My friend, who’s a mindfulness professional, was telling me that one of her resource books list the top seven sources of stress as (in no particular order):

  • Getting married or divorced
  • Chronic or serious illness
  • Moving
  • Changing or losing a job
  • Going to prison
  • Death of a loved one
  • Significant financial obligations

It struck me that one of these stands out from the others: prison.

Unlike the others, going to prison equals a loss of freedom. Unlike the others, you don’t get much say in going to prison (after you made the decision to do whatever it is that got you there, of course). And you certainly don’t get much say in the others once you’re in it.

It significantly changes your entire station in life and your ability to live it. At the same time, it also would negate the other six on the list.

One you are going to prison, most of these others stressors would necessarily go away, or at least be put on hold. Of course, you’d have to find a state that is still enforcing laws so you could actually make it to prison.

Of course, the other thing that struck me is that I’m currently going through six of the seven, so that’s kinda something, I guess…