Stressed at the beach…..REALLY???


By Kenneth Justice

~Over the weekend I spent a few hours at the beach and I really had a great time. I LOVE hanging out at the beach.

Ever feel stressed? Try feeling stressed at the beach; you’ll find it’s difficult.

There’s something about the water that is so relaxing; the sound of the waves, the calmness of the beach, and even though the place was packed with people I didn’t feel that they took anything away from the beauty and awesomeness of the experience…..if anything the people on the beach enhanced the experience because they too were enjoying themselves and at peace.

The chances are if you live in the Western World than at some point in your average week you deal with stress.

Over the past weekend I read a number of articles about stress and our lifestyle here in Western Culture compared to other cultures and the simple fact is that our lifestyle and culture is structured in such a way that stress is a major problem for many of us.

—) Driving automobiles tends to be stressful

—) Working at a desk job tends to be stressful

—) Being disconnected from nature tends to lead to stress

I also read a number of blogs over the weekend by Ex-Pat’s (people who have relocated to other parts of the world “ex-patriot’s”) and I found a consistent theme behind each of their decisions to move; they wanted to distress their lives.

The simple truth of the matter is that our lives can be and often is; very stressful.

Western countries like the United States have this way of creating cities and lifestyles that disconnect us from nature……and while I love being in a big city; I also really LOVE being outdoors. I love walking through the woods, hanging out at the beach, or exploring mountainous countryside’s.

Stress has this way of affecting our lives negatively

—) Stress affects our mood

—) Stress affects our sleeping patterns

—) Stress can even affect our skin

Each of the blogs I read over the weekend by Ex-Pat’s contained a similar theme; ‘ever since we left our busy lives in exchange for a more simple way of life….we are so much happier!’

I don’t want to overemphasize the problems in the Western World and make it seem that things are worse here than they really are…..

But I also don’t want to pretend that we’ve created some kind of utopia with congested highways, constant electronic devices all around us, ridiculous work deadlines, not enough vacations, and not enough time spent outdoors.

No…..I just don’t believe the Western World is utopia.

But that is not to say that I believe non-Western countries are utopia either……

But I do think that those little underdeveloped countries scattered around the world have a lot to teach us about a healthier lifestyle

Let’s face it; statistically you are more likely to suffer from some kind of socio-psycho disorder if you live in Western country than if you were to live in a third world country. You are more likely to be taking some kind of prescription drug if you live here in the West than if you lived somewhere else……

Sure, third world countries often struggle economically……..but what is so great about economics in the West lately????

Ever since 2008 we’ve found that the little dream of economic affluence that us Western Countries had created was nothing more than that…..a dream.

In 2008 all of those dreams came crashing down

—) Do I have a job that makes a good living——-Answer: yes

—) Do I own a nice house                               ——-Answer: yes

—) Do I live a comfortable life                        ——-Answer: yes

But so what?

I envy the lifestyle of Ex-Pats who live a simpler life

It’s not that I want to sit on the beach for 10 hours a day…..but I would love to take a couple hours a day and walk along the shore every afternoon without feeling rushed and without feeling that I’m going to have a bigger work log because of my tardiness.

I think we have to be very careful when we look ‘down’ on third world countries. Even the term ‘third world’ might be a poor term to use because it somehow connotes an idea that they are somehow less than us……

Maybe they aren’t ‘less’

Maybe their lifestyle is actually better than ours and we’ve been fooling ourselves for the past 100 years

Maybe I’m wrong….maybe smart phones, road-rage, office cubicles, cement everywhere, and ugly strip malls is utopia and I just can’t see it……

I think I’ll have another cup of coffee now as I go to work


P.S. here’s one of the blogs i was reading over the weekend


Categories: Really???

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7 replies

  1. I talk to a friend frequently on Costa Rica which makes my job search difficult: I can not face another cube so I am trying to find alternatives.

  2. I often think this: when I spent time in India my overwhelming view was that all the people I met – including those in the slums (I was there on a care mission) – were so very happy. All the time. Now I’m sure some of that was for our benefit, but I’ve often thought less is more.
    By the way, have you ever been to the beach with a four year old who gets freaked out by the waves and a two year old who has no fear? That redefines stress! LOL

  3. Another Awesome post. Ahhh, don’t allow the ‘third world’ aspect to fool you either. I reside in the Caribbean, we are considered 3rd world and even so, we crave the convenience of the American Dream. I am striving to hold onto every last bit of Caribbean life and ultimately enjoy losing myself in Nature, that’s how I keep my sense of self. I quit my monotonous day job that became purposeless to me and am on my own life path structuring a business which allows me – yes – time to work hard, but also time to breathe in nature, which is most times during the week. I enjoy doing things during the day when most other individuals are at work and yup – you said it best. I have never been happier. The other day I was catching up with a friend and for the first time I admitted I am happy. All the time I understood what it was to be Satisfied, but now, I understand and embrace Happiness!

    I love your posts.

  4. I’m from Trinidad and Tobago. Born and Bred. I love my country. Sure, I have a smartphone and internet and I could do with more money and time to travel–who couldn’t? But I also live in a country where if you get to work 15 minutes late, no one bats an eye. If the weather turns rough, it’s perfectly acceptable to take a day and stay at home with the kids–that’s what you have 7 casuals days off a year for. If I get pregnant, my boss can’t fire me, and the taxes I pay allows me to collect my maternity leave for half my time home from the government while my boss has to pay me for the other half. Most of all, I HAVE maternity leave. Oh, and if I’m let go, my boss has to pay me a certain amount based on how long I’ve worked for him and how much I was making at the time. No shove out the door with a month’s pay and a muttered thanks. Like 76% of my countrymen, I have my own home, though the renting culture is getting bigger because land costs more now. Still, people would rather pay huge monthly payments on a house and own it at the end. And we have 16 secular and religious holidays a year because we have so many races here, we prefer to treat their observances with the same respect. Plus we like to party and have long recognized the restorative properties of holidays when destressing from modern daily life. Especially Carnival ;-).

    Are we perfect? Don’t be ridiculous. Our crime rate has been alarming for the last ten years, our poverty level needs serious work and education and healthcare (government provided) ain’t what it used to be. Just about everyone feels underpaid, hates their boss and thinks the politicians should be strung up for their inaction and pettiness. On the other hand, I don’t have to pay thousands of dollars I don’t have if I have to call an ambulance, and I won’t necessarily go broke trying to stay alive if I’m diagonosed with a serious illness. My progressive tax rate (25% for everyone, all the time) pays for my roads, healthcare and schools and if you have just one source of income, its up to your employer to file the paper work, not you.

    So yeah, I don’t plan on moving any time soon. And I suspect that although your country has lovely things, including a more advanced level of medicine and care–which my citizens pay to take advantage of all the time–dynamic economic opportunities and innovative and hospitable people, I’m probably less stressed than you are at the moment. But it wasn’t always this way. I worked for 13 years for a fast paced company and got so stressed, I used to have episodes of heart palpitations and temporary blindness. Yes, you heard me, I’d lose my vision. I have a friend who got so stressed at her job as a nurse, she lost the hearing in one ear until she changed departments. That’s what stress can do to you.

    I hate to say it, but sometimes, all the niggles and aches and unexplained psychological and physiological issues you may be experiencing can be due to plain old stress. You’d be surprised how damaging it is. And that’s why I applaud anyone who has the guts to recognize it and find their own solution by destressing themselves before they do permanent harm. It’s really not worth it. Life is too short and beautiful to spend it sick and unhappy.

  5. I completely agree. We in the West are so busy that we rarely take the time to “smell the roses” anymore. I enjoy the freedom (that we still have…for now) in the US, but there is much we can learn from those who live elsewhere. They are not worried about having a big car or a fancy house. They simply enjoy the small things in life. However, it’s these small things that in reality, actually matter the most

  6. It’s amazing how relaxing a day at the beach or a walk in the park can be. Simply enjoying the tranquillity instead of being busy, which makes us (extremely) stressful. It’s a shame that most of us don’t take time to relax, because it can decrease your stress level so much. But then again I’m just the same. Work or other things that need to be done are often more important than taking the time to de-stress. Maybe we should just schedule a de-stress moment for ourselves at least once a week. Might help everyone a lot 😉

  7. couldn’t agree more kenneth. making the mighty dollar for large corporations and having bought into that crap has created a society with warped priorities. we bought into it because we want the american dream (whatever that may be now) but instead we’ve trapped ourselves and have missed out on the dream. and off my soap box lol… stress really is a horrible thing. i agree with justme… it’s a good idea to schedule time to relax and really let go of the cares of the world. 🙂 glad you had a great time at the beach. that’s good stuff.

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