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Want To Live A Stress-Free Life? Make Use Of Your Curiosity In This Way

Want To Live A Stress-Free Life? Make Use Of Your Curiosity In This Way

Ever have so many things on your plate that the thought of having to remember to do just one more thing would make you crazy? Are you struggling to fit in time to make it to the gym and the grocery store? Everyone gets stressed out at times, and it can really affect our quality of life.

How can we keep stress from getting the best of us? Studies show that the way we are affected by stress depends greatly on the way we view the outside world.[1] It’s all about our perception. Stress usually creeps up on us when we feel like what’s happening is out of our control. By simply slowing down to ask ourselves a few questions, we can calmly analyze the situation and get to the root of our anxiety.

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Don’t Just Accept Your Situation—Ask Questions

Stress can come from a variety of external factors. Maybe your car broke down, your hours got cut at your job, or your cable bill went up unexpectedly. Many times, we just accept that the world is against us and continue being tense and unhappy. If we slow down to analyze not just the end result but the path to how we got there, we can get a better idea of how it all came about in the first place.

Ask yourself, what am I feeling? Don’t just lump it all under “stress,” which is not really a feeling. Then ask, what is really making me feel this way, and what could I do right now to make the situation better? It could be that you’ve just trained yourself to feel constantly stressed for no reason. If you’re feeling stressed about money because you went over your budget last month from buying lattes every day, you can figure out the solution pretty easily.

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Find Out Why

 Sometimes you need to go a step further than just asking those three questions. Once you determine how you feel and what is the immediate stressor, you should keep asking questions to get to the root cause.  Why do you always feel pressed for time? Why do you schedule so many things back-to-back? Why did you take on extra projects when you knew you were already busy? Work backward to find out where the stressor originated. You may find that some of your stress could have been prevented, and use that information to keep the same thing from happening again in the future.

Come Up With a Plan 

After you work out your feelings and get to the bottom of where your stress began, you should feel like you have a lot more power in determining how the outside world affects you. You no longer feel like the victim and are empowered to start making changes to things you can control. Don’t do anything drastic. Think of one particular area of your life that is hanging over you, such as your finances. (Money problems alone cause stress for more than ¾ of Americans).[2] Pick one thing you can start doing today to be smarter about your money, such as bringing a lunch to work instead of eating out. Just by asking yourself questions and then taking small, simple actions, you will feel your stress start to dissipate.

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When we’re curious about our situation, rather than being bitter and casting blame, we are able to take the driver’s seat once again and gain control over our stress. Once we feel like we have a say, the negative effects of stress are minimized. We are more willing to take actions toward change and toward reaching our full potential.

Featured photo credit: Photo via Visual Hunt via visualhunt.com

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Reference

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Megan Machucho

Freelance Blogger and Copywriter

Want Your Kids To Be Happy For A Lifetime? Make Them Feel Secure In The Early Days Want To Live A Stress-Free Life? Make Use Of Your Curiosity In This Way If You Want Your Kids To Be Successful, Don’t Protect Them In This Way

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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