Modern society seems like it’s organized against a calm and productive life. Pressure from the media, societal modeling, and even work itself pushes us all to never stop moving— whether it be at work, home, or in our social and family lives. However, the gains in productivity created by technological advancements mean that we ought to have more stress-free time than ever before. After all, the need to scrub dishes by hand, wash clothes in a pan of water, and grow every bit of our own food has been replaced with options: options to do things by hand or to use time-saving devices when we prefer to have that time as leisure.

It’s time to find the ways in life that will truly maximize our happiness, and that may mean doing things differently from those around you. It’s worth it, however, to feel happier, more content, and more alive as well.

Balance comfort and challenge.

The first thing to realize about living stress-free is that it doesn’t mean “never working again.” Strangely, people seem to contrast living in their current work grind with the idea of floating in a pool for the rest of their lives: there are options in between! In fact, the key to stress is constantly seeking balance, specifically between comfort and challenge. While this cognitive dissonance is frustrating, the lack of challenge forces us to  long for a better world.

The ideal is to create a secure place from which to venture out into the world and tackle the specific problems that are relevant to you. Think about it in terms of how we want to treat children: we don’t want to shelter them so much that they don’t know what the world is like, but we also don’t want to traumatize them through constant exposure to difficulty. Instead, for ourselves AND our children, a stress-free life involves finding challenges that don’t overwhelm us but instead revitalize us.

Figure out what relaxes you.

Many adults may not be able to tell you what relaxes them; they sleep, watch TV, and surf the internet, but other than these things that dull their minds enough to stop stressing, there is little that truly calms them. For those of us who have gotten caught up in the rat race, there is a priority to remember relaxation.

This means that, ironically, you may have to work at relaxation. You may have to make special time for it, and try various things out: are you a person who loves a good swim in the early morning? Are you a person who can spend hours gardening? The first time you try these things, you’ll probably put pressure on them, the way you put pressure on other parts of your life to meet your needs. Keep trying: when you truly relax into an activity or experience, you’ll know, and the journey will be incredibly worthwhile.

Truly abide with your favorite people.

We all rail against the way social media has cheapened our interactions, but the truth is that most people crave at least some one-on-one time with those they love. Even introverts don’t seek to be alone; they often want quality time with the one or two people they love best! Creating a meaningful life involves making the effort to be present and available in the lives of those you care about.

This doesn’t mean that they’ll always jump on board immediately, so your stress-free journey may start with a lot of schedule juggling. That being said, try to create opportunities for substantial, meaningful time. If you can, don’t pack every weekend or vacation with things to do; provide a few activities for structure and then aim to leave space for the spontaneous moments that make us bond as human beings.

Devote your best hours to the activities you love.

So often, we focus our efforts and golden hours on the work we do for someone else. This creates stress, since we often leave only our most tired time for the pottery class, the soccer team, or the in-progress invention in our basement. If you want to truly live stress-free, choosing to devote more of your alert hours to what you love might involve a career shift toward more flexible work. These can be exciting moments, and when you realize that, whether you’re making money or not, you can take more time for leisure. Taking the pressure of a 9-to-5 (or more likely, an 8-7) out of your life can make space for your passion projects, the source of that positive challenge we already talked about. Many of us abandoned our most exciting hobbies years ago: it’s time to bring them back.

Automate monotonous modern tasks to maximize free time.

The products that exist now for automating tedious tasks that take our attention away are more sophisticated than ever, and now aim to return the joy that we as a society have been so deeply craving.  For instance, AutoPilot is an innovative program that helps you maximize your energy savings while contributing to sustainable energy offerings, all without you having to do the legwork. If you’ve ever looked at your electricity bill completely dumbfounded, you know the feeling of inevitable stress. Yet, what if it isn’t really inevitable? AutoPilot provides this choice by interpreting your bills for you, in order to reduce cost for a lifetime savings guarantee. Many of us care about the countless issues in the world, but reading about them constantly gets in the way of living a joyful, stress-free life. Choosing instead to set your smart thermostat to automatically cut down your usage, adding motion sensors to your light switches, and signing up for AutoPilot means that you can have the impact on the world that you want to have, without spending hours of your time doing everything yourself.

Stress-free living is an ideal goal, one that it makes sense to work toward in the never-ending quest to living a meaningful life. Along the way, there are hardworking companies that are here to make stress-free life more possible than ever before. Are you ready for products and services that create value in your life and leave time for the most important things? Contact us to learn more about joining our team or about the products we offer.