"Will This Matter When I'm Dead?"

Illustration: Jen Troyer

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It comforts me greatly that we'll all be dead soon. (Seriously. Fifteen minutes ago I was young and dewy; now I could beat the Parthenon in a crumbling-ruin contest.) On your deathbed, it won't matter whether you missed that baby shower, downloaded that upgrade or finished all that frigging work. You'll remember the times you absorbed the grandeur, beauty and tenderness of life as a human: gazing into a loved one's eyes, laughing with friends, easing someone's pain. That includes your own pain, the pain of those hyperstressed days.

Nothing you'll do in your life is as important as that life itself. The opposite of living in stress is letting go of everything that's kept you from fully living. Imagine what you'd do if you knew there was nothing to fear, nothing worth losing yourself in stress. Then, do it. I'll take your pie.

Next: Are you a stress junkie?