Ways to Reduce Stress: Could Your Stress Level Be a Result of Where You Live? Maybe! by Jennifer Coken

5 years ago

Ways to Reduce Stress: Could Your Stress Level Be a Result of Where You Live? Maybe!

Be present, slow down, be more gentle with yourself. That's all good advice to reduce stress, but what if you do all of those things but still feel stressed out? What if your geographic location is the real problem?

I have lived in cities on the East Coast for 23 years now with one eight-year stint in Colorado. Lately I've been thinking of moving back. I'm yearning to go back to those wide-open spaces, the slower pace and lifestyle.

I was talking to a friend about this and he said what I'm actually yearning for is "sangha," or loosely translated, "community.” Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, a global spiritual leader, peace poet and activist, explains: 

“The essence of a sangha is awareness, understanding, acceptance, harmony and love. Without being in a sangha, without being supported by a group of friends who are motivated by the same ideal and practice, we cannot go far."

This is exacty what I am searching for. But where is it? Is it in Colorado or in D.C. or the 20 foreign countries I’ve been to?

I don't think location matters – it's whether you are in an environment of friends who are motivated by the same ideals and practice as you are.

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