To me chess has always been a stressful game. Every move brings me closer to victory or defeat and often I don't know which one will happen first. As a result I often have to motivate myself just to get to the board.
So I was a little surprised to find that not everyone thinks this way. A couple of chess playing friends of mine believe that chess is the cure to stress. When they sit down and play, that's all they occupy their mind with, removing any worries and concerns about the outside world. And while they take their chess seriously, it is a different kind of seriousness.
So maybe that's what I've been doing wrong. Instead of concentrating on scoring points and boosting my rating, I should instead focussing on the meditative aspects of the game.