As an individual functioning in the world, you can have only three kinds of problems or stress: problems with yourself, problems with your relation to objects, and problems with your relation to other people. Problems with yourself may loosely be described as problems with your health; problems with your relation to objects may loosely be described as problems with your wealth; and problems with your relation to other people may loosely be described as problems with your relationships.
Health, wealth, and relationships -- the big three. These three spheres of your life form a triangle in which stress can develop at any time. Mastery of your three spheres results in a substantial decrease in the stress you experience on a daily basis.
Ideally, you should always be working on some area of improvement in each of your three spheres. Humans, by nature, are most happy when they are growing, not when they are stagnant. As long as you feel that you are growing in each of your three spheres, happiness is always yours for the taking.
Balance is the key here. If you focus too much on one sphere to the detriment of the other two spheres, you will most probably invite stressors in those two spheres of your life. There are plenty of instances from everyday life that attest to this fact: the workaholic who has no time for his family and loved ones and who develops ulcers and other health conditions through neglect of his physical health; the fitness fanatic who is so fixated on running the extra mile or lifting the extra kilogram or admiring his physique in the mirror that his relationships go down the toilet and who just scrapes by on his income; and the romantic husband who is not making enough money to deal with the many factors involved in owning a home or raising kids and who dies at an early age from heart disease. Although these are all extreme examples, the point is that you need to strive for balanced progress in the three facets of your life.
You can never eliminate stressors entirely from your life, but by mastering your stress triangle, you can dramatically reduce both the frequency and the severity of stressors.
Health is holistic health: the health of your body, mind, emotions, and, if you are spiritually inclined, your spirit. Again, balance is the key, since you are unlikely going to find much happiness in life if your body is fighting fit, your mind is sharp, but you have the emotional maturity of a three-year-old kid and throw temper tantrums by the hour. Nor would it be wise to focus on the development of your spirit at the expense of your body, as many ascetics are wont to do. There is no need to dwell on the specifics of health, for the way to healthy living is now a matter of common sense.
Wealth is all about financial security, having enough money to satisfy your needs and wants and then some. You should try to gain a basic understanding of economics, finance, and the markets. There are many good guides out there for starting out on the path to financial freedom. Beware of get-rich-quick
schemes. On the other hand, do not be too quick to dismiss opportunities that may seem to go against the grain of conventional practice. Thinking like the herd will keep you in the herd. If you are currently doing underpaid grunt work, make it a goal to become self-employed and independent, the captain of your own ship. Consider taking part-time or evening courses to gain additional qualifications in whatever fields interest you. Never settle for less than you feel you deserve. Do not make the mistake of thinking that you and your current job are welded together like inseparable Siamese twins.
Relationships require constant nurturing. Love dies and fights occur when the initial sparks have died as a result of gross neglect. Always be on the lookout for new adventures that you and your partner can participate in together. Do not take your friends for granted. Be open to meeting new people at all times.
Work. on your communication skills, your listening skills, and your overall people skills. Take a look along the psychology aisle at your local bookstore for books about developing interpersonal skills. Learn to express yourself.
What we have termed the stress triangle can be termed the life triangle. What is the state of your triangle?