Life is a joyous journey and this is what most of us felt as kids. But, as we grow up our perception about life witnesses a drastic change and we no longer find joy in living. Life becomes a struggle and stress is primarily the reason behind it. We spend our days overburdened by the exhaustion of stress, looking for the slightest joy in materialistic things such as getting a job promotion, buying a bigger house, and so on. But, the joy that we feel on our accomplishments is sad, short-lived and our search for joy and bliss seems like a never-ending journey.
So, we often wonder if there is a way through which we can bring this never-ending journey to cessation and find true bliss in life. Luckily, there is one way to find never-ending joy in life and it is effective stress management. Yes, it is simply by managing our stress levels effectively that we can reclaim the joy of living. This is because there is actually no need for us to look for joy elsewhere. It is ever-present within us all. But, it is just that the clouds of stress prevent the light of our inner joy from shining through.
Given below is a list of some stress management techniques which have helped me in scattering the clouds of stress and basking in the light of inner joy. I am hopeful that these techniques will also help you in finding stress relief and consequently, bliss in life.
1. Slowing Down a little
Living a life of haste is one of the leading causes of stress. The constant state of hurry entangles the mind in knots of anxiety, which results in stress and saps away inner peace and joy from life.
So, for you, the seekers of bliss, it is vital to slow down a little. Slow down to look at the things around you. If you see a beautiful flower, don’t just pass by quickly. Instead, pause to look at its petals, color, and absorb its fragrance. This little pause will give your mind a break from stress caused by the constant haste and bring you home to inner joy and peace. It is with the establishment of mental peace that you’ll actually realize over time, that being at peace enhances your productivity and thus, there will no longer be the need for you to rush through your days in life.
2. Not giving undue importance to thoughts
Thoughts are like hovering clouds in the sky of your mind. Stress seeps in when you start giving undue importance to the negative thoughts hovering in your mind. So, it is by simply learning the art of not giving undue importance to your thoughts that you can prevent yourself from being stressed and thus, safeguard your inner joy from being disturbed.
In order to learn the art of remaining detached from intruding thoughts, you just have to stay conscious of your thoughts and look at them from a distance, without actually getting involved with them. It should be as if you are watching a movie being played on some random device without being involved or bothering about the content. This exercise may be a little hard to practice initially, but over time, you’ll gradually learn the art of letting your thoughts just be and rediscover the joy of being.
“Calmness is the cradle of power.” – Josiah Gilbert Holland
3. Coming home to the ‘Now’
‘Life happens only in the present moment.’ Most of us are so occupied with the worries of the past and the future, that we are barely present in the now.
The absence from the present moment as highlighted by the famous spiritual personalities of all time like the Dalai Lama, Eckhart Tolle, and Deepak Chopra, is the biggest cause of stress, which saps away our joy of living. So, in order to retrieve your joy of living, coming home to the ‘Now’, is a necessity.
For this, you can simply start with the practice of mindfulness. Being mindful involves being conscious of your actions at all times. For instance, if you are drinking water, then you should drink it in the light of consciousness, feeling its temperature, movement down your throat, and so on. This exercise may seem a little difficult to practice in the beginning, but eventually, you’ll develop the habit of being mindful without putting in the slightest effort.
4. Being a little crazy
Being a little crazy is really effective in busting the stress out and reclaiming back your inner joy in life. Although you can’t just be crazy in front of people, there is no harm in being crazy with yourself.
In fact, it is really beneficial to let go of the reins and let yourself be mad when nobody is around and I am sure you’ll actually love doing it. So, if you are alone in your room, let your inner child out and don’t shy away from indulging in some crazy things like playing some music and dancing to it with your crazy moves or singing out loud and crazy when nobody is around.
“Set peace of mind as your highest goal, and organize your life around it.” – Brian Tracy
5. Connecting to inner peace with meditation
Meditation is a simple, yet profound practice when it comes to inducing stress relief and discovering the inner fountain of joy. It draws you closer to the self and empowers you to cut through the trap of stressful thoughts that drain away from your inner peace and bliss. It also enables you to retreat into your inner silence, where you are free from the burdens of the past and the anxieties of the future. This unlocks your pathway to a blissful stress-free life.
Being stress-free doesn’t mean that you won’t be worried when things in life go downhill, but it means that you’ll become powerful enough to not succumb under pressure. Rather, you’ll sail your way out of the difficulties with a calm mind.
It is best to connect to your inner peace with meditation. In order to meditate, you just have to sit in a peaceful place with your eyes closed. Then, you should start taking long deep breaths and pay subtle attention to your breath, while letting your thoughts flow without any resistance.
Thus, the joy you are looking for in life, is already present deep inside you. But, the clouds of stress prevent you from connecting to the light of your inner joy. So, in order to connect with your inner joy, you should try practicing the effective stress management techniques mentioned above.