Be Happy – How to Stress Less

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Life can be stressful and chaotic, but generally only if you allow it to be.  Sometimes you need to just slow down and take things one at a time.

They say that people’s lives can become happier once they’ve decided to be happy.  That may be simplistic, but perhaps it’s a matter of facing life with a more positive outlook.

Give yourself a clear direction

All too often, life can get muddled and a lack of direction can cause stress in our lives.  Who hasn’t complained there wasn’t enough time in a day or how the week has flown by.  Your week was the same length as anyone else’s, but the difference is how focused you’ve been during it.

We all have things we’d like to achieve, but sadly most don’t take the time to set a clear plan to reach that target.  It’s time to get focused, clear your conscious, and really understand what you want to achieve and why.  Otherwise, you’ll continue to flounder and not get anywhere.

Focus your productivity

If-you-do-not-change-directionIt’s all too easy to get bogged down in the minute, unimportant things that clutter our ‘to-do’ lists, which means we just end up leaving the important stuff to the end.

This will leave you constantly feeling like you’re not getting anywhere because the big items continually get moved to the next list.

Instead, focus on the big things first.  If something is truly important, urgent or difficult to complete, then prioritise it.  Because generally when you complete the big stuff, the smaller, less important things can sometimes fall to the wayside.

Perfection doesn’t exist

Everybody is way too obsessed with getting things in life absolutely perfect all the time, which in turn may hinder the progress you’re trying to make.  And way too many of us focus on the destination or end result without enjoying the journey along the way.

When working towards a goal or target, there’s never a guarantee of progression or even success at achieving a specific outcome.  If life was truly set out as a check-list of how to get ahead in life, we’d all be super successful and presumably ‘happy’.

But the reality of it is that there are no rules on how to succeed or to be happy, and no two people’s ideal of ‘perfect’ will be exactly the same.  Just enjoy the journey itself, and allow yourself to learn from the progress as it happens.

Forgive and forget

NEGATIVEWe all do it – continually replay the day’s events or some unpleasant conversation over and over in our heads to analyse each detail.  But other than dealing with immediate issues, what’s the point in reinforcing the negative aspects of your day, letting them to lay heavy on your heart.

It may sound easier than it is, but you’ve just to just let it go.  All of it – the regrets, the snubs, the rude or disparaging remarks, the distractions – and allow yourself to end each day cleansed of the negativity.

And this includes your own untrue or negative thoughts towards yourself.  It’s all the same in the end.  When you change your thoughts, you change your life.

Same goes for stress

Life is a challenge, and it can get really hard along the journey.  And that’s okay, as it’s the stresses we face daily that build us up and make us stronger to better face the even harder challenges up ahead.

The point is not to let the stress take you over and ruin your day.  Which isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Think about stress as if you’ve reached a room with 2 exits – one that relives the stress of the day, and the other where you move on with your life.  Why wouldn’t you take the second door?

One step at a time

Some say one of the steps to happiness is having a fit, healthy body, but is that just enforcing society’s ideals on how you should live your life and look?  We all know that a good workout is great for your peace of mind (as well as your body, obviously), and the endorphin release can help sharpen your mind’s focus.

CarrotBut is that it?  Is that the answer to all of our problems and the key to happiness?  Hardly, but it is important to take care of yourself – both inside and out, mentally and physically – and regular exercise of some sort can only be a positive thing.

Just don’t get so wrapped up in ‘being fit and healthy’ that you become oblivious to other factors that contribute to your happiness.

Treat yourself

It’s endearing to do something special for our loved ones, but when was the last time you did something special for yourself?  It doesn’t have to be anything big but something simple like taking a walk, doing something you truly enjoy, reading a book, making your favourite meal, and so forth.

All too often we spend our energies putting other people’s needs ahead of our own, almost to the point where we forget to take care of our own happiness.  It’s not necessarily about being selfish, but you do need to put your own needs first on occasion.

K.I.S.S. – Keep it simple…

Way too many people will over-book their lives to the point where they literally have zero wiggle room when things pop up.  They’ll organise their diaries to the point where they have to book time in with friends or loved ones weeks or months in advance.

There’s no spontaneity, no last minute plans, no spur of the moment day trips, and literally no room for yourself.

How is that really any fun?

Obviously you don’t want to go so far as to under-plan your life, but do allow yourself a bit of regular breathing space and time each week to focus on you.  It gives you more flexibility in your own life, and when those surprise invites pop up you might actually be able to accept them.

This post was influenced by – 9 Things Happy People Do to Stress Less.

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