One of the keys to happiness is reducing your stress. Professional stress coach, Andrew Oakes, teaches us the correlation between stress and happiness. Andrew explains that the higher your current stress, the harder it is to feel happy. And, when you are feeling relaxed and carefree, it’s so much easier to feel happy.
In this episode, Andrew joins Matt O’Neill to discuss how to think of stress as a game you get to play. Once you start to learn the game mechanics, you can begin to equip yourself with the necessary tools to navigate it. You can conquer stress in a fun, rewarding way.
Here are some power takeaways from today’s conversation:
[02:16] The Happiness and Stress Scale:
On a scale of 1 to 10, how happy are you? From that same scale, how stressed are you? Happiness and stress are inversely correlated. Once stress compounds, it starts to move solely in that one direction. Often, what we do is assign all our problems to big mountains in our life. But in reality, what maxes out our capacity are the discomforts that then create stress.
[15:00] The Natural Flow of Dopamine:
Our body only has a certain capacity for taking on discomforts. We’re hardwired for survival. The brain rewards us with feel-good feelings—dopamine—upon removing that discomfort. It’s the same process when you urinate after holding your bladder for some time. However, the brain can’t really tell the difference between a small and big discomfort.
[19:32] Stress Management Toolbox:
Having a hammer—anger or frustration—as your standard equipment in your toolbox only leads to more stress. Andrew has come up with re-tools to re-tool your toolbox: Record: Use cheat sheets, journals, organizers, etc. “5P’s” means “Proper planning prevents poor performance”. Reframe: Reframe how you see things to stop the stressor from coming in as a discomfort. Practicing gratitude changes the way you see life. The tools you will put in your toolbox are going to be unique for you.
[27:15] “Stress plus time equals wisdom.” [27:17] — Andrew
[27:35] “It's not the stressor that causes the stress, it's your reaction to the stressor. If you accept the stressor, you can be surrounded by stressors and not be stressed.” [27:46] — Andrew
[30:15] "A setback is a setup for a comeback." [30:18] — Andrew
About the Guest: Andrew Oakes is the founder of Stress Relief Headquarters. He is a mental health advocate, stress management consultant, and public speaker. His Street View of Psychology brings a new approach to resolving complex mental matters. You can connect with Andrew through LinkedIn.