How can I relax? It’s an easy question to answer. However, in this post, I’m not going to give you the normal answers you will find… answers that I suspect you are already familiar with. They would include a discussion on doing less, staying away from toxic people, going for a walk in nature, meditating, patting a pet, talking with a friend…… etc.
And similarly, how can I be happy….. same as above. Short-term solutions/temporary distractions are easy to give. They would include eating your favorite food, having great sex, playing with a happy child, watching a funny comedy, etc. And many websites address these temporary fixes because often, that is all we are wanting.
However, if you have read any of my other posts, you would realize that you are not going to get a repeat of this stuff from me. Typically, I like to address the real/deeper issues as to why we are stressed and not happy. And then offer real solutions, that if implemented, become permanent and fulfilling which means you get to have an overall better life experience for the rest of your lives.
To achieve a better overall quality of life requires that we change our mindset, our personalities, so that ‘relaxed and happy’ become our ‘predominant state of being’ rather than some sort of reward we occasionally get to experience.
And this leads into the first quote of the day:
“Act the way that you want to feel.” – Gretchen Rubin
The simplicity of this quote is why most people don’t get it. And when you do get it, it is life-changing! Because when we understand that If we begin acting in a certain way we will naturally have thoughts that align with those actions. And together, our thoughts and actions are producing our feelings.
Imagine you want to feel angry… (please don’t…. unfortunately it is a choice that many people unconsciously make, often.) To begin with, you could either ‘act’ angrily or you could ‘think’ angry thoughts. Either choice would generate angry feelings within you. Conversely, if you wanted to feel happy, you could begin doing things that make you happy, or simply focus your mind on happy thoughts…… and you would then feel happy!
So, I hope it becoming obvious where I am going with this?????
If you want to relax and be happy…… you begin with either the thoughts, the appropriate actions, or feelings that align with the state of being you are wanting to experience. I’m pretty sure we all know this intuitively. So, why don’t we think and act in ways that cultivate good feelings within us more of the time?
The next quote from one of my favorite authors alludes to a major reason why we are not acting in our best interests a lot of the time…..
“Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future, but from wanting to control it.” – Kahlil Gibran
Our thoughts are more often than not, causing us stress and unhappiness because we are not getting the desired outcomes we are wanting. We want, we hope, we desire for this and that and the other….. but things don’t always turn out in our favor. So what do we naturally do?????
We complain, we argue, we protest, and with these thoughts, we generate tension in our bodies, minds, and emotions. The result is that we feel stressed, frustrated, angry, disappointed, anxious, afraid…… all manner of feelings, but not happiness….. and we wonder why we are not happy and our lives are not better?
So, what’s going on here…. We know that if we think angry thoughts, we will begin to experience anger in our bodies (our state of becoming angry.) And why are we thinking angry/fearful/anxious thoughts? Often it’s just because things haven’t turned out as we had wanted. But as Kahlil Gibran says…..
it’s not the thinking about the future (or anything) that is the problem, it’s all about us not getting what we want.
If not getting our way is enough to stress us out and make us unhappy, guess what? We are in for one hell of a life because the Universe does not operate according to what we want when we want it! In other words, things are not always going to turn out in our favor. So you had better get used to it.
This leaves us with one option to find peace and become happy…. And that is to find a way to be happy and at peace, with the way things turn out, regardless if they are in our favor, or not! Yes…. Just make peace with the events, circumstances, and people in your life because it is the sensible thing to do. And it will enable you to relax more and become happier.
How do we do that? This quote by Steve Maraboli helps answer this question……
“I promise you nothing is as chaotic as it seems. Nothing is worth diminishing your health. Nothing is worth poisoning yourself into stress, anxiety, and fear.” – Steve Maraboli
Worry, stress, fear, anxiety, and depression are toxic to our health. When we experience these emotions regularly, our mental, emotional, and physical states become limited, confused, restricted, stunted….. all symptoms associated with what we consider a ‘poor or unsatisfying life experience.’
In contrast to this, when we experience love, laughter, joy, and happiness as our predominant state of being, we thrive, mentally, emotionally, and physically. And as the above quote says, nothing is so important that we should sacrifice our health, and wellbeing, and diminish our ability to thrive.
Sure, sometimes terrible stuff happens. We all know that. Just look at history or talk to anyone who’s lived for a while. Really bad stuff is going to happen, and yes, it may hurt us, mentally, emotionally, or physically. But if you are still here, your life is obviously meant to continue. And therefore, the sensible, wise, mature, and evolved thing to do is to ALWAYS MAKE THE BEST OUT OF WHATEVER WE ARE GIVEN!
The other option is we just poison ourselves with our own negativity….. and really, that’s not very smart!
“Trust yourself. You’ve survived a lot, and you’ll survive whatever is coming.” – Robert Tew
Try and imagine the many other times you have been stressed out before….. What was the worst stress that you even had to bear?….. I bet it sucked! However, here you are…. Over it…… and many other instances of intense stress as well. You somehow survived them all. Maybe you have a few scars to show for it, but nothing is ever as bad as we think it is, and nothing is ever unsolvable!
The message I get out of thinking of all those past times is that there has never been a situation so bad that I cannot come out the other side and live a better life because of what I had to go through. I’ve learned to ‘trust myself’ because I now understand that we all have it within us to survive whatever comes my way.
In other words, we are never given more than we can handle, and what we are given is sent to make us stronger and better than we were before.
“Relax and refuse to let worry and stress rule your life. There is always a solution to every problem. Things will work out for you when you take time to relax, refresh, restore and recharge your soul.” – Lailah Gifty Akita
Things always do workout…. But as mentioned, not always in the way we want. However, we know from previous experience that stuff has a way of resolving itself. If we can just keep this in the back of our minds whenever we are faced with a stressful situation, it will help to diffuse the anxiety and fear that we normally fear.
Unfortunately, for many of us, stress is a ‘habitual response.’ It is something that we have become programmed into our personalities……. It’s not actually ‘who we are’ but is a habit we have developed by repeatedly acting the same negative way in many situations in the past.
For more information about reprogramming your brain for all the good things in life, including ease and joy, check out how I did it with the help of these awesome products:
“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.” – Sydney Harris.
Yes! It’s when we are the most stressed that we will benefit the most from just withdrawing our senses from the stuff that is stressing us out….. so simple really! If we disassociate from the sources of our stress, they will no longer negatively affect us (unless our monkey minds keep replaying the unwanted crap over and over again!)
This alludes to the fact that the quickest and easiest way to relax and find happiness is not by actively doing things to chase it, but instead by eliminating stuff from our lives that does not promote relaxation and happiness within us.
I say this is the quickest and easiest path to a better life because it doesn’t involve us learning anything new. Instead, we just stop doing the stuff that is detrimental to our health and wellbeing….. and really, who doesn’t want to do that! You can begin now by:
– stop meeting up with, or limit your exposure to, the toxic people that are bringing you down
– don’t spend so much time looking at screens including social media feeds and brain-numbing crap on Netflix
– stop trying to control things, because not everything is your responsibility or within your power to control
– learn to say no to others when helping out is going to cause you discomfort
And for more information about the detrimental effects stress has on us and what we can do about it, check out my previous post: How Does Stress Effect Me: (What’s the best way to eliminate stress from my life?)
You will find when you eliminate negative stressful crap out of your life, life will suddenly and miraculously become brighter, lighter, happier, and healthier.
It’s not rocket science and it doesn’t require medication from a certified professional……. It just requires that we pay more attention to where our attention is going. And when we can direct more of our energies into people, events, and situations that we find relaxing and that promote a sense of wellbeing and happiness within……
It’s your life, and the good news is you can choose what you focus on. And a wise choice is to always value yourself enough so you place your attention on stuff that makes you feel better.
And with that in mind, I’ll leave you with a final quote from the Buddha:
“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves” – Buddha.
I wish you well on your journey and trust that you better understand that what you choose to think about affects how you feel. So, what will it be…..
……..More stress and pain, OR are you willing to focus your attention on being relaxed and happy for more of the time?
Shared with love and respect for all souls who choose to play the game of life,