a happy soul

how taking care of your body will allow your soul to achieve a higher level of happiness

3 Ways To Help You Relax

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Adapting to a healthier lifestyle can be hard but I think the hardest part of trying to achieve a higher level of happiness, is just choosing to be happy.

Our chores, work, obligations, and to-dos can cause stress and anxiety. If you’re like me, I’ll give myself a to-do list and due dates and if they aren’t done, I feel unsatisfied. But the thing is, we give OURSELVES those deadlines, so we can push them back. We can CHOOSE to say, “Yup, I’m done for the day. Checking out.”

This is sometimes difficult to do. So I compiled 3 things I do that help me to forget about the stress, the obligations, and the things I worry about.

  1. Say “Screw it, I’m only human”
  2. Think positive about people and about situations
  3. Look at the sunset and ponder about how big the universe is


Let me explain what I mean by these.

1. Somedays you just won’t be superman! It’s okay to make mistakes and to not finish your to-dos that day. All the CEOS of the world have made mistakes, and I’m sure some big ones. They are most definitely not able to do everything they want to do in day. I mean, they hire people to help them with their daily tasks! If your to-dos are stressing you out, you have to realize that this stress isn’t going to help you get them done any faster. It’s okay to work with a sense of urgency but working with a sense of anxiety, shaky hands, and dehydration because you’ve barely had time to drink some water, is not okay.

So if you’re feeling like you’ve been making mistakes lately, not getting your daily things done in time ,or life is knocking you down…it’s okay!! You’re not the only one in this vast world that feels that stress.

This video below never fails to make me laugh. The moral of the video is that “Somedays you’re the brown goat, somedays you’re the black goat.”


2. “Think positive.” I was trying to think of something more clever but whatever that “clever something” was, it’s elusive. But let me explain in a more exciting way, what “think positive’ about situations really means. For example, when that jerk cuts in front of you on the highway, instead of letting your blood boil and select words slip out of your mouth, just laugh or just think “He must be having a rough day.” When you forget to pay the rent check and you have to pay that ugly late fee, just say “It’s only money.”

To “think positive’ about other people is definitely a lot harder. I think our media has an effect on how we think about and treat other people. There are TV shows and magazines that show GROWN adults talk negatively about people behind their back or in some cases, in front of millions of people. Shows like “Fashion Police”, and magazine articles called “Worst Dressed”, are the tops ones that come to mind. These adults talk about celebrities and how terrible they look in outfits; people think that is entertainment. I think this affects everyone, adults and children, on how we treat others. Adults, and definitely children, learn and imitate behaviors they observe in other people. (I could write a whole blog post about this one, but let me get off my soap box before I…wait…oops).

A while ago I made a conscious effort to stop talking badly about people. I try to do this no matter how upset I am with someone. When choosing to think positive about people or about situations, it helps to stop the natural negative tendencies we have.

3. Ben and I love looking at the sunset. If we aren’t with each other at the time and we see one of those “OMG its a jaw-dropping, beautiful cotton candy” type of sunset, we will even send pictures to each other. When the sun sets, you can start to see the darkness and stars start to settle in as the sun rays fade. It’s weird, this twilight time. When I can start to see the vast space that lays behind that beautiful sun of ours, I realize how small this planet is, and how much smaller my problems seem to be. Space and how infinitely big it is, is humbling.




Those are my thoughts on how to relax. When I was trying to consolidate what helps me and what I think can help other people to worry less and let go of the stress, I asked Ben for his advice and this is our conversation…

Ben: People should imagine themselves hanging off of a cliff.

Erica: No (incredulous look on my face), Ben, most people would NOT enjoy that.

Ben: Well, their problems would feel pretty insignificant because they would then have a huge f***ing problem.


So that’s Ben’s two cents, I thought that was worth sharing. 🙂


What helps you to relax? Were these tips helpful?





Author: Erica Van Treese

I live an exciting, adventurous life with my husband Ben (he can take credit for the adventurous part). We live in little ol' Columbus and we just love this city! I'm an organizer with OCD (self-diagnosed). My husband turned me into a crazy water ski competitor and taught me how to jump off a 5 foot ramp going 32mph to see how far I can go, and sometimes I don't land the way I should (The whole ski community is a little coo coo, but I love them). I love pizza, and when I proclaim my love for pizza all my friends go "We know". My favorite thing is when my family and friends gather for a meal, and there is banter and wine. I love art and looking at beautiful things and I believe every item of decor in a home should have a meaning and a story behind it. I love food and exercising, but just like any other person there are days I really don't feel like going to the gym or I just rather throw in a pizza in the oven for dinner (and sometimes I do). This blog is a reflection of my love for being happy and my journey on eating right and exercising to achieve a higher level of happiness.

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