We’re living in the ‘having it all’ era. Women can be CEOs, partners, friends, students and mothers with advert-worthy glossy hair and Mulberry handbags. They can have the perfect work life during the day and sex life during the evening. Meanwhile men can storm around in Hugo Boss suits and shiny shoes shouting things like, ‘billion dollar mergers’, while on their way to play lead guitar in their unsigned rock band. People are expected to be all things to all people all the time. But the fact that we can have all this doesn’t necessarily mean that we all do. A 2011 study found that women are twice as depressed now as they were in the 1970s, a stat that’s perhaps not so surprising when considering how much women’s roles have changed in the last 40 years. Yes, they have more freedom and independence (hurray!) but the weight of the combined societal and personal pressure they’re under really is affecting their mental health. Men aren’t having an easy time of it though by any stretch of the imagination. Men’s suicide rates are, on average, three – five times higher than women’s.
The recession has made jobs more precious and careers more sought after. We’re all working longer hours (often for less money) while trying to maintain meaningful relationships with our friends, kids or partner. Our work lives and social lives have become vaguely competitive. We’re all suffering from the fear of missing out (which is niftily called FOMO by lots of magazines) and have never been so aware of how we ‘measure up’ in certain situations.
It’s perhaps no wonder that sometimes people feel they’re lacking in some way, which can lead to feelings of inadequacy, failure and defensiveness. If you’re not like the girl over the road with perfect teeth then you’re sub-standard. An embarrassment. A disappointment.
This quest for perfection can have a seriously negative effect on your mood. You’re so busy chastising yourself that you’ve got no time to enjoy and appreciate what you do have and what you have achieved. Our books will show you that how you think, behave and feel both physically and mentally are all connected. So if you’re feeling stressed, low or insecure it will affect you’re behaviour which can exacerbate those feelings. For example, it you feel like you’re letting things slip at work you might avoid speaking up or asking for help through a fear of appearing unable to cope. You might miss deadlines, make excuses, start dreading going into the office and suffer tension headaches. Or you might punch your boss, get fired and feel worse. It’s all related.
The books and our blogs are full of simple strategies to lift your mood, learn how to deal with stress and anxiety and to feel more confident. Have a browse through a few of our posts below to see what we mean: