Stress is a killer.

These days we all seem consumed with work, politics, social media and the pressures of paying for more "things" while valuing less what truly matters.

Maybe that is an overreach, but that appears to be the collective perception.

Now more than ever we have to concern ourselves with the unknown. Is today the day a sick person with a gun shows up at the workplace or the children's school?

Is that package on the doorstep my latest Internet purchase or a bomb?

Are the president's actions reflective of my party, my country?

It's safe to imagine, unique as we all are, each of us contemplates those questions and others differently -- certainly that last one.

The universal thread we might find solidarity on, however, is that we do contemplate them.

It is tough sometimes, feeling like we have to watch what we say and do around others and how watchful we have to be of strangers these days, all the while feeling -- some of us more than others -- that inescapable bubbling of contempt for it all which we either ignore or tuck away deep down inside.

But along with the toxic chemicals in our water and pollutants in our air, the pesticides and other substances in just about everything we ingest these days, we truly must consider the thoughts we are chewing on throughout the hours, days, weeks and months. Each of them have the potential to cut short our years on this Earth if we don't choose daily to balance all that is going on in the world around us with a fortified effort to find the positive and encouraging outlook we are each capable of to forge ahead and meet the day's expectations.