Are you stressed out? Research shows that stress is a major, if not the only, cause of serious illnesses.* Everyone probably has their own method of relieving stress. But if you feel stuck no matter what you do, try looking at your life from these perspectives. Just by changing the way you look at your life, you can start living a stress-free life.
1. Realize that your life is priceless
You may feel as though you don’t have anything; that you are absolutely worthless, but that’s not true. You actually have lots of things. If you disagree, here’s a question I would like to ask you: If you were asked to sell both of your legs and arms, how much would you sell them for? How much would you sell your eyes and brain for? You’d probably decline that offer. I don’t think you’d be too willing to sell your legs, arms, eyes and brain, no matter how much they are asked, either. We are actually all living a priceless life.
You are also blessed with many things. You can breathe air without paying a penny. It’d be awful if you had to pay for the oxygen you breathe throughout your life. Sunlight is also free. You don’t get charged by the hour when you are exposed to the sun. Please try to remember that you are already receiving many things at no cost.
2. Do not think only of yourself; pray for the happiness of others
Contrary to what you may believe, you can’t find happiness if you think only about your own happiness. If you really want to be happy, pray for the happiness of others. You could never find happiness if you are constantly worrying about yourself.
How much time did you spend worrying about yourself today? How much time did you spend thinking about the happiness of others? The more time you spend helping other people, the more happiness you can experience.
3. Concentrate and Finish Your Work Quickly
This may sound contradictory. Of course you need to take breaks, sleep well, and eat well to live a stress-free life. But it is also important to stay busy and concentrate on your work because it will keep you from worrying about trifling matters. If you have too much time on your hand, you will only build up anxiety.
But if you are suffering because you have an excessive amount of work, try making decisions quickly. This way, you will be able to speed up your work, and chances are that you will also get promoted. Concentrate on the work in front of you, make a quick decision, and finish it quickly; this is how you can reduce stress at work.
*Mohd. Razali Salleh, Life, Event, and Illness. The Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences 15(4): 9–18., October 2008.
This article is based on Chapter 1 of A Guide to Happy and Stress-Free Living by Ryuho Okawa