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Don’t Stress, Get Happy! Here's How…

This is a guest post by By Shawn Haywood, Ph.RD

f you want to feel happy, focus on action, joy and gratitude!  If you want to feel powerless, focus on stress!

The concept of “stress” is one millions manage each day. Stress is regarded as an unchangeable fact in most cases. All day long, people proclaim, “I’m so stressed,” “I’m totally stressed out,” “This _____ is so stressful” or “This (person’s name) made me so stressed.”

Stress is used like a banner of pride for many and falsely implies importance, rank or value. But really, a life filled with stress implies poor life strategy skills (sorry). FORTUNATELY, great life strategy skills can be learned any time one is ready to become happier, more fulfilled and peaceful. (Um, that’s kinda what our company does!)

Actually, the word and all that it entails and indicates leads our minds and emotions to one ultimate conclusion…”I am or I feel powerless.” What then ensues is inaction, anxiety or feelings of apathy or depression - as these are the primary accompaniments to powerlessness.

The concept of stress isn’t defined or discussed in ways that allow it to be solvable or transformable into happiness. It is proclaimed as fact. The statement, “I am so stressed,” specifically excludes the prospect of change or solution. Stress is society’s newest and most prevalent from of self induced mental and emotional victimhood.

Not only does it cripple us mentally and emotionally, even if only for the 10-20 minutes after use of stress language, but also our bodies are become ravaged by this notion as well. Feel free to Google physical effects of stress. What you find will be shocking.

Because stress actually means, “I am or feel powerless,” the body responds accordingly. All of our thoughts turn into emotions and commands. The body and emotions simply do as they are told (unlike husbands and teenagers!! Haha!). We say, “I am so stressed,” and the mind says, “Ok, I will be powerless and feel terrible,” and the body says, “Ok, I will work on shutting down.”

Not to mention the dozens of times each day that some form of the word stress is uttered. If it takes a minimum of 10-20 minutes (though realistically it is an hour +) to mentally and emotionally rebound each time these horrid words are thought or stated, and we think or speak these horrid words at least 12 times per day… you do the math. It isn’t looking good for our chances of being light-hearted, joy-filled or happy, is it?

Stress is a junk term. And more often it is used as an excuse to be crabby, grumpy, anxious, frustrated, upset, angry and resentful instead of taking responsibility for our experience of life. Stress holds no solution-orientation focus, only a problem focus. Thus, as one laments how stressed one is, waves of powerlessness and stagnation, as well as feelings of being upset, overwhelmed, frustrated and resentful follow closely behind.

When we feel powerless, problem-solving skills fall dormant or go into hiding. It would be far more accurate to say, “I am so powerless to change my situation,” “I am totally powerless” or “This _____ has rendered me powerless.”

Ew, powerless!  Not so willing to use that word are we? It sounds hideous! And of course it is. And of course we are NOT ever powerless. We are infinite beings filled with more creativity and problem-solving skills than could ever be used in 10 lifetimes.

But, we think and talk about stress, powerlessness is what we get, even though we are not consciously aware of it. Talking about and using the word stress is mentally and emotionally crippling.

Liberated Living Action!

We must practice replacing all version of stress with an actual feeling, a specific situation and an action.

When we begin exchanging the word stress for specificity, coupled with an action statement, shifting toward empowerment and happiness happen very quickly.

For example

Instead of a vague blanket statement like, “I’m so stressed,” try something like, “I feel overwhelmed by the list of 12 to-dos I made for myself today. Twelve items are too many for today; I’m going to choose the three that are the most valuable to the impact I make in the world (or to my family) and remove, postpone or delegate the others.” 

Instantly, you will feel softer, happier, empowered, in control of your experience of life and focused.

There are NEVER twelve or more high priorities. Honestly, if there are more than one to five “high priority or high impact” items, there are none!  If there seem to be more than this, then you need to get more focused within a given area of life, family or work.

Regardless of the context for attempting to use the word stress, there is always a way to rephrase it with specificity and to couple it with a strong courageous action!

Clarity and action are gateways to empowerment.

Empowerment will lead you into high confidence, increasing clarity, joy, peace, power and. of course.…genuine happiness!

If you would like help REMOVING (not just managing) stress from your life, reach out to schedule a FREE discovery coaching. Email me at

Cheers to a liberated living lifestyle!



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