Hari and myself got talking about what to do in life or how to live an ideal life. Our conversation slowly moved toward ways to be cheerful, and how one can effectively have a stress free life. This article is a result of that conversation.
Ten ways to stay cheerful and have a stress free life:
- Lessen stress through better time management and also by being kind to yourself.
- Have the company of good people.
- Do cheerful things like playing, listening to music etc
- Meditate to bring in a rhythm to yourself. This is as important as playing, music.
- Say positive things to yourself.
- Don’t think too much – we should be able to discern what things are beyond our control, and then tell ourselves that mere thinking about them will not solve them
- Don’t antagonize people – saves a lot of time and energy
- Good health. Eating right- Makes a big difference to our level stress.- the kind of food you eat reflects on the energy it inflicts
- Ignoring people’s words – regulate criticism
- Competing with oneself-not getting caught in comparisons.
Lessen stress through better time management and also by being kind to yourself
There has been lot that is said about ‘Time Management’ but one thing to be pointed is to have a mixed bag. Yes, you have to be serious about how you use time, but also don’t try to be a perfectionist. Go easy on yourself at times. Having a balance this way will keep extremist thoughts at bay.
Have the company of good people
This is very important. Life is no more about being hep and being in company of people who want to just have fun. Bring in the aspect of being useful to each other either through good humor, helpful tendencies, fruitful conversations etc. There is also a explicit difference between having the company of good people and being in the company of good people. ‘Having’ is entirely under your control. By this, the things you are influenced by, intrigued by and the things you cultivate will be more a spontaneous extension of your likes and the aspect of stress can always be kept under check.
Do cheerful things like playing, listening to music etc
It has been proven beyond doubt that activities like sports, music impacts your body, mind and soul. For example, in the case of music, the impact can go either way depending on what kind of music you hear. Music can be used to your benefit. If you want inspiration, listen to your favorite music. For me it is ‘Shimshai’ or Rocky’s Theme Music. If you want to calm yourself, soothing music will do a world of good. Similarly, use music to bring optimism and to reduce stress thereby maintaining a cheerful attitude.
Meditate to bring in a rhythm to yourself
This is as important as playing music. Meditation is not only about sitting in one place and practicing silence or concentration or contemplation techniques (as it pertains to different form of traditional meditation techniques). A walk along the beach, a walk early in the morning in a silent/fresh environment -all these contribute towards meditation, people call it ‘Nature Meditation’. I have found it very helpful and it sure will be for people who find it heard to follow the traditional forms of meditation.
Say positive things to yourself
Devise a personal pep talk protocol. Reinforce belief in yourself with positive thoughts and positive outlook. Starting the day with a pep talk would do a world of good to you. I believe strongly in this and feel that when you have positive thoughts and intend positive outcomes at the start, it will manifest throughout the day.
Don’t think too much – we should be able to discern what things are beyond our control and tell ourselves that merely thinking about them will not solve them
Sometimes in an effort to be productive, we try and decipher happenings beyond the required levels. In pursuit of perfection or workaholism, we end up reading too much between the lines and evolve into being too judgemental beyond imagination. One needs to understand his roles and responsibilities. Irrespective of his stature in his company or society, he or she needs to understand that if things are beyond his control or execution capabilities, it probably is wise to let that no affect the work or other routines. More so that it should not blind or cloud one’s decision making capabilities. Being an observer always helps and only when requested should one be judgemental. But you might say that you are good at analysis. If that’s the case, it is ok to analyze, but pick you communication mechanisms to convey it to the concerned entity and leave it at that. Don’t expect anything beyond that.
Don’t antagonize people – saves a lot of time and energy
No matter what it is, people have the right to say what they like and be stupid (if I may say). If you take this approach, then you will be within the ‘Safe’ zone. This is because by antagonizing people, you probably go no where. You might be right in your own way of doing so, but in this world, you can not antagonize anyone. You may end up to find the same folks being critical to your career progress later. Who knows when sides might change and such a situation might present itself!! If you don’t want to feel awkward later, don’t antagonize now!
Good health and Eating right
Our intake and maintenance of our body makes a big difference to our stress levels. Eating right and burning them subsequently needs to strike the right balance. This might differ from person to person. If you are a person who works out regularly or have a very active routine, then fatty foods might get burnt in due course of the day. If not, then you need to take care of it. Also, for people who work under tight schedules or deadlines, cutting out junk food helps along with regularizing eating patterns. There is no universal routine to follow but there is one thing you should do – listen to you body always.
Ignoring people’s words – regulate criticism
You might consider yourself to be good natured, but there will always be elements to disrupt. Criticism is always going to be a factor in your life that you cannot run away from. Analyze them and choose to ignore if it puts you in an uncomfortable situation or in a situation from which you have no clear way out.
Competing with oneself and not getting caught in comparisons
The biggest differentiator, as years go by and you are put through different phases and situations, is to focus on improving yourself. Especially when things are not going the way you want, it is important to compare yourself with what you were before. If you have scaled great heights, then you should re-iterate to yourself that you can do it again. Also, drive this hard into your head and deep down into your heart, "No one is the same and every one is unique". This affirmation is a big booster to ‘stress free’ life.
As you might have seen, for each of the ways mentioned above, there is no ‘N Step Process’ that is universal. These are more of yardsticks – its up to each individual to measure and imbibe accordingly. Also, one should continuously practise introspection of these ways to adapt, revise and refine them based on the need of the hour.