How Spirituality Can Defeat Anxiety
What’s all this theoretical talk about “spirituality,” this “inner core” stuff? Life is about enjoying yourself! Ask anyone and they’ll tell you that the purpose of life is just to “be happy.” That means good food, good company, lots of money and in-laws who live out of town. That’s the stuff that life is made of! You can’t sell me that psycho-babble about introspection and spirituality. Get a life!
Thinking that life is just “eat, drink and be merry,” is not conventional wisdom. After all, the 1960s were the rebellious generation. The ’70s were the “me” generation. The ’80s were the junk bond, greed generation. The ’90s were the “values” generation. In 2013 we’re in the “get my act together” generation. You have your own web page and an annoying cell phone that plays Mozart. You may have a couple of kids, a house in the suburbs, and a cottage in the country. But you are plagued by anxiety and worry. What is missing?
What is missing for many of us is a sense of inner peace and fulfillment, a sense of meaning in life that has thus far eluded us. According to renowned psychologist, Abraham Maslow, the search for meaning is our most essential drive. You can begin to achieve it, however, by accessing your spiritual center.
Corporations are realizing that a more holistically balanced employee will be more productive and less likely to be head hunted. Increasingly, the phenomenon of corporate “downshifting” has been gaining ground. For example, a boss may send an employee home at six o’clock to have dinner with his family instead of keeping him working overtime.
While some would argue that this is merely a function of the pursuit of greater profitability, others suggest that it is evidence of the “kinder, gentler nation” referred to by former United States President George Bush (the father, not the son). That is why more and more people are interested in attending weekend “self-improvement” seminars – something many would never have contemplated ten years ago. It is the reason this generation is starting to spend more “quality time” with their families and investing more time and effort in making their relationships work.
In the post-9/11 world, people are focusing more on spirituality. We begin to realize that there must be a balance between the pursuit of personal happiness through self-gratification on the one hand, and a sense of soul fulfillment on the other hand. Happiness is not as much a goal in itself as a by-product of living spiritually. By dedicating your life to a series of meaningful projects, and thereby fixing up your corner of the world, you will refine your own character and ultimately achieve a sense of inner peace and fulfillment. That is the antidote to anxiety.