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5 Ways to Kill Off Stress in Any Situation

5 Ways to Kill Off Stress in Any Situation

Regardless of your life circumstance, stress probably plays a role in some shape or form in your everyday life. Some days are worse than others, but rarely can any of us truly say, “I’m 100 percent stress-free.”

Everyone, from homeless people to billionaires, is susceptible to stress; there’s simply no way to avoid it. However, there are ways to reduce the amount of stress you suffer from.

Here are five powerful tips for ways to kill stress in almost any situation.

1. Eat Healthier

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    (Photo by Alex Ranaldi)

    Though a lot of stress is psychological, there are also plenty of physical factors that contribute to this natural human response to perceived danger. In order to mitigate stress, make sure you’re treating your body right. A big part of this is eating healthier.

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    “There are no magic ‘anti-stress’ foods,” says Gilles Barbot, founder and director of Esprit de Corps, a leadership coaching program. “Nevertheless, adopting an alkaline diet instead of an acidic one is recommended.”

    Foods that are highly alkaline include baking soda, lemons, lentils, onion, pineapple, pumpkin seed, raspberry, sweet potato, vegetable juices, and watermelon. For a full list of alkaline foods, check out this chart.

    2. Wake Up Earlier

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      (Photo by faungg’s photos)

      It’s certainly true that the more sleep you get, the less prone to stress you’ll be. However, waking up 15 or 20 minutes earlier each morning may have more benefits than sleeping in.

      By giving yourself some extra time, you won’t feel quite as rushed or frazzled in the morning. This enables you to avoid having to rush out the door, which leads to better preparation and more confidence.

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      “Take time in the morning to center yourself,” San Francisco-based psychologist Leslie Carr advises. “A lot of people shoot out into their days like a rocket ship and it never gets better from there.”

      3. Let Stress Motivate You

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        (Photo by Andrew Imanaka)

        Since you’re never going to eliminate 100 percent of the stress in your life, one of the best things you can do is let it motivate you. This is what stress is designed to do, after all. The psychological and physical reactions brought on by stress are supposed to heighten our senses and empower us to fight off or escape a threat.

        Next time you feel stress creeping in, take action. Stressed about the amount of work you have to do this week? Stay three hours late tonight and get a head start on tomorrow.

        Stressed about your lack of income? Pick up a side job to earn more money. Taking action is one of the most effective ways to kill stress.

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        4. Watch a Funny Video Clip

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          (Photo by Nolan Williamson)

          Here’s a simple and practical tip: Watch a funny video clip on YouTube. Research shows that seeing something amusing activates the part of the brain that produces calm physiological responses and tranquility. This can lead to less anxiety and more happiness.

          5. Take a Walk Outside

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            (Photo by Dave Walker)

            A walk a day keeps the doctor away … literally. Just as any other cardiovascular activity does, walking boosts endorphins in the body, which alleviates mild depression and improves mood. As a result, you’ll feel less stressed and more alert.

            Whenever possible, make sure you take your walk outdoors. A number of studies show that spending time outside is a great way to relieve stress. It can improve energy levels and memory by as much as 20 percent.

            One UK study even suggests walks in green spaces put the brain into a “meditative state.”

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            Learn How to Manage Your Stress

            It’s impossible to be stress-free. You simply can’t eliminate all of the triggers in your life. As soon as one goes away, another one will quickly emerge.

            But having acknowledged that, you need to learn how to manage stress by stopping it in its tracks. Keep the powerful tips above in mind and never underestimate the rewards of remaining calm.

            Featured photo credit: Andrew Imanaka via flic.kr

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            Anna Johansson

            Anna specializes in entrepreneurship, technology, and social media trends.

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            Last Updated on November 19, 2019

            20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

            20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

            Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

            If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

            1. Create a Daily Plan

            Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

            2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

            Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

            3. Use a Calendar

            Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

            I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

            Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

            4. Use an Organizer

            An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

            These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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            5. Know Your Deadlines

            When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

            But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

            6. Learn to Say “No”

            Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

            Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

            7. Target to Be Early

            When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

            For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

            Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

            8. Time Box Your Activities

            This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

            You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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            9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

            Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

            10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

            Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

            You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

            11. Focus

            Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

            Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

            Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

            12. Block out Distractions

            What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

            I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

            When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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            Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

            13. Track Your Time Spent

            When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

            You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

            14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

            You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

            Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

            15. Prioritize

            Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

            Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

            16. Delegate

            If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

            When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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            17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

            For related work, batch them together.

            For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

            1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
            2. coaching
            3. workshop development
            4. business development
            5. administrative

            I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

            18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

            What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

            One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

            While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

            19. Cut off When You Need To

            The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

            Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

            20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

            Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

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            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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