12 Ways To Turn Your Crippling Stress Into Happiness

maxresdefault (1)by Blon Lee

“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.” ~Chinese Proverb

You are a slave to stress.

I can relate.

Stress Crushed My Life And Dreams

I started a business and faced intense criticism over this decision.

Everyone was sure I’d fail. My friends and family attacked me while I was combating my own self-doubt.

My stress level was insanely high.

Then the worst happened. My business failed and I lost all my savings. I was crushed.

It took a long time to finally accept this failure.

Today, whenever I work, stress still lingers in my body like the shadow of my dark past. But now I know how cope with it. Let me teach you how.

1. Consider getting a pet.

Sharing negative feelings with close friends can significantly reduce stress. Studies show that spending time with pets relieves stress in the same way. Also, when you’re accompanied by a pet in stressful situations, it prevents your stress level from rising.

I have a cat. He was my only friend when nobody was supporting me. I’m grateful to have him by my side.

If you don’t have a pet, consider getting one. It may change your life in surprising ways.

2. Stop dwelling on your problems.

Kant State University had an eye-opening discovery. Apparently, the more you talk about your problems, the more you’re likely to suffer from depression.

Of course, it’s healthy to share what you’re going through. But when you’re mindlessly dwelling on your problems, it doesn’t solve anything.

I never talk to anyone about my problems because no one supports me. This propels me to actively seek solutions instead of blindly mulling over things that could stress me out.

If you’re fortunate to have supportive friends, do seek their support. What’s important is that you don’t just whine about your difficulties, but actually act.

3. Shower yourself with gifts.

You’re being brutally hard on yourself.

You take success for granted. Worse, you exaggerate failure.

When you’ve reached a goal, you move on nonchalantly. If you don’t, you torment yourself mentally. You scold, devalue, and deprive yourself.

I’ve been there. I know this is self-destructive.

Reward yourself for reaching goals. Research shows that when you’re rewarded for an action, you’re likely to repeat it. This is called a positive feedback loop. It’s much more effective than punishment.

If you gain stress from failure, without happiness from success, the only outcome is stress.

If you earn happiness from success, without stress from failure, the only outcome is happiness.

4. Exploit bad habits to your advantage.

I used to run away from problems. When stress hit, I’d instantly give up on whatever I was working on and resort to escapism.

You may have experienced this too.

Escapism may entail over-eating, indulging in unhealthy foods, TV, Internet, porn, smoking, and drinking. Over time, they form destructive habits.

Exploit escapism by using it as an anchor.

Pick healthy alternatives, such as meditation, stretching, listening to motivational talks, napping, or light exercises.

Before you escape, do thirty seconds of an alternative first.

Say you’re angry with your boyfriend. You think you need to eat some junk food to calm down. Before that, meditate for thirty seconds. Then you’re free to indulge.

Do this for two months. Then increase good habit time weekly, until the good habit completely drowns out the bad.

This way, I built new automatic responses to stress and broke my escapist habits completely. Now when I feel stress, I either take a short nap or move along to uplifting music.

After a few minutes, I’m recharged and motivated to face new challenges.

5. Unleash your anger (and cry yourself to sleep).

Don’t always try to appear perfectly calm. You need to express difficult emotions—anger, for example.

Discuss your frustration with friends. Journal your rage and analyze it objectively on paper. You can even confront the object of frustration assertively.

Remember to release your anger under control. Don’t throw tantrums or yell impulsively. Express it as a means of problem solving.

This applies to other difficult emotions, as well, like sadness. It’s healthy to express these “negative” emotions.

6. Reach great heights by letting yourself suck big time.

I’ve learned to accept my devastating failure. I have to. Otherwise, I’d be completely destroyed and discouraged from pursuing anything ever again.

Some people cannot accept mistakes. Everything has to be perfect from the start. They think others will look down on them if they appear to be flawed.

These people are frequently stressed.

The happiest and most successful people focus on improvement. They love mistakes and flaws, because they see them as opportunities to grow.

Learn from these people.

Have lofty goals, but have realistic standards. Don’t judge yourself based on the results of your action. See them as feedback, and seek improvement from there.

Read the full article at Tiny Buddha

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