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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 January 15, 2019

        How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

        How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

        Many of us feel awkward talking to strangers. I’m a very outgoing person, even though I sometimes feel uncomfortable walking up to someone and asking a question or starting a conversation. I consider myself pretty high up on the extrovert meter. So what is it that makes us pause and become worried or anxious about talking to people we don’t know?

        In this article, we will discuss why we feel this way as well as some tips on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

        Step right up, don’t be shy!

        Why We Feel Awkward Talking to Strangers

        The next time you feel uncomfortable talking to a stranger, tell yourself that’s completely normal. There are numerous reasons why it’s actually natural to feel awkward talking to strangers:

        Our Stress Levels Rise Around Strangers

        Numerous studies have show that our levels of cortisol go up when we are around strangers.[1] Cortisol is the hormone inside of us which produces stress responses.[2]
        So there you go, right off the bat you can see part of your standard response to strangers is due to a chemical reaction!

        A very interesting by product of increased cortisol is that it makes us less empathetic. More than likely this can be traced to our evolution. The increase in the cortisol and the corresponding decrease in empathy makes us want to stay away from strangers. We are biologically wired to feel concern around strangers.

        Evolution Taught Us to Be Wary

        Evolution has also taught us to be wary of strangers in general. Humans as a whole have spent a large chunk of their history banded together in small protective groups. We did this in order to help protect each other and maximize resources.

        When you think about it in this context, outsiders to our small groups or strangers are considered potential threats. Fear of strangers is common across almost all human cultures.

        Culturally Conditioned

        We can also thank our society for helping us feel uncomfortable and sometimes afraid of strangers. The term “stranger danger” is something most of us can relate to either growing up or raising kids. Or both.

        I remember hearing this from my parents, mostly about not getting in someone’s car I didn’t know. And as the father of 2 teenage girls, you can be sure I’ve talked to them about this very concept more times that they want to hear.

        The thought that strangers can be dangerous is built into us as it is. Toss in the amplification of the media on strangers doing things such as kidnapping kids and it takes it to an even higher level.

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        Now that we’ve reviewed some of the reasons why we are nervous, let’s look at why you should talk to strangers more.

        Benefits of Getting over the Awkwardness

        Let’s take a quick look at some of the advantages of how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward. These are some high level benefits of talking to strangers.

        1. Broadens Your Network

        After you talk to someone, you didn’t know previously they become someone you know at least a little bit. This alone helps broaden your network of people you know. This is helpful in many ways whether it is work related or socially related.

        2. Improves Your Communication Skills

        I am a huge proponent of the value of solid communication skills and have written about it often. The more you talk to people, especially people you don’t know, the better your communication skills become.

        Interacting with a wider variety of people will bring the added benefit of improving your communication skills.

        3. Continually Learning

        So many of us don’t actively seek to learn new things. This is one of the primary keys to staying engaged in life and our own personal self fulfillment.

        Almost every time I speak to someone I didn’t know previously, I’ve learned something new. When we speak to strangers, it pushes us out of our comfort zones and we tend to learn new things.

        4. Increases Self Confidence

        Every time we learn to do something we were previously anxious about, we feel better about ourselves.

        Forcing ourselves to talk to strangers will lead to increased self confidence. As we get more and more comfortable doing something that previously made us feel awkward, our self confidence will go up and up.

        So, how to talk to strangers to reap these benefits?

        How to Talk to Strangers

        Here are some tips to on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

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        1. Say Hello

        Putting “say hello” first may seem a bit obvious but let’s take a deeper look. Much of the social awkwardness when speaking to strangers is simply breaking the ice. The first words that will engage someone.

        Most people will respond when someone says hello or hi to them. And those that don’t, you probably don’t want to talk to anyway.

        Practice being the person that opens the door to a conversation. Say hello.

        2. Ask About Them

        Something that I have noticed over the years is that people love to talk about themselves. Even fairly private people tend to open up when asked about events in their lives.

        You can ask leading questions that get people to talk about themselves and recent events. Things like recent movies watched or the summer vacation are great to get someone talking.

        As a father, I also know that people love to talk about their kids. Asking about kids is a fairly easy topic to bring up and in general, most people will expound upon all the great things their kids do or are involved with.

        3. Just Do It

        One of the biggest reasons we don’t do things we want to or know we should is because we overthink it. Quit thinking about it so much and just do it.

        When you give yourself the time to analyze every little angle about a situation, you also give plenty of time to talk yourself out of it. You’ll wind up thinking what if this happens or what if that happens.

        Try to force yourself to jump right in without thinking about it too much. Whenever I have done this, I always feel great about it afterwards, no matter how it turned out.

        4. Don’t Take It Personal

        One of the greatest lessons in life I ever learned was don’t take anything personally. We all go through life with our own sets of experiences and see things through our own lens. The way people react to different situations has almost nothing to do with us. It has to do with previous experiences and the way people feel about things other than us.

        When someone’s reaction isn’t what you’d hoped or expected, chances are it has nothing to do with you. Remember that and keep it in context.

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        5. Get a Chuckle If Possible

        I used the word chuckle purposely because it makes me laugh. In my opinion, it’s one of those funny words. We all like to laugh because it makes us feel good. And when someone makes us laugh, we typically remember those people in a positive light.

        One of the best ways to make a conversation easy and free flowing is to get some laughter going. It doesn’t mean you have to be the master joke teller or anything. See if you can work in a way to make the person you are talking to get a smile or some laughter in. In fact, laughing at yourself maybe a nice try.

        6. Detach

        A great feeling is when you don’t mind which way something turns out, that you will be fine no matter what happens. Kind of like when I watch my two favorite football teams play against each other. I don’t really care who wins, I just want a fun game.

        Treat talking to strangers the same way. You don’t really care how the conversation goes because you are detaching from the outcome. Make it a fun time with yourself and if the conversation goes well, awesome! If not then no big deal, move on.

        7. Share Your Stories

        Well, all like to feel connected to other people. And many times we wind up hanging out with people that we have things in common with. No surprise here.

        To help with how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward, tell stories that have commonalities with the person you are talking to. Kids are an easy one. I have a daughter who was a competitive cheerleader and now plays club volleyball. I have instant connection and stories with strangers I speak with who have kids that play sports. It’s easy to relate to.

        So when you are speaking to a stranger and you have a story or mutual connection point, bring it up.

        8. Give a Compliment

        Almost everyone likes hearing a compliment, whether they admit to it or not. As a general rule, we don’t give out enough compliments. It’s amazing how one small remark someone tosses your way about how good you look can literally make your entire day.

        When you are speaking with someone you don’t know, see if you can work a compliment in. Nothing creepy here. Not a good idea to tell someone you just met that they are the prettiest or handsomest person you ever met. However, if you can share how you like their tattoo or shoes or something like that, it will help put the conversation into an easy going, smiling place.

        9. Relax Your Body Language

        If you go into a situation all worried and nervous, it shows on your body. Your shoulders are tensed up, there’s a look of consternation on your face, things like that.

        When you engage a stranger in conversation, make it a point to relax your body language. Take a deep breath before you engage the person, let your body relax, and put a smile on your face. This will help relax you and it has the added benefit of putting the other person more at ease.

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        If they see that you are relaxed, it helps them relax. Plus having open, engaging body language is very conducive to inviting someone to open up into a conversation with you.

        10. Practice, Practice, Practice

        Like everything else in life, talking to strangers gets easier with practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

        Make it a point to talk to several strangers each week and it will definitely help you relax as you do it more and more.

        After a while, it will become something you don’t even think about, you just do it. And that takes all of the awkwardness out of being in these type situations.

        The Bottom Line

        As we have seen, it is perfectly natural to feel awkward talking to strangers. We are biologically built that way and we have our own society constantly warning us how dangerous it is. It’s no wonder we feel awkward talking to strangers!

        There are numerous benefits to learning to be more comfortable talking to strangers. See if you can employ some of the techniques mentioned to learn how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

        Once you start practicing speaking with strangers more often and utilizing some of the tips, you will become more comfortable doing so. This in turn will lead to a learned new skill and increased self confidence.

        Remember, everyone you know was a stranger at one time. Now get out there and make some new friends.

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        Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

        Reference

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