How To Minimize Stress and Maximize Awesomeness!
Publication: RidiculouslyExtraordinary.
Posted by Ryan Neal
How To Minimize Stress and Maximize Awesomeness!
Publication: RidiculouslyExtraordinary. Posted by Ryan Neal

During the courses of our lives we go through a lot of transition periods. Transitions can be both stressful and awesome.

Marriages, graduations, new careers, new relationships, new destinations ...

That last one is an interesting one for me and it prompted this article.

My second night in Bangkok I hung out with Sean Ogle of (check it out, he rocks) and we were talking about how much we love our lives. Is that nerdy? ;)

But we were also talking about stresses involved with our work. That stress being, we love what we do, but when we're in a travel period (transition period) and visiting a new city, it's tough to get work done. And not working is stressful because it's something we enjoy. It's a funny cycle. :)

Tangent (you know how I love them): Sean is also a guitar player. Like me, he gets stressed if he can't play a guitar for an extended period of time. One of the many reasons I built a guitar in India is because when I was traveling through Australia/New Zealand for 4 months it was stressful not having a guitar.

But I digress ...

While in Bangkok (I'm in Chiang Mai now, love it!) I knew it was just for a short while so I put off work even though I had stuff to get done. On both Thursday and Friday I went to one of the Regus offices in the city (free access with my Amex Platinum Card) and did 1-2 hours of work. But the city was calling me so I answered.

What Are Stressful Transitions?

Stressful transitions are different for me and you. Mine are things like being on the road for an extended period of time vs staying put in a new place for an extended period of time.

Traveling around New Zealand in a bus for 30 days? Awesome! But stressful as all get out. (I think I've used that phrase twice within the past 2 weeks. When will it get out of my system? Nobody knows.)

Goa, India for 2 months? Besides the first few weeks of figuring out Internet access, not stressful.

The last 24 hours were a little bit stressful:

- 14 hour overnight train (thanks to the nice British family who let me take one of their bottom, roomier, berths in exchange for my crappier upper berth!) with a bunch of loud drunk punks.

- The one vegetarian dinner option on the train wasn't available (they did have 10 meat options, so you know, really catering to all the Buddhists) so when I got to Chiang Mai I was starving.

- The first few apartments I looked at were out of the way and expensive. Walking from apartment to apartment in the 100F/38C heat was exhausting.

But then, awesomeness:

- I quickly found a great veg restaurant.

- I found a sweet apartment for $300/month (including Internet and weekly cleaning) with 3 veg restaurants within a 60 second walk!

- All the stress immediately melted away even though I felt like I just took a shower and thought I might faint. :)

Our goal in life should be to minimize stressful transitions to maximize awesomeness.

The reason I do what I do the way that I do it is to minimize stressful transitions, which makes the fun stuff even more fun for me.

Sure, I don't see as much as other people who travel. But I'm not here (there, or anywhere) to see everything. I'm simply living my life in a way that makes me happiest.

The Game Changer: Minimalism

My secret to minimizing the stress of even stressful transitions is through minimalism.

Minimalism and Transitions

Less stuff = less stress! ;)

My stressful transitions are less stressful because I have less to worry about.

If you're stressed, I guarantee adopting even a little bit of minimalism into your life will do wonders to relieve your stress.

I could write for days about minimalism, but here are some rock stars who have written a lot about it:

Everett Bogue - The Freedom of Living With 75 Things

Tammy Strobel - How To Unplug From Stuff

Leo Babauta - Oh, just read everything at and :)

David Damron - 15 Ways To Become A Minimalist In 2010

Colin Wright - All 51 Things I Own

Now that I'm so quickly settled here in Chiang Mai I'm going to:

- Work.

- Eat awesome food.

- Do some fun shit.

How about you? What do you do to minimize stressful transitions and maximize awesomeness?