5 MINDSETS TO MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER AND LESS STRESSFUL
ABOUT THE EPISODE
As the world gets more hectic, complex, and pressure-filled, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and drained. Learn 5 mindsets that can make your life feel easier and less stressful.
If your life is feeling harder than you want right now, you’re in good company. It seems like challenges are everywhere. But are you making things harder than they have to be?
Hey Everyone, it’s Dr. Karen Kendrick, and welcome back to Mastery Now.
I know that many people are dealing with overwhelm or feeling behind on their goals and struggling to find balance right now. I know that studies have suggested that a majority of people think life is harder right now than it has been in the past.
And we know that the rates of anxiety and stress and depression have been on the rise, and not just from the pandemic or the current economic situation. Really, over the last few decades, it seems like things have been getting more complicated and hectic and pressure-filled every day. We’re more physically and emotionally and mentally drained than ever.
And so the question is, is there anything you can do to help your life feel any easier and less stressful? Well, the answer is yes, there are things that you can do. There are habits that you can adopt. And there are mindsets that you can practice.
So in this episode, let’s focus on your mind and your beliefs. I want to walk you through five simple mindsets that are incredibly powerful in improving how your life feels on a day-to-day basis.
So let’s start with the first mindset, which is just to stop assuming everyone else has a better life. It’s so easy to get caught up in your issues and problems and forget that a majority of people, no matter how successful, have challenges.
No one has a perfect life. Everybody out there has something they’re concerned about, whether it’s their health, their kids being bullied, their boss pressuring them for better results, the loss of a job, and so on.
So cut yourself a break. Expect that there’s going to be some bumps, but most likely they’re not permanent and eventually there will be some resolution to it. So it doesn’t mean that things are going to be easy, but just accept that there are some things that are going to go on for you right now, but also that other people are dealing with stuff too. You are not alone.
This is going to ease a lot of the pressure you’re putting on yourself to measure up to someone else’s seemingly flawless existence that you see on social media, or from your neighbor’s fence, or anywhere else where you find yourself comparing yourself or your life to someone else’s.
Remember, it always looks great from the outside, but on the inside, things are often different.
Now, the second mindset is to be willing to take responsibility to do things upfront that will make things easier later. So there’s kind of two things embedded in this mindset. The first is just that you’re saying to yourself, it’s up to me to do it. I have to take personal accountability here. So that means you’re not waiting around for things to happen. You’re not depending on others for things to get done or for your happiness or fulfillment.
So this is going to get you out of that victim mode or blaming mode or waiting mode. It’s going to give you that greater sense of control and reduce your negative emotions and give you more energy that’s going to help you get things done.
The second thing that’s embedded here is that it’s saying to yourself that you’ve got to be willing to do some things that require a little more effort upfront in order to make things go smoother down the road.
So this could be as simple as just putting out your workout clothes, laying them out on your bed or table or whatever, the night before, in order to make it easier for you to get up and exercise. Or maybe it’s just doing some organizing of your desk or closet this week in order to make things easier to find later. Or maybe just investing some time to learn a new piece of software that’s going to make your job go faster down the road.
So all of these things require some investment of your time up front, but it’s going to pay off and save you time and stress later. When you think about it, there’s so many different areas of your life where you can implement this idea. It really does reduce that sense of chaos and feeling under-prepared and feeling behind and so on.
And it also assumes that it’s up to you to do it. Taking action always beats sitting around and waiting and hoping for a good result without the right effort ahead of time.
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The third mindset is, “I’m going to get the learning and the lesson from this.” So many of us make the same mistakes over and over and over. We may not realize this when we’re down in the weeds, or caught up in the emotions of a relationship, or struggling to juggle all the demands on our time.
But life can be so much easier when we learn from our mistakes. So how do you do this? Well, it’s really just about getting in the habit of reviewing your actions and results. Asking, “What can I learn from this?” “What would work better next time?” Or “How can I prevent this from happening again?”
So it does require you to be proactive. You’ve got to start asking more questions. You’ve got to start writing things down. And also look at what worked as well. So it’s not just what went wrong or how you could be better, but what did I actually improve upon or what strategy actually worked. So then you can duplicate that as needed.
So just remember, you don’t have to keep banging your head against a wall or reinventing the wheel. Just take the time to examine what you’re doing and what’s happening and learn.
You know, this is so powerful when it comes to your relationships. Get in the habit of asking for feedback either when you sense that there’s a conflict coming on or even before something happens.
Now, I know it’s sometimes easy to get defensive when someone tries to tell us something about ourselves or what we did. But having that attitude that it’s all in the interest of improvement and growth will help you tremendously.
And you can also see it as a way to deepen your relationships. Sometimes when you’re having a conversation about what you need from someone else or what’s not working and you work through it together, you strengthen your bond.
The fourth mindset that’s really helpful in reducing your stress and making life easier is recognizing and taking the attitude that there’s more than one answer. I know it’s easy to get conditioned to search for what’s the right solution or answer. All the way back to grade school where you had lots of true and false tests or ABCD tests where you pick which answer is correct, and it’s usually only one or the other. So we do tend to get used to thinking in black and white or right and wrong or either/or.
But the reality is that many times there’s more than one way of doing things. There’s more than one point of view that may be true or have merit, and there’s different ways to achieve the same result. Your life will be so much easier if you just allow yourself to ask, “What other options are there?” Or “What’s another approach?” Or “What’s another way to see this?”
When you think in black and white, it really limits your options. And it’s just so less helpful when you’re trying to solve a problem or you’re trying to create something new for the first time. If you only see these things in black and white and not see other possibilities, you’re really going to box yourself in.
So stop holding yourself back thinking that there is only one correct way, and you’ll reduce your stress and open yourself up to a whole new world of possibilities.
And the fifth and final mindset that I want to offer to you is just to be grateful, not resentful. Anytime life doesn’t meet our expectations, we tend to feel negative emotions. If we expect things that may be unrealistic or our standards are impossible to meet, then our friends, family, job, coworkers, body and so on will always let us down.
Now, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have any standards at all, and you can certainly have high standards, but they do need to be reasonable. Otherwise you’re going to live most of your life in a state of disappointment.
So let’s take a simple example here. Maybe you really want a Mercedes, but you can’t afford it. So if you’re grateful rather than resentful, you can just say, “Hey, maybe I’m not getting a Mercedes, but I’m still getting a brand new car and that’s awesome!”
Another example this could be when you go through a pay raise process at work. Maybe you don’t get the pay raise that you wanted, but you still got a raise and you have a decent paying job.
So again, grateful, not resentful. You got to stop thinking that life owes you. That’s where I think you really get in trouble. If it’s all about expectation and those expectations don’t match your reality, life is going to feel pretty miserable.
But in reality, stuff is going to happen. People are going to screw up. You’re going to screw up. Companies screw up and don’t do what they’re supposed to. You don’t get something you wanted. Friends and family don’t behave as you’d like. It happens everywhere, all the time, to people of all backgrounds.
And so try to just get back in that sense of gratitude for whatever element of the situation is good and keep your attention focused on that. Not the part that didn’t meet your expectations. It still means that you can strive for improvement and feel some initial disappointment, but it will reduce the amount of ongoing needless negative energy and mental suffering you put yourself through.
So hopefully these mindsets have been useful to you as you continue to build and strengthen your healthy thinking practices. Now, we’ll continue to look at more of these mindsets in future episodes, but in the meantime, I hope your life will start to feel a little bit better just with these simple shifts in your daily thoughts.
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