The other day, I ignored a call, and today I’m writing a post. It occurred to me that if we implemented some very simple habits and principles in our lives, we may well end up leading a less stressful life and peaceful even. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am in no way promising that those around you will be peaceful with your new habits. They may not be, but hey isn’t that their problem then?:) So here are a few hacks which I have developed and used over the past few months, although I have to say it wasn’t easy to implement them all straight away. Sometimes we have to try it out and see how we feel afterwards.

1. Don’t take on more than you can chew.

In our quest to please everyone, we find ourselves signing up for tasks which simply place more stress on ourselves. 
Let’s say for example, your child wants to join a dancing class and it starts at 5.30pm. You finish work at 5pm and saying yes would mean rushing home and making it to his/her class on time. This is placing additional stress and if you run late, as a result you end up getting angry. Over time we may not even realise what’s making us angry, but in essence it’s simply the fact that we have been over-enthusiastic in our planning or our idea of being able to please others. In this case you could either make other arrangements or find another class which would fit in your schedule. Although in this busy world, I do understand that we have to adjust. But then it’s really a matter of priorities: Peace or Stress; Ease or Creased skin;)

So, here mindfulness before taking up anything is key, e.g. asking ourselves, why am I doing this? And is there another option?

2. Let the phone ring.

I heard this a long time back and it may even have been Swami’s words. If someone needs to talk to us urgently, they will call again. No one ever leaves it to only one missed call if it’s urgent. 
And, sometimes missing a call can be a blessing in disguise. Who knows? We may have just avoided an argument. Just saying!:) #MindfulSpeech
And oh that call I ignored, it wasn’t urgent and I potentially avoided an argument too! Win-Win.

3. It’s okay to keep quiet. Silence is not awkward.

In the not so distant past, I used to feel awkward when I just had nothing to say and sat in silence with people, but recently, I realised that it’s perfectly okay. Being comfortable in silence only means that we are comfortable with ourselves and the person in our company. Sometimes, in trying to just break the silence, we make a fool of ourselves. And if all else fails and the silence really feels awkward to you, compliment the person or talk about the weather! 

4. Ask yourself: “What’s the worst that can happen?”

Sometimes we get so worked up about life. But in reality, even things which we believe our life depends on may not be as important as we think. What is really the worst that can happen? As Swami said in His 4th April discourse, what’s there to fear if your parent is God? 

This life isn’t forever, the bad moments are not forever neither are the good moments. What really is the worst that can happen? Sometimes facing the fear or even living the fear makes us realise that we could just take it easy and laugh with life’s humour. And as for our worries, they really are just thoughts getting out of control. Any problem is just that, a situation to be dealt with, without the added spices of the mind. 
Life knows how to joke, smile, caress and love! Do we?

5. Take it easy. Crack a joke.

This one may not be easy if we take ourselves too seriously. In essence, nothing lightens up a conversation like a small innocent joke. 
But let me share a tip about humour; when we tell jokes which we find funny ourselves, it really doesn’t matter whether the other person likes it or not because we will be so busy laughing at our own jokes anyway. Their loss.
And as research states and Swami said, if you make someone laugh 7 times, they can never dislike you. So there you go, the world is yours to please, through your jokes:)

I wrote this post with the aim to share some short little hacks, but it may have ended up being something quite different. So be it!
I also initially thought this post would include 10 points but I’ll let you add the remaining five. Why should I take on more than you can chew? I mean more than I can chew. Now it’s your turn, share a hack or a joke!:)