less stress & more happiness
Want to make your life that little bit happier, easier and more fulfilled? It’s not as hard as you might think...
Tips for an easier, more fulfilled life
Are you guilty of chronic busyness? Women have a tendency to multitask, making it so easy to get caught up in frantic day- to- day life that you forget to, well... live, really. Here’s how to calm the stress-inducing clutter in your head and feel happier.
Find a purpose
It’s fine not to be ‘driven’ all the time
– but if you’re so caught up in getting through your to- do list that you’ve lost sight of the bigger picture, your soul will be paying the price. You know you’re living purposefully when you get up and look forward to the day ahead.
We let that slip as we develop tunnel vision. ‘ If I can just get tomorrow’s presentation over with, I’ll be OK…’ Listen to your internal guide, follow your instincts to move towards people, places and experiences that excite you. Finding what you love often happens outside the context of a job or family so revisit hobbies and activities that reconnect you to your enthusiasm for life.
Enjoy tiny pleasures
Watching ‘rubbish’ TV, sitting in the garden or taking an unscheduled break to read… We feel so guilty about the small pleasures, we often deny ourselves of them (‘ There’s no time’) or spoil their positive effects with regret (‘ I shouldn’t have’). Realise that you’re not wasting time, you’re cherishing it. Spending time doing something that won’t achieve anything ‘important’ may seem frivolous but it’s essential. Small pleasures relax, strengthen and nourish you – they’re part of your ‘ well-being bank’, filling you up and giving you the resources to go on.
When you make a decision, whether big or small, use the same philosophy as if you were buying a new shirt – once you’ve found a solution that works, don’t carry on searching ‘ just in case’ something better comes along. It’s about not allowing room for ‘ what if’.
Don’t try to make all wrongs right
Ever think how much better life will be once you’ve steered your disinterested twenty-something cousin safely onto the career ladder, or when you’ve matched your deserving friend with the perfect partner? We pour so much energy into making wrongs right but trying to fix everything is a doomed struggle for control. When it comes to the lives of others, it’s better to practise what psychologists call ‘unconditional positive regard’ – that means complete support, along with acceptance. Let other people get on with their lives. The more we let go of our need to control, the more the things we perceive to be conflicts will disappear. When it comes to righting past wrongs, what has happened can’t be changed – only your view of it can be. Replaying your mom’s hurtful behaviour from last Christmas over in your mind and waiting for her to see the error of her ways is a waste of emotion. Forgiving and letting go helps you move on afresh.
learn to Accept that you can’t please everyone
Does the time spent acting as a dutiful daughter to your ageing parents mean you can’t always be a cook, chauffeur and PA to your children, as well as being the first to pick up extra duties at work? The struggle to please everyone is so self- defeating – there will never be enough of you to go around. Imagine for a moment that there’s no one else out there to please. What would you do for yourself? Now make time to do it – even if it means others will have to cope without you. Think of yourself as a bank where every time you do something good for you, you’re making a deposit and every time that you do something good for someone else, you’re making a withdrawal. If it’s all withdrawals, you’ll soon feel the strain. Remember the safety advice on the plane – put on your own oxygen mask first before helping others.
Declutter your mind
When you’re in the habit of multitasking, sometimes it can feel like there’s so much to do that it’s impossible to know where to start. That’s the moment to stop and list everything on your mind into different categories of home and work; urgency and importance. Compartmentalising what’s in your head will stop your brain whirring and help you feel more in control.
See the best in everyone
This mantra makes you feel good about yourself and the world around you. The idea of ‘forgiveness’ is important here. If someone cuts us off in the traffic, our egos become aroused and we feel anger or stress. In that moment, we have a choice: do we listen to our ego or to our higher mind? Choosing the higher mind, we’d wave them on and forgive. It’s not turning yourself into a doormat, but once you start, it feels so good you’ll want to try it in every situation.
‘Let go of your need to control and conflict will disappear’