“If you ask what is the single most important key to longevity, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension. And if you didn’t ask me, I’d still have to say it.”
George F. Burns
One very helpful life skill is to be able to chill out.
To be calm in negative situations and not overreact about all kinds of things. Or invent big, big problems in your mind – or create them in your world as you drag other people in through arguments – by making mountains out of molehills.
By being able to chill out when needed to you will:
- Have a lot less stress, worry and pointless conflicts with other people.
- Waste less of your time, energy and thoughts on things that aren’t really that useful.
- Attract what you are. To be able to draw people who are more relaxed and positive about life into your life then you have to be that person yourself. People like to hang out with people who are similar to them (because it’s comfortable, because it brings more fun and success, because people have 24 hours in a day and so choices need to be made).
Being someone that can be cool and relaxed about things is a positive and attractive social quality for any kind of relationship.
So how do you do it?
Well, here are three good habits that help me to chill out instead of overreacting and becoming angry, frustrated, fearful or worried about small and medium-sized stuff – and oftentimes even the big issues – in life.
Ask yourself if this even really matters.
By asking yourself the wrong questions you can make any little thing into a huge problem. By asking yourself better questions you can see things from a more helpful perspective.
- Who cares? Very simple. Asking yourself this makes you realize that no, this isn’t a big deal to fuss or worry about.
- Will this matter 5 years from now? Or even 5 weeks from now? One of my absolute favorite question combos. It is very useful in many situations and is often all I need to change my mood and mind. If you ask yourself these questions you will discover that if you put something into a more healthy perspective then few things matter that much.
Get a life.
If you find yourself sitting around too much and not having enough to do then it’s very easy to get stuck in negative thought loops and go into a downward spiral. Simply by filling life with more fun activities and people I have found that I have become a lot more relaxed and less prone to overreacting about the little things.
I have found that when you have good and exciting things going on then you don’t magnify small things to create drama in your life. Because you have very little time to do so and you have more important and fun things to do so issues tend to retain their correct size rather than growing into mountains.
So spend less time analyzing life and more time living and exploring it in whatever way you’d like. By doing that you are also often confronted with having to expand your comfort zone and perhaps face a fear. This leads to better self-confidence and less fretting about if you can handle things that may come up.
What would someone else do?
This is a good way to find a new, more useful and sometimes more playful perspective. You simply ask yourself what someone else would do in your situation.
Maybe you ask yourself:
- What would Winnie the Pooh do?
- What would Jason Bourne do?
- What would mom or dad do?
- What would [insert name of your calm and wise friend] do?
The point is to play around and find a new perspective and drag yourself out of your current negative, stressed and confused headspace and see things in another light.
Just doing that can help you to calm down, realize that this isn’t a huge deal and help you to think a bit outside of your own box and find a solution that you can apply.