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Strategies for a more joyful, less stressful life

Opinion & Analysis
We rarely know when we are spending our last moments with loved ones. In the famous words of William Wallace: “Everyone dies, but not everyone lives.” It is crucial to make the most of present moments and experiences.

WE often do not appreciate the value of a moment until it becomes a memory. As we work towards our goals, it is important to remember that life is happening around us. Our experiences on the journey are just as important as the destination itself.

We rarely know when we are spending our last moments with loved ones. In the famous words of William Wallace: “Everyone dies, but not everyone lives.” It is crucial to make the most of present moments and experiences.

The beauty of being human is that we have consciousness and awareness of what we do. Most have heard of the “glass half full” expression. Where the glass may be half-full, it is also half-empty. Pessimism is choosing to focus solely on the emptiness of the glass while optimism is the opposite. In both these scenarios, one neglects the other half of the glass. Instead of being one-sided and focusing solely on either the negative or positive, it is wise to see the bigger picture. From this bigger picture, we can choose what aspects we want to embrace.

I disagree with the notion that happiness is a state of mind. Happiness should not be the end goal; rather, joy should be the foundation on which we build our lives. We should not wait for external changes to alter our inner state. If we do this, we will live in lack. We should work towards being blissful human beings so that our happiness is not at stake whenever we face negative experiences.

Simplifying our lives by avoiding internal conflict, removing excess stimulation and taking the time to be present, can help us to enjoy all the experiences life has to offer.

Here are some techniques that can be applied to achieve this.


Meditation is a simple, powerful and often overlooked practice that promotes mindfulness. Meditation allows the mind to slow down and process thoughts and ideas. Meditation may help significantly by reducing stress, anxiety and depression while simultaneously enhancing peace, perception and general well-being. Very few people take time to meditate.

Assess your current relationships

“Be courteous to all, but intimate with few and let those few be well-tried before you give them your confidence,” so said George Washington. In this famous quote, he offers sound advice that resonates with individuals both in personal and professional realms. While it should be a principle that we always treat people with kindness, we should put effort into spending time with loved ones.

Filter your social media presence

It is undeniable that social media can be a powerful communication and learning tool. Although it can positively affect our lives, oftentimes we abuse it. Unintentionally, social media has become a scene for cyberbullying, addiction and is known to promote isolation and depression.

When misused social media can promote unrealistic expectations, disrupt sleep and can be a distraction from work and academics. It is wise to filter the time we spend alongside the content we interact with on the various social media platforms. We should also not let it rob us of spending quality time away from our screens.

Avoid overthinking

Many people tend to go down the rabbit hole of overthinking. This can influence the way you work with others as well as the way you do things.  Overthinking exposes your body to emotional distress and creates an endless cycle of stress and worry. It can have a significant impact on your personal life, social life and your work life. If you tend to find yourself in this fix, here are some questions you can ask yourself to climb out of this hole.

lWhy are you anxious?

lWill your overthinking change the outcome of the situation?

lWill an undesirable outcome significantly alter the course of your life?

Overthinking often succeeds only in complicating our lives and robbing us of peace of mind.

In conclusion, it is important for us to sift through the chaotic nature of life. We should be present, stay sane and be kind. As Steve Jobs said: “Focus on simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex, you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it is worth it in the end because once you get there you can move mountains.”

Rutendo Kureya is a medical student at Saint Petersburg State Paediatric Medical University and writes here in her personal capacity. She is passionate about issues concerning the state and welfare of fellow Zimbabweans. She can be reached at [email protected]. Mobile: +7 996 274 98 66 Facebook: Rutendo Kureya.

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