There is no simple set of instructions that can guarantee happy and no stressful life. We all get push from family, relatives, friends, work. We all have responsibilities, sometimes commitments that make us feel tensed we just don’t know what can help to end it. We live in the age of rush and speed. Tension is everywhere. Quick decisions, quick actions with a scroll of one finger over the mobile screen. If any of us stand at the corner of a busy street and scan the faces of the people hurrying by, we will barely find a peaceful person walking by. Let’s admit, we all face it – at least once recently we felt there is absolutely nothing we can do with stress… financial, personal, professional or any other. And no matter how busy we get, there are always people who handle more. More responsibilities, more duties. How is it happening that some of us burn out and some stay calm?
It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters. Epictetus
If we accept and face our challenges as a part of our lives, managing stress in lives will be easier. That actually happened to me. In recent blog post about expat motherhood I shared my not-so-easy beginnings of settling in India as mother. All bumps, ups, downs, initial crisis made me realize that actually living as an expat in such colourful country taught me to stay pretty sane in chaotic Indian roller coaster. Or rather its beautiful noisiness. Those who experienced living in big Indian cities know what I mean. In enormous, crowded (and polluted!) places like those, we have no time to think of any noise, we are already used to it, it’s everywhere, every time, morning, evening, day and night. Noise, stress, nervous exhaustion are unfortunately all products of fast paced modern life.
How then I managed (and still do!) to be happy expat mom? After so many shifts in life I know now, though it’s tough sometimes, I need to let go of what I can’t control. I set and follow 5 easy habits that I’m going to share with you straight away. Why am I mentioning about habits? This is something that everyone may develop and cultivate. Man’s thoughts are translated into speech and action. Repetition of such speech and action gives rise of habits, as simple as that. Anyone can try. Anyone interested?
1. Spend some time with … yourself!
Nowadays we are so used to noise and talk, that unknowingly we feel lonely and out of place if we do not speak. Give a try for a little solitude every day, a little cutting away from the crowd (omnipresent Indian crowd… for me!) to give balance to mind which is already tired by the rush and speed of our lives.
What about trying meditation or getting a mantra. The more peaceful thoughts and positive energy you feed yourself, the more you believe in it. One way of doing this is to get a mantra to repeat or meditate as often as you can. How different day seems to be when you clear your mind, sweep out the toxic and share good vibes. As I see, and maybe as you agree with me, people are searching for solutions to various problems externally but most of the problems are, however, internal. Our approach is key here.
2. Eat good food
I don’t mean here tonnes of junk food, or eating too much just for pleasure. Get healthy eating habits, try different cuisines, tastes, experiment. It’s important to include nutritious foods in diet but it’s equally important to include food that we enjoy! So, what about thinking about healthy eating as a way to feel good. And that means to include food that contain the nutrients body needs without sacrificing eating enjoyment. For me Indian cuisine was eye opening. The process itself of learning cooking, consciously using spices, knowing its names and usage, getting more knowledge about diet, nutrients, diversified vegetarian world – so many things to discover and yet to learn. Fun and joy in one activity! I hope you will find yours as well.
3. Worry less about money
Humans are running after their happiness all the time. Sometimes I think people follow only three “Ms” in life: Make. More. Money. And what’s worse we are being taught in schools, society, we hear it from media that money is equal to happiness. Yes, definitely money can give you a little of security but it also comes with many factors that triggers negative effects to our life. Remember – best things in life are free: hugs, friends, smiles, kisses, family, sleep, love, laughter and sweet memories. Regardless of the country you are living in now, regardless of your age and social status.
4. Care about relationships
One of the most effective ways to improve not only your well-being, but your relationships with others, is to practice self-care. Self-care can look many different ways for different people. However, it all comes down to taking care of you. When was the last time you took relaxing bath? Listened to favourite music? Called a long time no see friend? Many ways to follow as many of us are there. My magical self time is yoga at home – I’m a beginner and I’m following online you tube sessions whenever I get time. I agree, I totally know it’s not perfect, some of you may say – better go and get some teacher and practise yoga in studio… but still – this activity gives me feeling of blessed 5 minutes only for me per day. Thanks to these minutes just for myself I’m better mother and wife. Thanks to my family, I’m better person. Isn’t it perfect?
“When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.” –Jean Shinoda Bolen
5. Remember: most things are not that serious
Sometimes letting things flow is the best thing we can do! Personally, I daily learn how to let go of what I can’t control. India is too complex to fight against, many processes, many attitudes, beliefs cannot be changed immediately. Good enough is good. Imperfection is lovable: let yourself be good enough. It’s long process but worth the efforts. As yet, most things are not that serious to loose the temper, peace of mind or good mood! Been there, done that.
I would love to hear your comments on this! How about you? How do you think we can manage staying sane in this world getting busier and busier? Do you have any more suggestions or a question that I haven’t answered? Thank you very much for reading this article. I am curious if you have/had any experience of yours? Any comments? – please share your experience. And if you liked the article – share it, click “Like it” and subscribe to my newsletter.
photos source: picjumbo