The whole conversation about stress and busyness is backwards.

So much of what we see in quote cards, scrolling through social media feeds, news reports or even in conversations with each other, is about the top line only: we’re stressed. We’re busy. It’s not a good way to be. It’s not healthy. So do “this” thing to not feel like that.

In my workshops and private coaching sessions, people tell me they want to feel less stressed, not so rushed and pressured all the time, and more balanced.

And then, I ask them what that really means.

To experience “balance”.

To not be stressed.

What do you want? I ask.

Tell me what you want, what you really want.

Not what don’t you want.

I get that we don’t want to feel stressed. I’ve never met someone who’s been like “yea I really want to feel stressed right now”.

I’m also sure that nobody wakes up in the morning just wishing they’d be more overwhelmed and burnt out.

And yet, that’s what you’re doing when all you focus on is that top line: stress.

I believe that the real answer, the step change, the sustainable way forward is to flip the conversation entirely.

And it’s really not as big a flip as I’ve made it sound. It’s actually not that complex at all.

All it takes is for you (all of us really) to be asking a different question first.

And that is: How do I want to feel?

Everybody wants to feel good, yet we avoid putting it first in our lives.

Instead we rush around trying to plug those holes that are making us feel bad.

“If I could just finish that task list at work then I’ll feel good”

“If I can just make dinner for mum tonight, then I’ll feel good”

“If I can just do all that filing from last year, then I’ll feel good”

What if you could prioritise feeling good just for one day? How would that change all those holes you’re plugging?

It’s not just me that thinks this is a good idea.

In fact, researchers say when we feel good a bunch of great things happen to us – including things like improvements to our immunity, clarity of mind (aka better decisions), and a relaxing of the nervous system.

What if you’re chasing the wrong things right now? If you’re chasing “stop stress” instead of “gain feel-goods”?

Chase joy.

It’ll change your life.

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  • Danielle Brooker

    Joy Coach and host of Let It Shine podcast

    The Daisy Patch

    I say I help people reclaim their lives from ‘busy’. But what I really do is teach them how to have a deeper relationship with themselves and connect with more joy. Having got stuck and burnt out myself (in a great job I didn’t feel great in) I retrained as a Life Coach and certified Meta Dynamics™ Practitioner (think deep, lasting change). Now I get lit up by anything related to human behaviour, positive psychology, mindset, neuroscience, yoga, meditation, Ayurveda and body-mind connection. I write about what you can do to bring more wellbeing into your life, the kind that lasts, and that gets you living less on autopilot and more on purpose.