Want to Be Happier and Less Stressed? Here Are 6 Strategies to Taking on Any Challenge

Want to Be Happier and Less Stressed? Here Are 6 Strategies to Taking on Any Challenge

via Inc.com by Marissa Levin

No matter who you are or what you’ve accomplished, life is full of experiences that can pull you underwater so deeply that it feels as if you will never re-surface.

Zen priest and Harvard educator Robert Waldinger leads The Harvard Study of Adult Development, which has tracked 724 men for 75 years to understand what makes for a happy life.

Having the right communities and relationships is the linchpin for happiness. Being surrounded by people that can get us through our challenges is essential for feeling happy and hopeful.

In addition to relying on loyal friends and family, here are 6 strategies I use to diffuse the strong emotions that accompany our difficulties. They may not solve your problem, but they will help you move through them from a place of clarity, rather than chaos. Regardless of the outcome, they will empower you to make informed decisions, rather than fear-based decisions.

Stop the Negative Self-Talk.

We’re all guilty of playing negative tapes in our heads which limit our ability to step into our potential. In addition to re-writing our self-limiting beliefs, we can challenge our negative self-talk by asking ourselves:

  • What is my evidence for and against my thinking?
  • Are my thoughts factual, or are they my interpretations?
  • Am I jumping to negative conclusions?
  • How can I find out if my thoughts are true?
  • Are there other ways that I could look at this situation?
  • Is this situation as bad as I believe?
  • Is thinking this way helping me to feel good or to achieve my goals?

Recognizing that your current way of thinking might be self-defeating can sometimes motivate you to look at things from a different perspective.

Maintain Perspective.
Your present challenge is one blip on a larger radar screen. It’s temporary and doesn’t define you. It isn’t a reflection of your complete story, strengths, or accomplishments.

We often focus on what’s right in front of us, forgetting the positive experiences that define our history. Maintain a holistic perspective of your life, and ask yourself:

  • What is the worst thing that could happen? How likely is it?
  • What is the best thing that could happen?
  • What is most likely to happen?
  • Will this matter in five years time?
  • Am I¬†empowering this challenge to define me?

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