Stress or distress is a coverall for all kinds of habitual tension states, often based on a sense of duty and responsibility, but as the chance for joy is sacrificed for a fictitious goal, stress is ultimately dysfunctional. When people work too much, worry to much, or take on too many responsibilities, the result is the manifestation of a generalized tension state in the body, often experienced as a “pain in the neck” or other aches and pains. There is a sense of urgency around relentless underlying thoughts, jumbled and clustered around ALL things that ought to be done, but aren’t being done quickly enough. Although the intention may be good, in all reality, chronic stress is a killer - one can eventually become ill or succumb to the temptation to seek out tension relief with the help of alcohol/drugs or other compulsive activities. In the meantime, precious lifetime is irretrievably lost… meaningful relationships with people or activities, which matter, are put on indefinite hold until they are lost. The stressed person misses out on life’s pleasures until s/he gets too stiff and old for hobbies and joyful activities. Some people make money in the process. Some people lose the money they made… If you can’t give yourself permission to take good care of yourself or get recovery from an illness or addiction, it may be time to look into treatment for your underlying lack of self-love, which could originate in childhood experiences, possibly because in your family TLC for your needs was not a priority. Today is a good day to learn that your needs do matter and that you deserve good care and nurture. When you get your bearings, make the wellbeing of the people who love and need you a priority, as well. While you’re busy healing and establishing balance in your life… joy can be found and when you bring joy to others… you’re precious to them and your life has meaning. Stress is usually about trying to reach a future something, but life only takes place in the eternal now, and so… stress is based on an error. The spiritual maxim of mindfulness teaches, “the path is the goal.” Take good care of the present moment.