Each week, spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra responds to Oprah.com users' questions with enlightening advice to help them live their best lives.
Q: My job is causing me to have high blood pressure. I have not had any type of vacation since 2000, and I feel like I am dying, which throws me into anxiety attacks that are unbearable. I can just barely get dressed in the morning to face my life and job. I want to change my attitude and achieve a healthier lifestyle where there is fun and a feeling of content, in place of all the worry and anxiety. It finally feels like I have lost control of my life. Please tell me what you think.
— Lizabeth T., Chicago
My goodness, you expect so little from your life. No doubt these expectations have been low for a long time. Your letter has the tone of someone who is saying: "I live in a place of torment. Can somebody please give me a pair of wings to fly out of here?" No one can give you a pair of wings. To get out of your present situation, which sounds as unbearable as you say, you need to reverse the steps that got you into it.
Those steps aren't external. It's not that you landed in a draining, dead-end job, and that's what has ruined everything. No, your attitudes and beliefs got you here. Typical of these are the following:
I don't want much or demand much.
I don't deserve much.
It doesn't matter if I am put upon.
There's no use fighting what is.
If I can just get through today, that's good enough.
Nobody really cares what happens to me, so why should I?
I feel very sorry that you are carrying around such beliefs, and perhaps you aren't. But something led you on a downward slope, step by step, until you became helpless. If you can share your beliefs with someone who has some strength and optimism, that is the first step to seeing your situation in a new light, as a problem to solve, not a crushing burden to bear. I wish you good luck.