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15 Hacks to Reduce Stress on Daily Basis

15 Hacks to Reduce Stress on Daily Basis

First of all, there is no such thing as stress-free life or environment, however, there are stress-free moments and ways to reduce stress. We are usually angry, sad, anxious or agitated when we need to solve problems or more often when we are exposed to a problem that we cannot solve or affect. Luckily, you can use various techniques to cope with stress immediately, and regain your composure, but in order to truly reduce the stress level you’ll need more control over your life and a healthier lifestyle.

So, here are some hacks that can help you out, if you are overwhelmed by stress on daily basis.

Quick solutions

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    In the event that you are really stressed out, you can try and implement some of the following solutions in order to suppress it.

    Go for a walk

    The best thing you can do when you are angry or sad, or struck by bad news is go for a walk. It will give you time to sort out somethings in your head, and maybe reach a conclusion on how to approach the whole situation. Furthermore, physical activity causes our body to produce endorphins, also known as feel-good hormone.

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    Meditate

    To calm yourself you can also meditate. Focus on your breathing, and go to your happy place. You should inhale for six seconds, and then hold your breath for seven, after that you can exhale for eight seconds. Repeat this procedure a couple of times and it will calm you down and shift your focus away from the problem.

    Play some music

    Another way to mitigate stress is by using music. You can listen to some classic tunes or just listen to your favorite artists. Music can be used as catharsis, and therefore it has somewhat healing properties. Just put your headphones on and dive in.

    Chocolate and wine

    An effective method, but its excessive use can lead to alcoholism and obesity, so tread lightly and don’t drink yourself to oblivion. However, both wine and chocolate can be used to take the edge off, and make you happier. So, if you had a stressful day at work take a glass of wine and some chocolate to brighten up your mood.

    Focus shift

    If you can’t solve a problem don’t dwell on it for too long, find something else to occupy your thoughts. You can watch videos, photos or read your favorite book. Do something you like and try to relax, book a massage or a day at the spa.

    Add more control to your life

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      The previous suggestions are good temporary solutions, but they do not address the root of the problem, all you have is a form of escape. In order to suppress the stress levels more effectively you’ll need more control in your life. It will help you build confidence, you will reduce the chance of unexpected problems popping up, and you’ll generally feel better with more harmony and control over your life.

      Organization apps

      People use task and time management apps all the time; you don’t have to remember everything if you have a device that can remind you. So, you can use an app that can help you regulate your sleep, for instance you can use an app like Throttle to help you organize your emails.  You can use online tools, like Basecamp, to organize assignments at home or at work, basically try to create schedules and harmony.

      You might think how having the whole day planned out is filling you with sense of imprisonment but it’s really not true. Organization and routines are there to boost efficiency, and when you start feeling overwhelmed you can always alter your schedule.

      To-do lists

      The easiest way to organize your day is through to-do lists. Sure it may be a bit frustrating to make them, but as you complete one task after another, you’ll feel better and you’ll be able to relax when you know everything is finished. Additionally, you’ll have a sense of achievement that always fills you up with positive emotions.

      Shifting between productive and chill zone

      In order to get all the work done, you need to set clear boundaries between breaks and work time. You’d be surprised just how much work you can get done by focusing on the task at hand for an entire hour. So, make sure you are fully productive for one hour, meaning no social networks, no phone and no distractions. And then make a small break (15-20 min) after which you should enter the productive zone once again. When you see just how much work you’ve managed to get done, you’ll feel a lot better.

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      A grain of OCD

      There is no need to have everything in perfect order, but a small dose of OCD can be helpful. If items in your home are neatly organized and if your house is clean, you are going to feel amazing. The sight of harmony will calm you down and you’ll be far more relaxed knowing everything is in its place.

      Progress milestones

      In order to stay motivated you need a clear overview of your progress. So, if you are at work or have a personal project that is hard, create milestones for it. Every time you complete a milestone you can treat yourself, and when you know exactly where you are with your tasks you’ll feel more confident, and more calm.

      Healthier body means less stress

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        Lastly, our health and lifestyle can have a significant impact on how we feel. Lack of activity and intake of harmful substances are making us feel more stressed out. In other words you need to lead a healthier life, and a lot of things will sort out as you improve.

        Practice Yoga

        Yoga is great for flexing your muscles and release of tension. You will also implement breathing exercises as you do yoga and, as we all know, proper breathing and physical activity are capable of reducing stress. Plus you will be in better shape and that is also one way of boosting your confidence, since you have done something in the field of self-improvement.

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        Healthy sleep cycle

        Sleep is necessary for us to recharge our mental batteries and to recover our energy. In order to tap into the full potential of sleep you’ll need to have a healthy sleep cycle. It means you’ll only be fully rested if you sleep from 9pm until 7am, and if you eat healthy and exercise.

        Cut down on junk food and fizzy drinks

        Food and drinks affect both our metabolism and our mood. So, whenever you eat junk food and drink fizzy drinks you harm your physique and your mood. You are more likely to become depressed and tired if you don’t switch to a healthier diet.

        Reconnect with nature

        It’s good to have some time off and unwind, just make sure to pick the right environment for it. If you spend more time outside in a rural area in fresh air, you will regain your vitality. So, instead of visiting an urban coastal town with a teeming nightlife, use your vacation to go somewhere peaceful and enjoy the silence.

        Do something for yourself

        Lastly, you need to reward yourself for your struggles and focus on personal development. You can do something you have never done before and expand your comfort zone, experience an adrenalin rush or read a new book and get some fresh perspective.

        To sum up, stress can be a serious issue if you ignore it and try to power through, you need to balance out the bad with the good, and if you use these tips, you are highly likely to conquer most of your personal problems.

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        Djordje Todorovic

        Blogger, Gamer Extraordinaire

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        Last Updated on May 22, 2020

        What Makes a Good Leader: 9 Critical Leadership Qualities

        What Makes a Good Leader: 9 Critical Leadership Qualities

        The word “leader” makes you think of people in charge, high-ranking people: your boss, politicians, presidents, CEOs…

        But leadership really isn’t about a particular position or a person’s seniority. Just because someone has worked for many years doesn’t mean s/he has gained the qualities and skills to lead a team.

        Getting promoted to a managerial position doesn’t automatically turn you into a leader either. CEOs and other high-ranking officials don’t always have great leadership skills.

        So what makes a good leader? What are the characteristics of a leader?

        Good leadership is about acquiring and honing specific skills. Leadership skills enable you to be a role model for a team in any environment. With great leadership qualities, successful leaders come in all shapes and sizes: in the home, at school, or in the workplace.

        The following are some of the many characteristics great leaders exhibit.

        1. A Positive Attitude

        Great leaders know that they won’t have a happy and motivated team unless they themselves exhibit a positive attitude. This can be done by remaining positive when things go wrong and by creating a relaxed and happy atmosphere in the workplace.

        Even some simple things like providing snacks or organizing a team Happy Hour can make a world of difference. An added perk is that team members are likely to work harder and do overtime when needed if they’re happy and appreciated.

        Even in the worst situations, such as experiencing low team morale or team members having made a big mistake at work, a great leader stays positive and figures out ways to keep the team motivated to solve the problems.

        Walt Disney had his share of hardships and challenges, and like any great leader, he managed to stay positive and find new opportunities. In 1928, Disney found that his film producer, Charles Mintz, wanted to reduce his payments for the Oswald series. Mintz threatened to cut ties entirely if Disney didn’t accept his terms, and Disney chose to part ways. But in leaving Oswald, Disney decided to create something new: the iconic Mickey Mouse[1].

        The key is to break down huge challenges into smaller ones and find ways to tackle them one by one.

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        Think about the lessons you can learn from the mistake and jot them down because sometimes you win, and sometimes you learn.

        2. Confidence

        All great leaders have to exhibit an air of confidence if they’re going to succeed. Please don’t confuse this with self-satisfaction and arrogance. You want people to look up to you for inspiration, not so they can punch you in the face.

        Confidence is important because people will be looking to you on how to behave, particularly if things aren’t going 100% right. If you remain calm and poised, team members are far more likely to as well. As a result, morale and productivity will remain high, and the problem will be solved more quickly.

        If you panic and give up, they will know immediately and things will simply go downhill from there.

        Elon Musk is a great example of a leader with confidence. He truly believes that Tesla will be successful, which he has shown many times through his actions. He converted 532,000 stock options at $6.63 each, their value on Dec. 4, 2009, before Tesla went public. It was a hefty bargain considering Tesla’s stock price stood at around $195 per share at that time. He doesn’t apologize for his beliefs and has drawn fire from just about everyone for his political actions.

        You can’t instantly become a very confident person, but all the small things you do every day will gradually make you more confident:

        • List 5 things you like about yourself every day (something different every day), and you’ll appreciate yourself more.
        • Work on your strengths and do your best to enhance them.

        3. A Sense of Humor

        It’s imperative for any kind of leader to have a sense of humor, particularly when things go wrong. And they will.

        Your team members are going to be looking to you for how to react in a seemingly dire situation. It would probably be best if you weren’t stringing up a noose for yourself in the corner. You need to be able to laugh things off because if staff morale goes down, so will productivity.

        Establish this environment prior to any kind of meltdown by encouraging humor and personal discussions in the workplace.

        As a president, Barack Obama exuded confidence and calm during stressful situations. But he was also known for his “dad jokes,”[2] his genuinely funny speeches at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and appearing on Zack Galifianakis’s Between Two Ferns.[3] Obama’s sense of humor made him grounded, realistic, and honest, which no doubt helped during some tense moments in the White House!

        Learn to laugh at yourself. Confident people laugh about their own silly mistakes, and when you do this, others will also trust you more because you’re willing to share your experiences.

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        Be observant and learn from the jokes others make. You can also get a lot of inspiration from the internet.

        4. Ability to Embrace Failure

        No matter how hard you try to avoid it, failures will happen; that’s okay. You just need to know how to deal with them.

        Great leaders take them in strides. They remain calm and logically think through the situation and utilize their resources. What they don’t do is fall apart and reveal to their team how worried they are, which leads to negative morale, fear, and binge-drinking under desks.

        Great leaders do, in fact, lead, even when they’re faced with setbacks.

        Henry Ford experienced a major setback after designing and improving the Ford Quadricycle. He founded the Detroit Automobile Company in 1899, but the resulting cars they produced did not live up to his standards and were too expensive. The company dissolved in 1901. Ford took this in stride and formed the Henry Ford Company. The sales were slow and the company had financial problems; it wasn’t until 1903 that the Ford Motor Company was successful and put the Ford on the map.

        Get to the root cause of any problem so you can prevent it from happening again and learn from the mistake.

        By asking “why” 5 times (or more) on why something happened, you can find out the key factor that caused the problem and can find the best solution to tackle the problem.

        You’ll also learn how to prevent this from happening again in the future after finding out a problem’s root cause.

        5. Careful Listening and Feedback

        This is far more complex than it actually sounds. Good communication skills are essential for a great leader. You may very well understand the cave of crazy that is your brain, but that doesn’t mean that you can adequately take the ideas out of it and explain them to someone else.

        The best leaders need to be able to communicate clearly with the people around them. They also need to be able to interpret other people properly and not take what they say personally.

        The Dalai Lama, as a symbol of the unification of the state of Tibet, represents and practices Buddhist values. The Dalai Lama’s leadership is benevolent and aims toward truth and understanding, alongside the other Buddhist precepts. This is a great example for all leaders: if you want to give good directions to others, you have to get feedback from others to understand the situation properly.

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        Encourage communication between team members and establish an open door policy.

        Practice not interrupting team members when they’re talking. Instead, summarize what they say and ask for feedback after you have talked about your ideas.

        6. Knowing How and When to Delegate

        No matter how much you might want to, you can’t actually do everything yourself. Even if you could, in a team environment that would be a terrible idea anyway.

        Good leaders recognize that delegation does more than simply alleviate their own stress levels (although that’s obviously a nice perk). Delegating to others shows that you have confidence in their abilities, which subsequently results in higher morale in the workplace, as well as loyalty from your staff. They want to feel appreciated and trusted.

        Although Steve Jobs was known for focusing in on the smallest of details, he knew how to delegate. By finding, cultivating, and trusting capable team members, Jobs was able to make Apple run smoothly, even when he had to be absent for extended periods of time.

        To know when and how to delegate work to team members, you have to be very familiar with each of them:

        • List out all of their strengths, weaknesses, and personalities.
        • Talk with your team members more to know about their passion and interests.

        Take a look at this guide and learn more about delegation: How to Delegate Work Effectively (The Definitive Guide for Leaders)

        7. Growth Mindset

        Any good leader knows how important it is to develop the skills of those around them. The best can recognize those skills early on. Not only will development make work easier as they improve and grow, it will also foster morale. In addition, they may develop some skills that you don’t possess that will be beneficial to the workplace.

        Great leaders share their knowledge with the team and give them the opportunity to achieve. This is how leaders gain their respect and loyalty.

        Pope Francis has been unusually popular with many Catholics and many non-Catholics. His position isn’t totally traditional, which is part of his appeal, but he also has admirable leadership skills. Pope Francis’s TED talk[4] drew attention because he encouraged leaders to be humble and to demonstrate solidarity with others. This inclusive, kind, and respectful style of leadership is incredibly important for any situation.

        It’s important to spend time talking with other team members individually to understand them.

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        Find out team members’ current challenges and try to give feedback and encouragement so they will grow and do better.

        8. Responsibility

        Great leaders know that when it comes to their company, work place or whatever situation they’re in, they need to take personal responsibility for failure. How can they expect employees to hold themselves accountable if they themselves don’t?

        The best leaders don’t make excuses; they take the blame and then work out how to fix the problem as soon as possible. This proves that they’re trustworthy and possess integrity.

        Howard Gillman is the chancellor of UC Irvine. You might have heard of how the university rescinded a bunch of acceptances, and then changed its mind[5], This past spring, an unusually high number of accepted students decided to matriculate; the school initially responded by rescinding offers over things like missed deadlines. But the college realized this was a mistake and reversed its decision. Gillman and the university accepted responsibility and decided to move past their earlier bad decision.

        Always ask yourself what you can do better or what you should change. Take responsibility and think about what you can do better to prevent this from happening next time.

        9. A Desire to Learn

        It’s safe to say that all great leaders will have to enter unchartered waters at some point during their career. Because of this, they have to be able to trust their intuition and draw on past experiences to guide them.

        Great leaders know that there’s always something to learn from everything they have experienced before. They are able to connect the present challenges with the lessons learned in the past to make decisions and take actions promptly.

        You can either recall what you’ve learned from your memories or search your notes (ideally, a software that you can access anywhere with things well-organized).

        Warren Buffett, one of the richest people in the world, has mostly made the right calls. But in dealing with huge amounts of money, Buffett has also made several multi-million (and sometimes multi-billion) dollar mistakes. He has stated that buying the company Berkshire Hathaway was his biggest mistake[6]. From that poor choice, he realized that it was unwise to pursue “improvements” and “expansions” in the existing textile industry. Despite mistakes like this, Buffett has invested wisely, and it shows.

        To effectively learn from the past, write down lessons you’ve learned from any mistakes you’ve made. Have all the lessons well organized, and when similar things happen again in future, take these lessons as references.

        The Bottom Line

        Leadership traits are learnable. If you practice consistently, you can be a great leader, too.

        Make small changes to your habits when you work with your team, wherever that may be. Most of us aren’t presidents or CEOs, but we all work with other people, and our actions always impact others. This gives every person the chance to develop leadership skills and to stand out from the crowd.

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        Featured photo credit: Markus Spiske via unsplash.com

        Reference

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