The little things that can keep you happy and get you through a stressful day

December 10, 2015
Jess

How can happiness be achieved? This question has plagued people from the beginning of time and is especially pertinent today when the fast pace of life seems to be a sweeping tide that takes away your precious time and happy moments. A stressful life does not make things any easier. While healthy levels of stress let you take the reigns and perform well in some situations, an overdose of it or constantly being stressed in life is one of the worst things you can do to yourself. Therefore, it is important for your physical and mental health to control your stress levels and allow happiness to balance it.

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It’s the little things in life that matter

Joy lies in the simple things, and by adopting uncomplicated thoughts and actions as part of your daily life, you can find inner peace and happiness. Experiencing nature for as little as fifteen minutes a day, by standing out on your balcony or taking a walk in the park will make you feel one with the environment and expose you to the healthy and happy effects of the sun’s rays. Be creative. Rather than always looking towards the television or internet for entertainment, express your own thoughts through writing, painting, sketching, photography or making short films. Physical activity plays a big role in making you feel happy. Get out of the house for a long walk, go for an early morning swim or cycle around the neighborhood. It will get your blood pumping and your thoughts flowing. Meditation and yoga are perhaps the most well-known and widely followed relaxation methods, and they can work wonders for you too.

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Stress-busting

True, stress is all in the mind, but it has toxic effects on your body and behavior every day. The relationship between high-stress levels and poor heart health has long been established. The appearance of stress-induced insomnia can lead to much more serious sleep disorders. Feel like you can’t think straight? Stress may cause impaired memory and attention span, by hampering not only your power to recall, but also to form new memories. It can make you crave sweet food, which adds to your weight in the long run, and even cause a greater accumulation of fat on your body. This coupled with its capacity to raise your blood sugar may set you up for diabetes in the future. It also reduces your body’s immunity against diseases, making you more prone to catching a cold or more serious infections or fever.

The effects of stress are clearly devastating. So how can you rid yourself of it? Firstly, begin by understanding the ways in which stress manifests itself. You may experience a sudden lump in your throat, an elevated heartbeat, shut off outside sights and sounds, feel dizzy or find your stomach churning. Such bodily reactions are called the ‘fight of flight mechanism’ that are meant to help you survive in an emergency situation. Unfortunately, the mere thought of things going wrong triggers it and sets you on a downhill journey when it is simply not needed.

When this happens, accept that you are panicking. This will actually help you calm down using the logic that this is your immediate reaction, and that actual soothing action is in your hands once you calm down. Steady your mind by telling yourself that you are in control, and that you can solve the problem. Breathe deeply, focus on the sound of each breath you take, and begin to visualize each part of your body relax.

Focus on one problem at a time rather than allowing everything to overwhelm you. Give yourself time to unwind at the end of each day. Create visual space around you. Seeing hoards of junk will aggravate you more easily than if you’re in an organized space with room to breathe. Be on top of things, and that doesn’t mean overthinking or micromanaging beyond your capacity, but to anticipate and be in control of your actions and reactions.

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Modern unwinding

If your preferred way to unwind is settling down with your tablet and reading humorous stories rather than a yoga session, rest assured that relaxation doesn’t imply letting go of what you enjoy most. In fact, laughter may just be the best medicine for short-term stress relief. For instance, the full video of this Adele prank shows you just how to convert anxiety into laughter and pure joy.

The means of achieving happiness are endless, and managing stress is a crucial part of this process. So start your journey towards a happier life today.

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