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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 September 16, 2019

            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.

            More About Procrastination

            Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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