Balanced Living for Creatives

Balanced Living for Creatives
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December 8, 2013

Stress and Joy


Stress and joy are opposite sides of the same coin. We all have moments when we feel stress. And, hopefully, we all have moments when we feel great joy. When asked, most of my friends have said that they believe the opposite of joy to be sadness. But I believe it is stress. My reasoning is this: Both stress and joy are internally driven conditions.
The looming deadline or the overbearing boss may be part of your work experience. But stress is something you create inside you. You could potentially face all those same conditions without a feeling of stress. We use stress as a way of getting through rough or threatening conditions. It's possible to find numerous ways to Reduce Your Stress. But just imagine for a moment, what it would take to deal with that deadline without stress being a part of the equation. Perhaps you could face it by laying out step-by-step actions, or even by ignoring the "deadline" and just taking the project at your own pace, quick but not stressful.
Joy, on the other hand, should bring you happiness. People often ask, How do you find happiness? Often their answers involve something akin to winning the lottery so that they have money for everything they might want. However, studies of lottery winners show that they are no more happy after they win the lottery than before, and often it is the opposite. Winning makes them less happy, and lottery winners have a higher rate of suicide than non-winners.
Joy and happiness are internally created emotions. They are not based on things that happen around us. They can be created inside you at any moment, even in bad times. We see that time and time again in people who have faced disasters or personal destruction. The happy factor returns quickly to some people, while others dwell on the negative. I truly believe that joy is something you can build inside yourself and keep with you most of the time, if not always. It has taken me a lifetime, but I feel that joy and happiness are mine to own and create at will.

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