Sometimes, happiness tends to evaporate when we're feeling overwhelmed by all of the tasks we face in our personal and professional lives. Leisure time is quickly becoming history. Even when we're not at work, we devote very little time to our passions. Instead, we fill our free time taking care of all of the things that accumulate in our lives while we're working, like cleaning the house or going to see a doctor.
These things still need to be done, however, and when they're allowed to accumulate they tend to look more like a mountain than a laundry list. Taking things a little at a time helps you gain a happier outlook on all the stuff you've got going on in your life. Psychotherapist Dr. Nathaniel Branden suggests a simple solution for people who feel overwhelmed with life: the 5 percent rule. Saying something like "If I were 5 percent more responsible today, I would _________." By filling in the blank, we can identify -- and fix -- things we might not even know are bugging us in an incremental and bite-sized manner. Overwhelming situations can become more manageable, lending us a happier outlook as a result.