Almost everywhere we look we find imbalance: politics, economy, society, values, ethics, and, of course, the environment. What we often overlook though is the imbalance that is much closer to home – the imbalance in our own lives. We lack both balance and stability in our lives, due largely to the demands and stresses of today’s professional world. We are required to work more, often with diminishing resources, both human and financial, and our free time has been largely infiltrated by our work. Many of us either voluntarily or by demand are now connected to work electronically 24/7. We may even feel obliged to do so. Now, more than ever we are working around the clock, and even when we are not working, our minds are on our work. The higher our position and responsibility, the more we are connected to our work.
The effects of this imbalance are extensive – our physical health declines, at times with drastic results, our mental health suffers, our emotional stability is thrown out of synch, our family stability and harmony declines, even our children’s mental and emotional balance can be thrown off and affected by our own imbalance. Our happiness and satisfaction plummets with these high demands that our work requires. And finally, the most ironic fact is that our own productivity at work is one of the first areas to be affected – our professional performance declines as our stress and work demands rise.
Never before have we seen such a prevalence of conditions that affect both our work and our general health, and that of those around us. Absenteeism due to burnout issues is on a worrying rise in Europe, the United States, Canada, and Australia amongst other highly developed nations. Companies and corporations, and social security systems are paying out millions due to this stress-related absenteeism. In many countries, de