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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 November 11, 2019

        Can a Dysfunctional Family Become Functional?

        Can a Dysfunctional Family Become Functional?

        A dysfunctional family is more than disagreement or constant arguments. Anything from plain neglect, to abuse and even verbal and physical violence is the everyday experience of those who are part of a dysfunctional family.

        You know how this looks:

        • Parents constantly comparing children.
        • Siblings in conflict because of tolerated bullying.
        • Domestic violence.
        • Adultery…
        • And many others.

        For all the members, this will mean emotional pain and even trauma; which, in case it doesn’t get resolved, will have a detrimental effect on the individual’s personality and development.

        Needless to say, the younger members are the most vulnerable, but that doesn’t mean the parents are out of danger, as most commonly the parents play the roles of abuser-codependent, and in some cases, both parts inflicting pain on one another.

        Most like to think these problems stem from deep-seated issues, and that therefore it’s pretty much impossible to deal with them.

        This is only true for families not willing to do what it takes, for if only a single member is determined and knows how to do it, the whole family can do a lot of progress.

        In this article, I’ll break down for you the basic steps of fixing a dysfunctional family. Although it may seem hopeless, it is possible to turn things around.

        If you have ever felt in this position, or if you know somebody who is, this article is for you.

        How to fix a dysfunctional family

        In a few words the solution for a dysfunctional family lies in dropping the ego, focusing on the solution, switching blame for responsibility and doing the work as a unity, for the good of the whole family.

        And this will accomplish things you once only saw as a dream.

        Dropping the ego? Switching blame for responsibility? Doing the work? What does all this mean?

        It’s simple. In a nutshell, it’s that which will allow you to turn a dysfunctional family into a functional one.

        Let’s take a look at how exactly this can be done. And near the end we will also talk about what you can do in a dysfunctional family with cynical traits.

        Dysfunctional families where not only problems are well-known, but also nobody seems to want a fix or openly decide to perpetuate the harmful behaviors. Such as the case of abuse and physical violence.

        There is also a solution for these, it’s just not what you are expecting…

        Dysfunctional… Or just average?

        Most families are dysfunctional, though at varying degrees of dysfunctionality.

        The milder cases, are just marked by “typical” comically-shrouded bullying or lack of interest in other members’ development or wellbeing.

        You can know a family is dysfunctional if their interactions are anything different than cooperation, solidarity, care and support. But let’s get more specific…

        A dysfunctional family is one in which members directly or indirectly suffer emotional and/or physical harm inflicted by other members of their family. Most commonly, perpetrated by the parents.

        Even harmful actions as “passive” as neglect, which is inflicted by inaction rather than action, signifies a dysfunction within the family.

        Dysfunctional families have conflicts such as:

        • Unrealistic expectations
        • Lack of interest and time spent together
        • Sexism
        • Utilitarianism
        • Lack of empathy
        • Unequal or unfair treatment
        • Disrespect towards boundaries
        • Control Issues
        • Jealousy
        • Verbal and physical abuse
        • Violence and even sexual misconduct or abuse

        You may think a dysfunctional family has very little or nothing to do with personal productivity, but you would be wrong in thinking this way…

        If a person is not emotionally well, she will not be able to perform as desired, as the emotional harm that has been inflicted will hinder everyday performance in the way of inability to concentrate, lack of mental clarity and low levels of inspiration, motivation and discipline.

        Having a functional family does exactly the opposite: It creates productive members with no emotional baggage.

        How to turn it around

        When you’re part of a dysfunctional family you know it. You can quickly identify in other members the behaviors and conflicts that create the dysfunction.

        But just in case you’re having trouble telling functional from dysfunctional I will tell you the following:

        One of the easiest ways you can recognize if you are in a dysfunctional family is to survey your won feelings.

        We often overlook this, but have you stopped to ask yourself how you feel?

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        As cheesy as it may sound it really sheds a lot of light on the subject.

        What behaviors, actions and attitudes in your family you wish were better?

        Do you think certain behaviors and actions from your family marked you in the past?

        Sadly, we cannot go back to the past to correct it. But we can do a lot in the present…

        Correction is possible

        In order to fix a dysfunctional family, you must start by putting an end to the behaviors and actions that are affecting you.

        Verbalize it.

        All members of the dysfunctional family have one issue in common: They don’t put a stop to the harm.

        Whenever you feel your boundaries being overstepped there is just one single word you have to remember: STOP.

        This is the door to a better, more functional family, because after this, comes the fix.

        But first you have to identify and make others know where exactly lies the problem.

        So go ahead and fearlessly start with “Stop”, followed by your expression of dissatisfaction.

        Putting it to work in real life

        In real life it would be something like this:

        “OK, stop! Every time you belittle me I feel you don’t care. I need attention and respect, and it is your responsibility as my family to provide them to me”

        Or:

        “Stop. When you compare me with my cousin it hurts, I feel like I don’t matter and that’s not ok. I ask you to stop doing it.

        Or:

        “Please stop. When you start yelling all respect is lost and it turns into a battle of who can do it louder. Don’t raise your voice and let’s work this out the way humans do”.

        As you can see, here you start by putting a stop to the toxic behavior when it arises. And afterwards you verbalize why it’s wrong and what needs of you need to be fulfilled.

        This is what you have to remember:

        1-Stop.

        2-Why it’s wrong?

        3-What you need.

        And this will also work well in case you need to do it for another family member.

        It’s a family thing

        A dysfunctional family cannot be fixed by one member alone.

        Yes, a single member can initiate progress and be the leader of the change. But in order to completely become functional all members must contribute to the solution.

        In other words, you will need cooperation…

        So don’t be afraid of asking for it!

        Approach your family member and ask to be listened.

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        We sometimes feel our needs are “not that important” or we simply believe they won’t listen. But thinking like this would be like being defeated at an unfought battle.

        You will be amazed by how much people listen when you voice your needs, especially if it implies showing yourself open, vulnerable and in need.

        It’s not a free-for-all battle

        In order to get your family to cooperate, first you must fix your individual relationships with every member of the family. Remember: Relationships are always between two people, and two people only.

        No matter how complex, the quality of a multi-member relationship (like a family) will always depend on the quality of the individual relationships.

        Once you have straightened the relationship with every member of the dysfunctional family you will be able to better communicate with other members and help in the betterment of their individual relationship.

        And this is where we will talk about the fix itself. The one I mentioned in the introduction…

        The method

        1. Drop the ego

        Wherever there is conflict there is ego.

        You cannot fix a relationship where there is ego, because the ego will want to win. Always. Yours and the other person.

        Ego craves control and satisfaction, and in many cases, to establish dominance.

        What does this have to do with a dysfunctional family? Everything. Ego will interfere with every plan you have to fix it.

        It will make people suborn and defensive. And it will also make them drop responsibility. This is why, the first step is to drop the ego.

        After you make sure you are not going to allow your ego to interfere you must work to make the other person do the same. How? By speaking from the heart…

        Tell the other person how important all this is to you.

        Tell the other person that it’s not a matter of arguing, but just working things out together.

        Point out how it is not possible for you to do it alone.

        And ask for sincere attention without any desire of opposition, because what you are doing is by no means in the hopes of harming the other person, but just to better the relationship and stop the damage being dealt to you.

        You will have to point out the mistakes you need corrected, that’s for sure. And that leads me to the next point…

        2. Not blame, but responsibility

        When talking about others’ mistakes we often use an accusatory tone. And that’s natural, it’s what things should be like if ego was not present.

        But since we are all creatures of ego, this immediately brings the shields up. And then unsheathes the swords…

        When we blame others they automatically enter a defensive state, and this only leads to a failed negotiation.

        What you need to do is to shift from blame to responsibility. And even that will have to be done carefully!

        Instead of telling them off or demanding change or complaining, calmly point what the problem with their behavior is.

        As much as this feels contradictory, also make them feel understood. You know how difficult it is to accept a mistake, so just make them feel it’s no big fuzz… which does not mean it’s ok, but it takes tension off.

        You will do something like this:

        “Hello dad. Can I talk with you for a minute? I really need to tell you something.

        I have been feeling pretty sad lately and I know this is something you do care about.

        You see, whenever I talk about my accomplishments you mention something else that makes my achievement pale in comparison.

        I know you don’t do this intentionally and I know you might have not realized this until now, but I want to let you know this really brings me down.

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        It would mean a lot to me if you could stop doing it, and it would help better our relationship, because this has already forced me to distance myself from you. And I don’t want that, I want a good, healthy relationship with you”

        What happened here?

        We started off with making it something important, something that needs both time and attention. Then we openly show ourselves vulnerable, just as we are.

        We also mention why he should listen, and shove our feelings there again, because they are important.

        We describe the issue with no attachment and with no hostile intention. It’s just a description.

        And then we take the blame off. Just before we assign responsibility without actually saying it.

        You are not blaming him directly, but you are pointing out the inevitable fact that his actions are causing a dysfunctionality. He is now responsible for changing.

        This is what “switching blame for responsibility” means. What comes next? Doing the work!

        3. Doing the work

        What would any of this mean if, in the end, nothing changes? Exactly, nothing!

        This is why you must follow up with every change that needs to be done.

        Do so in a manner that is not hostile. Bring it up in a casual manner, and emphasizing how you both reached an agreement and how that is important to the family.

        If the person doesn’t follow up don’t hesitate to bring it up again, and tell them you feel disappointed that your honest try at it was not listened.

        It may even be a subject in itself, and therefore the need for another conversation.

        “When you go back to old habits it shows that you didn’t really care about what I said. But back in real life you just reinforce how much contempt you show towards me and my feelings.

        I talk with you because I care. Because although it would be easier for me to just distance myself from you I rather do my part in nurturing this relationship.

        But there is just so much I can do, if you refuse to do your part I can do nothing else.”

        You need very clear and positive communication in order to make this work.

        Love is all you need

        You must remember that in order for a dysfunctional family to become functional, all the work needs to stem from love.

        That is the single one requirement for all this to work: Love.

        And what happens if it simply is not there?

        What happens if, nobody is willing to do what it takes?

        What happens if a member of the family refuses to change and is happy with the harm he or she is dealing?

        There is only one thing you can do:

        To break away.

        Let’s be honest, people, especially adults, are very difficult to change.

        There is a Jewish proverb that I love, which sums it up like this:

        “We spend the rest of our lives trying to unlearn what we learned before we were 7”

        If you find it very hard to change the very traits that make your family dysfunctional or if it’s simply impossible, you still have a card up your sleeve…

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        Although nobody likes to beak away from family members, we must remember we have a responsibility with ourselves as individuals, before any relationship with anyone.

        You have the responsibility of making yourself happy and free. Because you matter as an individual, regardless of any relationships you have, be it family, friendship or romantic.

        Putting distance

        So in case you are dealing with a family member who is simply unwilling to change take both physical and emotional distance.

        What do I mean?

        Learn, first, to take their damage in a detached manner.

        Don’t let it hurt you further. Instead take a deep breath and distance yourself emotionally.

        Don’t be attached to feelings such as “Why doesn’t she love me?” or “What did I do to deserve this?” or “If he wasn’t like that my life would be perfect”.

        Simply refuse to keep participating in the emotional downward spiral and accept, even if it’s painful” that there is nothing you can do. Accept that even without that relationship you are whole, you are worthy of love and respect.

        They are their responsibility and you are yours. So decide what is best for you.

        Realize it only comes down to two possibilities:

        I keep the relationship and therefore accept the abuse. Or…

        I choose my peace of mind.

        And don’t let your mind fool you. We often think that since we all are imperfect, we must take the good and the bad behaviors of people. And we are especially forgiving towards our family…

        Well, guess what? We are also responsible adults who are aware and must own to their acts. Never excuse abuse or violence or transgression towards you or anybody else.

        Choose your happiness and if possible, also distance yourself physically, as it will increase your peace of mind tenfold.

        How to prevent it

        There are two key concepts you must bear in mind in order to prevent the dysfunctionality of a family:

        • To be completely aware of one’s own mistakes and not allow them to impact others and…
        • To make sure our SO’s are also on the same channel before creating a family (i.e. having children)

        Dysfunctional families are the product of irresponsible paternity, for the decades-long unresolved emotional conflict ends up surfacing in the family inevitably, and it will for sure harm those who least deserve it: Innocent children.

        You may notice we went from talking about family, to talking about individual relationships, to talking about you. We went from “them” to “us” to “me”.

        Why? Because in the end you have the power to fix a dysfunctional family. To correct the mistakes you have in yours and to prevent dysfunctionalities if you don’t have a family but plan to create one.

        Priorities and clear thought

        You may be part of a dysfunctional family, but that does not mean you are powerless or that you have to suffer the consequences.

        You learned today how it’s all a matter of priorities and thinking clearly.

        You learned that, if love exists, everything is possible. You learned that even when there is no love and no fix for your dysfunctional family, there are still things you can do. It’s a matter of choosing your peace, because you deserve it.

        Everything will be better if you apply this knowledge. If you talk to that problematic family member. If you help them see the harm they are doing. If you make sure they do change and treat you the way you need to be treated…

        If you choose yourself over that toxic family member. If you refuse to justify the harm that others can do to yourself. If you realize the most important relationship you have is with yourself.

        And lastly, that you also have to be aware of your actions and be open to criticism. Because we might be unknowingly harming others. And that would be us creating a dysfunctionality. Don’t allow it to happen.

        Dysfunctional families are not impossible to fix. It just takes love, cooperation and responsibility.

        But if you tried and those elements are not present, just choose yourself instead.

        Featured photo credit: Xavier Mouton Photographie via unsplash.com

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