Lack of Stress/Pura Vida
Stress is the body’s way of protecting itself. When we sense danger – real or imagined – our bodies quickly jump into defense mode, engaging our “fight-or-flight” response. Contrary to popular belief, stress isn’t something that should be experienced on a daily basis. In fact, stress is only meant to be felt during emergency situations – not during your third meeting at work or sitting in your car during morning rush hour. It’s no surprise then, that we place an emphasis on fostering a lack of stress and living a Pura Vida lifestyle in Costa Rica.
Stress as a Way of Life
So why has being stressed become so normalized? In modern working environments, being stressed is viewed as badge of honor. If you describe your day as “stressful,” it means you’re being productive, working hard and seeing monetary rewards for the stress that you’re experiencing. Right? Wrong. The idea of stress as a motivator isn’t just unhealthy, it’s dangerous. Chronic stress can not only exacerbate existing health problems, but it can create them, too.
A phrase that encapsulates the carefree, laid back demeanor of Costa Ricans, “Pura Vida” is used as a greeting, farewell, an answer expressing that things are going well, as a way of giving thanks and a way to show appreciation. Meaning “pure life,” Pura Vida is a banner of optimism that indicates just how stress-free the lifestyle in Costa Rica can be. There is no urgency – only positivity. Work is meant to be rewarding, not demanding, and life is meant to be enjoyed.