It is springtime. Gazing at a sea of red of tulips or driving under a canopy of glorious blossoms is one of the most uplifting moments of a day – something to enjoy and to remember later on a cold winter day. Yet, for many of us, life is so burdened with tension and stress, that we often do not notice these little things, or remember them.
A study at Carleton University in Ottawa found that about a third of Canadians feel that they are under stress. The reasons are many – trauma, work overload, financial challenges, or unhappy family relationships.
A rarely recognized sign of stress caught my attention in the Carleton University study under the title, “Spiritual Signs of Stress.” This sign or symptom, which we don’t usually attach to stress, is cynicism. Cynicism is that nagging, negative feeling of mistrust and doubt due to a build-up of life’s ups and downs; its hurts and betrayals. Viewing life through mistrustful lenses, we are constantly on the alert and on the defensive – our fight or flight reactor permanently switched on. This negative viewpoint can silently drain us for years, going undetected and unnoticed.
However, seeing cynicism as a health concern, we should be more willing to find a solution to it, just as we would address a poor diet or lack of exercise for health reasons……….