relationship difficulties

❑ Suffering abuse, bullying, or harassment

❑ Having ongoing physical health problems

❑ Having mental health problems

Beyond these there are also some less obvious reasons that people suffer from stress:

❑ Feelings of inadequacy

❑ Trying to please others

❑ Taking on too much at once

Going back to our caveman ancestors, their needs were simple and few, but today we have burdened ourselves with a need for “things.” Sure, life has become easier, in that we don’t have to go out and hunt our food anymore, we can go down to the store and buy it. We have homes to live in, transport to take us around, communication devices that allow us to talk and see people on the other side of the world, but all of this comes at a cost. In a way we have lost our freedom, we have chained ourselves to “things” and we never stop wanting more. The result of this is layer upon layer of added worry and anxiety is ever-present.

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