But a happy, fulfilled life is more than successful management of stress. And since it’s virtually impossible to have a life with no stress, that’s not the answer either.
Normally we think we have to de-stress and then we’ll be relaxed and happy. I’d like to turn that idea upside down and say: First get happy and then you won’t be stressed.
What you need—what we all need—is experiences that give us a super soul-satisfying, really great time! This is what builds up ever-greater tolerance of life’s regular stressors so you experience stress without feeling stressed.
In other words, do things that leave you feeling fulfilled. Do things that echo your inner needs—life-affirming activities that give a deeper meaning to your every day, literally making life worth living.
Just do it. Like Joseph Campbell said: “Follow your bliss.”
Do you know what brings you fulfillment? If you’re only sort-of sure, here are three ways that can help you get clearer. Give yourself some quiet time away from the hectic demands of daily life, and try one of these:
- Sit quietly in a meditative way and listen for the longings of your heart. As your mind-chatter settles down and your mind becomes quiet don’t worry if negative, unhelpful thoughts come in. Just let them go as much as you can, and keep a strong intention to hear your heart’s desires. As answers drift up, listen without judgment and don’t dismiss anything.
- Sit in a quiet space with your journal and write down everything you think of that would make you sublimely happy to be doing. Don’t be surprised if you get thoughts about what you don’t want to do as well. Write those down too; it clears them out of the way so your true longings can come through.
- Sit or lie in a relaxed way and think back to times in your life when you were innocently happy and everything felt right with your world. What were you doing? What was the essence of that activity? For example, were you in nature, were you alone, were you with people? Were you making art, making music, cooking? Whatever it is, make a big reminder note to yourself to do it more often.
Love loves love,