The 80/20 rule popularly known as the Pareto Principle was born by an Italian, Vifredo Pareto, after observing that approximately 20% of the people living in Italy owned an astonishing 80% of wealth. It reflected a simple symmetry of inequality then, and the principle gradually spread to other areas of life, particularly stress relief. According to Pareto, the majority of any output comes from the minority of any input.
From a wellness perspective 80% of your health problems will come from 20% of the lifestyle choices you make. Smoking for example, is a small thing that causes many people several health problems. When it comes to stress something that seems trivial would be enough to trigger major problems in some people. Someone might say something about your appearance thinking it’s a joke but if you take it to heart, chances are that it will weigh down on your mind. To deal with the negative thoughts you will probably run to the pub for a drink but end up spending money that was meant for your bills. Later you might have to lie and the domino effect of stress continues. Depression easily steals 80% of one’s quality of life and most often, we fail to realize that its root cause is not what people say but low self-esteem. Simply working on your confidence would in this case be the 20% you need to do to avoid stress.
In today’s society, people with depression or ADHD quickly turn to drugs in a bid to manage the situation but if you were to follow the 80/20 principle, that is a drastic turn. Attention deficit problems, stress and depression are usually as a result of lifestyle choices so the simple solution would be making changes the foods you eat, how you work out and improve your outlook on life.
Anyone can use Pareto’s principle to reduce stress especially during this festive season when there are countless matters to attend to. Try making two columns of things that brings you stress and those that bring you joy. If for example you find that shopping causes you a great deal of anxiety, have someone else do it for you so you can focus on activities that bring happiness. Trying to impress others is one of the reasons why many people feel dejected, rejected and unwanted. In line with Pareto’s principle you should protect the 80% that encompasses happiness and wellbeing by invoking positive thoughts and embracing simple solutions to seemingly big problems.