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Papal stress busters

Posted August. 16, 2014 03:11,   


The suicide of the actor who made people laugh and brought happiness, Robin Williams, stunned many. Once named the funniest man in the U.S., he battled substance addiction and Parkinson’s disease, and suffered from depression and anxiety for a long time. He must have had stress that others did not know about. In psychiatry, if stress-triggered depression and anxiety continue, it becomes a serious illness. Stress management is one of the key concerns of the modern people.

The most common cause of stress is people. In particular, emotional laborers, who must veil their emotions and be polite to customers, endure heavy stress. Recently, Saenuri Party lawmaker Yun Jae-ok announced a plan to revise a law for emotional laborers, including department store sales representatives, flight attendants, nurses, and call center representatives. The bill contains details about acknowledging disease from emotional labor as industrial accidents and to make mandatory improvement of working conditions by the business owner to reduce mental stress.

Would it be sacrilegious to believe men of the cloth, such as priests and Christian ministers, are a type of emotional laborer, too? They must accumulate stress sometimes as their flock comes to them whenever they have difficulties in life. Would it not be more difficult for them as they must deliver holy words and cloaking their emotions even when they feel displeased? The Italian film, “We Have a Pope,” has a scene where a cardinal elected pope runs away while screaming out loud that he could not handle being a pope. The pontiff in the movie is depicted as ordinary and humane, looking back on his life after being diagnosed with depression.

Although how Pope Francis alleviates stress is not known, he once said in an interview with the Argentine weekly “Viva” that consumerism has brought us anxiety and stress, causing people to lose a healthy culture of leisure. In that interview, the pope also taught 10 tips for happiness. They include respecting others’ beliefs and to stop being negative. We all have one or two ways to relieve stress. Whether it be working out, watching a movie, chatting with friends, or sleeping, adding the pope’s 10 tips will likely help getting peace of mind.