How Do You Handle Stress and Maintain Your Happiness?
In search of effective strategies for managing stress and preserving happiness during demanding times, we turned to eight seasoned professionals for their insights. From founders to CEOs, their strategies range from embracing a daily gratitude practice to using positive reinforcements for motivation. Dive into their wisdom and find your path to balance and joy.
- Embrace a Daily Gratitude Practice
- Find Calm Through Mindfulness Meditation
- Schedule Time for Relaxation and Joy
- Read Books for a Fresh Perspective
- Set Boundaries to Avoid Overcommitment
- Refresh with 20-Minute Power Naps
- Pursue Self-Care and Hobbies
- Use Positive Reinforcements for Motivation
Embrace a Daily Gratitude Practice
It’s so simple, we are quick to dismiss it, glance over it, or believe it won’t make a significant difference. But it does. It’s the one simple practice that will lower your stress, increase your happiness, and ultimately change your life: a daily gratitude practice.
Back in ’09, I started a gratitude practice smack in the middle of my 3-year-old’s stage-4 cancer treatment and a domestic violence divorce. Those two situations were enough to put me over the edge with stress, and I certainly wasn’t happy. But guess what happened? Within three months, I found myself saying, “Life is great!”
My situation and circumstances hadn’t changed. I had changed. When we focus on the good in our life and seek the small blessings that we are normally quick to overlook, our lives change. Our brains rewire (thank you, neuroplasticity), and we find more and more things to be happy about. Try it for one month. I promise it will change you.
Find Calm Through Mindfulness Meditation
One strategy I rely on to manage stress and preserve my happiness during demanding times is mindfulness meditation. Taking a few minutes each day to center myself, focus on my breathing, and let go of racing thoughts helps me maintain a sense of calm and clarity.
It’s a simple practice that empowers me to stay grounded, prioritize tasks effectively, and navigate challenges with a more positive mindset. This consistent practice has been instrumental in preserving my well-being when life gets overwhelming.
Schedule Time for Relaxation and Joy
One strategy for managing stress and preserving your happiness during demanding times is to be sure to schedule in time for relaxation as well as something you love. Whether it’s dancing, reading a book, or cooking, taking the time to do something you enjoy can be a great energy boost during difficult times. When we take the time to recharge, we’re able to come back to difficult situations with a greater sense of calm and fresh eyes.
Read Books for a Fresh Perspective
Reading books unrelated to my career helps me manage stress, especially during tough times. When I’m stressed out, my mind tends to narrow down to the specific challenge I’m facing, but reading a good book can shake my mind out of it and help me see the world from a different point of view.
Reading Buddhist and Taoist books has taught me a lot and helped me through some difficult periods in my life. The knowledge and wisdom gained through others will guide me through those challenging moments.
Set Boundaries to Avoid Overcommitment
Practice setting boundaries whenever you can. While this can be hard, if you’re usually the “yes-man,” continuously trying will make it easier. Know when to say no, and set clear boundaries to avoid over-committing yourself both professionally and personally.
Refresh with 20-Minute Power Naps
I take 20-minute power naps daily. When working from home, 9-5, I find that I constantly get burnt out at about 2 p.m. A 20-minute nap allows me to clear my head, de-stress, and refocus.
It’s important to avoid anything over 20 minutes. Any longer and you may wake up groggy. The nap is more of a meditation to clear your mind than it is to sleep. I would highly recommend also utilizing a time-box to stay organized throughout the day.
Pursue Self-Care and Hobbies
One strategy for managing stress and preserving your happiness during demanding times is to immerse yourself in the multifaceted areas of life while taking care of yourself. Taking care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally is crucial. Engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation, such as getting enough rest, traveling, and learning a new language, as it allows you to explore new places, cultures, and experiences.
Pursue hobbies and passions that bring you fulfillment and spark your creativity. By nurturing yourself and actively seeking out moments of joy and growth, you can better manage stress and preserve your happiness during demanding times.
Use Positive Reinforcements for Motivation
As a tech CEO, the constant flow of tasks from all aspects of the business, like marketing, financials, IT, and technology, can feel overpowering. My unique stress-busting strategy, which also helps preserve my happiness during peak periods, is “positive reinforcements.”
I keep a little jar on my desk filled with personal affirmations and notes of past successes, each tied to a major or minor victory in my business. Whenever things get intense, I pull out a note, a swift reminder of my own capabilities and achievements. This small gesture quickly puts me in a positive frame of mind, thereby mitigating stress effectively, while fostering happiness and motivation.
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