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10 Ways To Reduce Stress And Improve Your Life

10 Ways To Reduce Stress And Improve Your Life

Stress is known to be one of the biggest causes of medical visits in the U.S., and it can have an extremely negative impact on your physical and mental health. Although everyone will experience stress from time to time, no matter what type of lifestyle they lead, there are some methods that you can utilize to help getting this issue under control and have a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling life.

1. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness, which is often referred as mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) by medical professionals and counselors, is the intentional act of staying in the moment. Instead of reflecting on the past issues or future concerns, mindfulness requires the individual to stay as rooted as possible in whatever they are feeling, seeing, or hearing right now. It is important to allow these sensations and feelings to happen without judging them, because this can make you take things less personally and feel less stressed. This technique is often incorporated with meditation.

2. Make A Gratitude Board

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    Research has repeatedly proven that expressing gratitude and focusing on the things you are grateful for can make you feel more optimistic and happier, along with reducing doctor visits. Of course, trying to focus on the things that you are grateful for might feel difficult at times, especially if you are dealing with a highly stressful situation. To help you remain focused on expressing gratitude, it is a good idea to get some poster board or a large dry erase board and write down at least one thing every day that you are grateful for. Over time, this will have positive mental and physical health benefits.

    3. Involve Nature Into Your Exercise Routine

    Exercising is a fantastic way to lower your stress levels, but you can take this one step further by heading to the woods for your workout. Whether you choose to take a slow walk or go mountain biking, time spent in nature has been found to relieve stress. As an added bonus, studies show a 20 percent improvement in the memory and attention span of those who regularly spend time in nature.

    4. Start Your Day with Meditation

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      Meditation is one of the best ways to improve your emotional well-being. Starting each day with a 5 or 10 minutes of meditation session has been found to help people remain calmer and get a better handle on any stressful situations that occur. The best part is that anyone can learn to meditate, and you can do it almost anywhere without needing any special supplies. However, some people get better results if they utilize a meditation app or burn a specific scent of incense each time they meditate.

      5. Stay Away From Gadgets Few Times A Day

      We are inundated by technology, and this can be a good and bad thing. For example, medical and environmental technology have done amazing things for the world, and we are much better off with these things in our lives. However, it’s important to be aware that spending all of your time plugged in technology can be extremely stressful. If you start to feel like yourself becoming overly stressed, turn off all your electronic gadgets for 15 minutes or, even better, go into a cool, dark room and lie down for a little while. This will allow your brain and your emotions to recharge, and it can help you feel less stressed out.

      6. Make Some Reading Time

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        A recent research project about stress reduction was conducted at the University of Sussex, and the results indicate that reading for pleasure is one of the absolute best ways to de-stress. In fact, reading for a mere 6 minutes will bring your stress levels down by 68 percent. To get the best result, you should sit quietly and read a book. Other studies have indicated that reading fiction book is a better stress buster than non-fiction book, as is choosing material from a genre that you particularly enjoy. In other words, there is no need to steer clear of your so-called guilty pleasure books, because they are probably the best thing for you.

        7. Balance The Proper Nutrition and Good Mental Health

        Maintaining a healthy diet that fulfills all of your daily nutritional needs can actually provide you with some protection from stress. When you do encounter a highly stressful situation, your body will be more equipped to handle it if you have been eating healthy and exercising regularly. It is also important to note that your body’s natural inclination to eat pleasant food during times of stress can offer some temporary relief as well, but make sure that you consume these food items in moderate portion to avoid filling up on junk.

        8. To Reduce Stress, Write Down Your Feelings in A Journal

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          Journaling is a popular way to express emotions and document your day-to-day activities, but did you know that the act of physically writing your feelings into a notebook will make you less likely to suffer from depression and anxiety? If you do not feel comfortable keeping a traditional journal, it may also be beneficial to utilize the latest trend: bullet journals. These journals allow you to keep an eye on your day, week, and month in one place, and you can write shorter, bullet-style entries about everything that happens in your life.

          9. Create A List of Affirmations

          According to Kathleen Hall, Ph.D, every single emotion and thought that you have, creates a chemical reaction which then impacts your emotional and physical health. Therefore, writing and reciting positive affirmations can actually change the way you feel. The next time you are dealing with a stressful event, take a moment to recite some positive affirmations that you have already written or gathered from another source. An example of an affirmation is “I am a good person with a strong support system.” Saying this few times when you feel depressed or disconnected from your family and friends can help recovering your emotions and taking action to improve your life.

          10. Avoid Unnecessary Stressors

          We all have certain stressful things that we have to deal with on a daily basis and we cannot avoid. But, there is absolutely no reason to add additional stress on top of these existing burden. Therefore, identifying unnecessary stressors and eliminating them from your life will allow you to feel lighter and happier. For an instance, if you find yourself getting agitated every time you read the comments’ section of a news article, make it as your new goal to ignore this section altogether.

          These 10 techniques should give you a great start to improve your life and reduce stress. Additionally, there are numerous other little things that you can do to make your life less stressful and more rewarding, such as de-cluttering your home and minimizing your TV-watching time.

          More by this author

          Holly Chavez

          Writer, Entrepreneur, Small Business Owner

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          Last Updated on October 30, 2018

          How To Be Successful In Life? 13 Tips From The Most Successful People

          How To Be Successful In Life? 13 Tips From The Most Successful People

          What is success to you? How to be successful in life?

          To some, when they think of success, they imagine wealth; others want power; some just want to make a positive impact on the world.

          All of these are perfectly valid, indeed success is a concept that means different things to different people. Though no matter what success is to you, it almost certainly isn’t something will come easily.

          There are countless guides and books to being successful, however, as success is personal and unique to each individual. The advice contained in these books can often not be relevant. Therefore following the advice of a single individual can often be unhelpful.

          With this in mind, considering the advice of a great many people, people whose ideas of success were different both to each other, and quite possibly, to you can be a good alternative.

          What follows is a list of thirteen of the best pieces of advice from some of the most successful people who have ever lived. If you want to learn how to be successful, these 13 tips are essential:

          1.Think big.

            From Michelangelo Buonarroti, Great Renaissance Artist:

            “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”

            There are few artists as influential as Michaelangelo. Today centuries after his death, his work still inspires and connects to people. His work is world famous, just think of his statue of David, or the Mural in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.

            Imagine then, if he decided not to work as an artist.

            Being a successful artist has always been extremely difficult, imagine if he decided to give up this ambition in favour of something easier?

            Oftentimes, people often decided to put their dreams aside for something more “realistic”. To give up their dream for something easier. This quote teaches us the danger of such a point of view.
            Instead be ambitious.

            2.Find what you love to do and do it.

              From Oprah Winfrey, Media Mogul:

              “You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job and not be paid for it.”

              This is a good quote to remember and think about when you’re at work.

              Imagine being as successful as possible in your current job. Ultimately you’ll probably find yourself working extremely hard and this it will take up much of your time.

              If it’s a job you hate, then being successful at it might only mean filling your life with something you hate to do. What’s the sense in this?

              Instead, why not focus on doing something you love? When you’ve found what you’re passionate about, you get the motivation to keep you moving. Success at this means the fulfilment of your dreams.

              Not sure what your passion is yet? You should learn about this Motivation Engine first.

              Even if you’re not successful, you still filled your time with something you love to do. Many successful musicians spent years of their lives doing unpaid performances, the only reason they kept playing was because they loved to perform.

              3. Learn how to balance life.

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                From Phil Knight, CEO of Nike Inc.:

                “There is an immutable conflict at work in life and in business, a constant battle between peace and chaos. Neither can be mastered, but both can be influenced. How you go about that is the key to success.”

                All too often, people think that to be successful, they need to make the object of their success their life.

                If a person thinks their job will lead them to success, then they may spend countless hours per day, and well into the evening working hard.

                However this comes at the cost of rest, your health and having an enjoyable life. Ultimately they may burn out and cease to be successful at their job anyway.

                If success comes from having a strong social life and a good group of friends, their job may suffer; meaning that they may lose their job, and then be unable to afford going out with friends.

                In these ways, success, as Phil Knight says above, is helped by balance. Think of it as a balance between rest and work, or work and play.

                To achieve that balance, this Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life can help you.

                4. Do not be afraid of failure.

                  From Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motors:

                  “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

                  There is a story, it’s unconfirmed whether it actually happened, yet the message within is none the less true:

                  Thomas Edison inventing the lightbulb was the result of several hundred failed attempts. In an interview, he was asked “How do you feel after all of your failed attempts?”

                  His response was great, “I didn’t fail, I learned hundreds of ways not to invent the lightbulb”

                  He saw each “failure” as a lesson. From that lesson he learned what won’t work, and also might work instead.

                  Each failed attempt, each rejection, were key steps on his path to success. It is easy to feel like you should give up after a failure. But perhaps in that failure is a lesson.

                  Pay attention to your failures, study them. Perhaps then you’ll learn how to succeed.

                  5. Have an unwavering resolution to succeed.

                    From Colonel Sanders, Founder of KFC:

                    “I made a resolve then that I was going to amount to something if I could. And no hours, nor amount of labor, nor amount of money would deter me from giving the best that there was in me. And I have done that ever since, and I win by it. I know.”

                    This, in many ways relates to the above quote about learning from your failures.

                    It’s the easiest thing in the world to give up from a failure. The only way to push on is if you have the true burning desire to succeed, to not be moved or dissuaded from your goals.

                    If you are not truly dedicated towards success, then each failure will hurt more, each set back will slow you down.

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                    Success is hard; without the unwavering desire to succeed, this difficulty may seem insurmountable. With the desire, it is merely an obstacle to go through.

                    6. Be a person of action.

                      From Leonardo da Vinci, Renaissance Genius:

                      “It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”

                      Though it was said hundreds of years ago, it works just as much today as it ever had. It applies to literally any successful person.

                      Think about it, picture someone like William Shakespeare:

                      When we think of the time he lived in, we think of the time in a way shaped by him. When we think of Renissance era Italy, we think of Michaelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci.

                      Or think about the present day:

                      Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. Our current way of life would simply be incomparably different if they didn’t accomplish what they did.

                      You’re probably reading this article on a device by a company that they either founded or companies influenced by them.

                      All these figures were proactive, they saw ways to do things differently and did them. If they let the world shape them, then they’d simply fit into the background. Instead they shaped the world.

                      Applying this to you?

                      Don’t be afraid of going outside the norm. If you can think of a better way to do something, do it that way. If you fail, try again.

                      7. Avoid conflicts.

                        From Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of America: “

                        The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”

                        The best leaders and some of the most influential people (and Theodore Roosevelt is one of the best leaders and one of the most influential people to have lived) were not those who caused commotions, who fought with people or disregarded people; but were people who were friendly to those around them.

                        People liked them. They wanted them to do well.

                        This is key to good leadership.

                        It’s logical. If someone likes you, they want to help you; if you give them a suggestion, they’ll gladly follow through with it.

                        But if someone doesn’t like you, they may either refuse to help or actively get in your way.

                        What’s more, it’s always a good idea to cultivate good relationships. You can never tell who will prove to become someone who’ll be able to help you in a big way, or even be a good and supportive friend.

                        As such, help people and they may help you; and be good to people, and they my be good to you.

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                        8. Don’t be afraid of introducing new ideas.

                          From Mark Twain, Famed Author:

                          “A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.”

                          It is an unfortunate truth that those with the boldest ideas are often disregarded.

                          Most of us are taught from an early age to think and do things similarly to everyone else. This can be great to fill an existing role. But to truly do things differently (and all successful people did things differently), you need to think differently.

                          If you have a new idea, don’t throw it away because it’s new and different; instead, celebrate it. Your strange new idea might one day be the one that leads you to success.

                          9. Believe in your capacity to succeed.

                            From Walter Disney, Founder of Walt Disney Company:

                            “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

                            Success has to be something you can imagine yourself achieving.

                            It is possible that you will come across those who doubt you and your ability to succeed. You must not become one of these people because the moment you cease believing and dreaming is the moment these dreams fall away.

                            Keep dreaming!

                            10. Always maintain a positive mental attitude.

                              From Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of America:

                              “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”

                              Like the above quote says, you need to trust in your ability to succeed. This is the only way to cultivate the right mindset.

                              Replace negative thoughts with the positive ones. You need to approach problems, not as obstacles stopping you, but merely tasks that need to be completed for you to keep going.

                              If you stay positive and think like this, setbacks won’t affect you so much, people’s doubts won’t impact you and even the biggest obstacles will seem like minor problems.

                              However with the wrong mindset of doubt, you’ll be much easier to stop.

                              11. Don’t let discouragement stop you from pressing on.

                                From Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of America:

                                “Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed.”

                                It is an unfortunate fact of human nature — all of us in some way, doubt ourselves. This can be made far worse if others doubt us too.

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                                When surrounded by doubts, giving up can actually seem like a good idea.

                                Don’t pay attention to the doubts. If you are discouraged, ignore it.

                                If this discouragement moves into your mind and you begin to doubt yourself. It is important to ignore this too.

                                Take a look at these 5 Ways to Stop Self Doubt in its Tracks.

                                12. Be willing to work hard.

                                  From JC Penny, Founder of JC Penney Inc.:

                                  “Unless you are willing to drench yourself in your work beyond the capacity of the average man, you are just not cut out for positions at the top.”

                                  You might have heard the quote that “success is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration” or you may have heard about the 10,000 hours idea.

                                  Whichever way you frame it, they say one thing:

                                  True success comes from work.

                                  You’ll never become successful if you don’t work towards your goal in life and keep working towards it.

                                  Check out this article and you’ll understand Why Hard Work Beats Talent.

                                  13. Be brave enough to follow your intuition.

                                    From Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple Inc.:

                                    “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

                                    In ancient Greece, there was a group of Oracles who lived in Delphi. Everyone who needed advice or to know their future visited them, from the poorest of society to kings. Above the doorway of the temple were the words “know thyself”.

                                    If you strongly believe and desire something, the chances are that you already have an idea how to get there. If not, you may naturally know what things will help you and what things will slow you down.

                                    It’s like how your body can detect danger even when things seem safe.

                                    Ultimately then, you need to trust your own instincts.

                                    Final thoughts

                                    What you might have noticed is that many of the above lessons are similar — most are about developing the right state of mind. This clearly suggests that the key to achieving success, in whatever you wish, comes down to the way you approach it mentally.

                                    Moreover, no matter what stage of life you’re at now, you can still make a difference and pursue success. You can make resetting your life possible when you do this:

                                    How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                                    More Recommended Lifehack Experts in Success

                                    • Mandie Holgate — Successful life coach in the UK, helping businesses and individuals achieve greatness
                                    • David Carpenter — Lifelong entrepreneur and business owner helping others to realize the American Dream of business ownership
                                    • Ray Zinn — An inventor, entrepreneur, bestselling author and the longest serving CEO in Silicon Valley

                                    Featured photo credit: Ryan Wong via unsplash.com

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