Since I started tai chi, my stress levels have gone right down. I put this down to several factors: just putting my mind in the movements, took it away and out of negative thoughts; increasing the mind/body connection decreased the intellectualisation of every event; progressing through the form and then through the levels gave me a sense of achievement I wasn't getting elsewhere. 

On top of these things, training with people from all different walks of life, meant that I couldn't talk shop with them, thus freeing me from the day's worries. Having people of different careers also introduced me to their wider world, outside my narrowed horizons, which was freeing... Also, the people I have met through tai chi have all either been kind people, or become kinder people as they continued their training, making them pleasant company too :)

Working for myself now means I can spend every day doing enjoyable things - I enjoy teaching tai chi, then I go and paint (Persian miniature style is what I love), or go to the park and either practise or enjoy the sweet air, visit museums, trips out, or meet friends for coffee etc. All in all, a great de-stressful way to spend each day.

Gradually I am also doing up the house, to clear out the clutter of the ages (getting down to the Troy VI layer now! (g)), and re-doing everything to be the way I want it - as opposed to coming home stressed out every evening and then more of the same the next day and everything just there, because I  had no energy to even tidy up, let alone redesign things. When you're in the stressed mode of working / living, you don't feel like you have enough energy to do more than survive. Stopping to think how you might change your life isn't exactly a priority - but it should be.

We are not on this Earth  to be stressed out - it's unnatural - so taking time to re-evaluate where you are, where you want to be, how to get there, will pay off in the long run... also in the short run, as making changes to your life that will  help you fulfil your dreams and achieve what you want to achieve, gives you that positive goal to look forward to.

I feel like I am living the dream, because I've got time to do what I like, as well as teaching what I love (tai chi) to people who want to learn. What's your dream? How will you go about achieving it?  I hope it includes tai chi, so that  you too can experience the joy tai chi has brought me :)