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Dear Stress, Let’s Break Up: 10 Tips To Help You De-Stress

Dear Stress, Let’s Break Up: 10 Tips To Help You De-Stress

The mind and the body feed one another continuously, so if you are challenged by stress, this can certainly affect your overall wellness. Long-term stress can bring about significant changes in your body, and even bursts of short-term stress can temporarily decrease your overall health.

Getting rid of all the stress completely from your life may be challenging, but in this fast-paced world, it is vital to develop coping skills that can help you avoid the serious health impacts that can arise from unmanaged stress. If your stress levels are overwhelming and debilitating, be brave enough to seek support from stress-management groups and practitioners.

Life is far too short and way too precious to share it with stress. Your wellness is priceless. You deserve to feel calm and at peace every single day.

These 10 tips are not only easy to incorporate into your day, they can help to relieve your stress and bring balance back into your body, mind, and spirit. There is no time like the present to break up with stress.

1. Learn the power of deep breathing

Breathing is something we all do, and yet it is something we rarely pay attention to. Focussing on breathing is one of the most powerful ways to calm and connect the mind, body, and spirit. When we focus on the breath, we can learn to control our stress levels, calm ourselves, and regain clarity of mind.

If you can only remember one piece of information when you are drowning in stress, remember this: Take 3 deep breaths.

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Such a simple yet powerful way to help reduce those feelings of anxiety and panic that often accompany stress.

2. Don’t underestimate the value of a good night’s sleep

Chronic stress can really interfere with sleep. Sleep directly affects almost every area of our health, so a restless night tossing and turning can increase our stress levels dramatically.

Pay attention to your sleep environment. Create a restful atmosphere that supports a peaceful sleep. From sprinkling a little lavender oil on your pillow to ensuring there are no televisions, computers, or electrical devices in the room, create a comfortable setting that encourages rest.

Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and big meals in the evening. Stay away from computers and late night TV and instead, wind down with some relaxing music, some beautiful herbal tea, and empty your mind of any stressful thoughts.

3. Try calming foods

When we are overly stressed, many of us reach for stimulants like coffee, alcohol, and unhealthy food for comfort. Particularly during times of stress, we should be reaching for calming foods — not comfort foods.

The best way to increase your energy levels is to consume delicious healthy food. Whether it is because of the specific nutrients or the steady reliable source of energy that healthy food gives you, eating nutrient-rich foods that promote wellbeing will support your body during stress.

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Pay attention to your diet. The food you eat can change your life in more ways than you can ever imagine.

4. A scent can evoke peace

The part of the brain that processes odours is very close to the part that houses emotions as well as memories. When you inhale a scent that you love, like perfume or the scent from a flower, you naturally breathe more deeply, which can help you to relax.

Just by inhaling essential oils, we can minimize our stress, anxiety, or any other emotional trauma instantly.

These scents are particularly helpful for easing stress:

  • Lavender – reduces mental stress
  • Jasmine – uplifting and relaxing
  • Rose – nourishes the heart and evokes feelings of reassurance
  • Peppermint – reduces fatigue

5. Meditation, yoga, and prayer

It is possible to reduce your stress levels and improve your mind health by incorporating 20 minutes of either prayer, yoga, or meditation into your day. Relaxation and spiritual support is vital for managing stress. Although it may seem strange, one of the best things we can do during times of high stress is actually not much at all. By that I mean, be still, be quiet, and be observant.

6. Manage your energy

Throughout every minute of every day, you are presented with opportunities that will either deplete or replenish your energy.

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Negative relationships, negative environments, gossip, negative thinking. These are all things that will drain your energy.

Healthy relationships, productive environments, positive thinking and participating in activities that will lift you up are all things that will increase your energy.

Learn to say no, to set clear boundaries and make positive choices in all areas of your life to help alleviate stress. Keeping your energetic body healthy is a surefire way to replenish a weary soul.

7. Use positive statements

We all know that there is great power in the spoken word, so when you are faced with stress, acknowledge the benefits of positive affirmations.

I choose to feel calm.
I am clearing my mind of stressful thoughts.
I am releasing stress from every cell in my body.

Positive affirmations can change your body’s energy. They can raise your vibration and release stress.

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8. Shake it off

Exercise increases endorphins, the brain’s feel-good transmitters. It improves your mood, energizes you, helps you to relax and sleep better, and when your body feels good, so does your mind.

9. Laughter is the best medicine

Laughing is a fantastic way to release more of those feel-good endorphins throughout your body. Get together with your favourite friends and share some laughs. Watch a hilarious feel-good movie. When you are going through a stressful time, laughter can instantly release some of that negative energy.

10. Make time for simple pleasures

Often, when we are overwhelmed with stress, the simplest of acts can improve our outlook as well as our mood. When you are drowning in stress, make the time for simple pleasures. It is amazing how healing a walk along the beach can be. Witnessing a sunset or sunrise can put life back into perspective. Getting back to nature and walking through a beautiful park or forest can ground us. It is often the simplest of acts that holds the most profound solutions to all life’s stresses.

Unmanaged stress can impact your health, your family, and reduce the quality of your life. When you invest in your wellness, mind, body, and spirit, you show your family and your loved ones an example of positive self-esteem. How well you manage your stress determines the quality of your life.

Featured photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/eflon/ via flic.kr

More by this author

Jo Ettles

Jo Ettles is a published self help author, international writer, speaker and extremely gifted intuitive life coach.

Your Words Have POWER – Use Them Wisely 10 Steps To Bring Positive Energy Into Your Life The 10 greatest gifts I have received in 50 something years Happiness -The key to abundance -10 happiness tips Dear Stress, Let’s Break Up: 10 Tips To Help You De-Stress

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Last Updated on October 20, 2020

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

Bonus: Think Like a Rhino

More Tips for Procrastinators to Start Taking Action

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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