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Stress Relief: Are You Living The Right Life For You?

photo: Mike Baird

If you feel like you have a lot of stress in your life, it probably comes from a variety of sources: a difficult boss, your long commute, feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day, family stressors – it could be a combination of many things. But if you boil it down, it’s really about your life and the choices you are making. So if you’ve been feeling stressed out lately, ask yourself – Are you living the right life for you?

If you really think about it and get honest in your answer, you might find that there are areas in your life that really don’t make up what you think your best life should look like. That may be what’s causing all the stress, and those are the things you want to really consider where there might be room for some changes.

Assess Your Life To See If It’s The Right One For You

One of the best ways to figure out if you are living the right life for you is to do a self-assessment of what’s working for you and what isn’t. Ask yourself these questions:

Physical Health

Am I getting enough sleep?

Is my diet mostly healthy?

Do I exercise? If not, what’s stopping me?

Emotional Health

Do I get upset often? What things upset me? Which of these things can I control?

How do I respond to things that upset me? Do I have good coping mechanisms?

Do I have a good support system, or do I more often feel like I’m on my own?

Overall Checks

What do I do well?

What things in my life am I not doing well that I wish were different? How can I make those things different?

What things constantly pop up in my mind that I feel I should be doing, but never do?

photo: Ed Yourdon

When you start to identify the things that are going well in your life, as well as the things that aren’t going well, you can figure out whether you are truly living the right life for you.

Some of the things that aren’t going well may not be within your control, such as a family illness. But you’d be surprised how many things are in your control if you really think about it.

Everything Is A Choice

I’m a big believer in the idea that life is a series of choices. Everything is a choice – even breathing if you really think about it! Truly, everything is a choice, and there is a consequence for every decision.

You may think that your boss is difficult or you have to deal with a lot of challenging personalities at work, and those things are beyond your control. They aren’t. Your job is a choice you make, and you can choose to leave it. You might not find another job with the same status or the same salary, but maybe you’re better off sacrificing those things in order to live a better life.

You may think you can’t sacrifice salary, because you have a sizable mortgage and a big car payment each month. But those are choices too. Maybe you would be happier taking less salary and living in a smaller house and driving a used car if that allows you to work in a better environment and would make a big difference in your overall well-being.

You get the point – everything in life is a choice. Look at the checklist again and really think about your answers. And then decide if you are living the best life for you, and if not – what can you do to make a change?