You need to do hard things to be happy in life. Because the hard things ultimately build you up and change your life from the inside out.
Daily stress is one of the primary causes of major mental and physical health problems in our lives: it can cause heart disease, anxiety, sleep deprivation, auto-immune disorders, weight problems, unhappiness, and even deep depression.
But we’re busy – we all have places to be, things to do and people to see. So, how do we alleviate stress and still get our work done right, without neglecting our loved ones and ourselves? What can we realistically start doing today to nurture our mental health and overall wellness?
I’m going to be brief about this, because time is of the essence. There are eight simple (but not easy) things that need to be practiced. A few mindset shifts and a couple actions that take only a few minutes a day. These can’t solve the most severe stress-related problems, but they can help most of us in a major way.
1. Be in the moment, completely, with just one task at a time.
Instead of being in a stressful task-switching state of mind, take your next task, let everything else go, and just be in the moment with this one task.
Let yourself be immersed in this task by letting go of the feeling that you need to quickly rush through it – that you need to move on to the next task waiting for you. There will always be a next task, because that’s the nature of TO-DO lists – they’re never-ending. So let those later tasks come later. Just be 100% in this one task, like it’s your entire world.
Bottom line: Slow down. Breathe. Review your commitments and goals. Put first things first. Do one task at a time. Start now. Take a 5-minute break in an hour. Repeat. (And always remember, results are more important than the time it takes to achieve them.)
2. Let go of controlling what can’t be controlled.
Fear is causing you to be stressed, not external factors like your job obligations or family issues. Those external factors are just a part of life, but they become stressful when you fear failure, fear people won’t like you, fear you’re not good enough, fear abandonment, and so forth.
Your fears are based on some fantasy in your head about how things are supposed to be (and you fear that your life may not live up to that fantasy): you have an image in your head that you’re going to be perfect, have people like you, be comfortable all the time, and…