Do You Meditate or Pray Daily?

Americans are the most anxious people in the world.

your voice speak outAbout one in five Americans suffer from anxiety disorders, the most common form of psychiatric ailment. According to the World Health Organization, 31 percent of Americans are likely to experience from an anxiety problem at some point in their lives – more than any people anywhere in the world.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, American women suffer from a number of anxiety disorders — including generalized anxiety and panic attacks — at a rate twice as high as that for men.

Is it American culture generally or our individual Superwoman approach to ‘doing it all’ (breadwinner, caregiver) that has led to more U.S. women suffering from anxiety disorders, higher rates of heart disease, and more chronic conditions like fibromyalgia?

Women & Our Solid Center

A Missouri woman I interviewed named it:   many of us American women are living “fractured.” She explained:

“Everyone has a limitation on time and I wish we’d stop wasting our energy, our powerful gifts by being fractured. It feels like we’ve lost our core – we’re so busy and our busyness depletes us. Transformational energy is not a spurt, it requires not just commitment. It requires having an interior life that includes our creativity, our intellect. We’re fractured now.

We women are doing so many good and powerful things but aren’t having the reflection time to garner energy to propel it toward what women are really capable of.

We’re doing, but our potential isn’t being really tapped, we’re not connecting to community to help and learn from the power of self and the power of others.

I think people would be surprised that American women are in this flutter of activity and productivity without having the solid center.“

Across Ages, Interview Trend

Think it’s just Baby Boomers – think again. Economists Betsy Stevenson and Justin Wolfers have shown that American women are less happy today than in 1972, both in absolute terms and relative to men. And, a 2011 study of first year college students at UCLA found students to be more anxiety-ridden than ever before.

I personally noticed a trend when I interviewed women ages 29 to 79 for The Flight Patterns of Superwomen book. Anwering open, transformative questions was a stretch exercise for many harried and busy women that generously committed to giving me their time and thoughts.

Women who flowed through the ten questions easily, in about 45 minutes, reported having a daily practice of meditation, journaling reflection, or prayer.

Women who stretched to answer the questions, skipping some and spending up to 2 hours with me, talked about having no time to reflect.

More than one woman called our interviews “better than therapy.”

Mindfulness Tips for Men, Too

“If every eight year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation,” says the Dalai Lama.

Kozo Hattori provides terrific advice for making mindfulness practices part of boys and men’s lives too. Check out her Five Ways to Make Mindfulness Manly at http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/five_ways_to_make_mindfulness_more_manly.

I can’t wait to learn your answers to this week’s poll question! My gratitude to you for reading, voting and commenting!

Your Voice

Anonymous so please be brutally honest! Aggregate responses may be used in The Flight Patterns of Superwomen.

Thanks for sharing your voice!

Have a burning question you want to ask? Feel free to tell me!

 

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