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4 Ways to Quickly Rid Yourself of Too Much Stress

4 Ways to Quickly Rid Yourself of Too Much Stress

We have all had our share of the not so great days where everything seems to go wrong. You miss your morning alarm, get stuck in traffic, forget about that important meeting and get tail ended in the evening. And you think to yourself, could it get any worse?

Little everyday anxieties cause us much more harm than major setbacks in life. The job rejection is forgotten in a few days and the break up in a few months while rush hour traffic and waiting in line at grocery stores is encountered day after day and year after year. There is no escape from the everyday hassles of life, the only thing you can do is learn to de-stress, no matter where you are and not let the little things bother you.

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Here are some instant ways to relax, rejuvenate and get ready to face the world all over again.

  1. Take a Deep Breath

    Under stressful situations we tend to take short breaths making it difficult for our bodies to relax. This in turn reduces are patience level and makes decision making a more challenging task.

    Stuck in traffic and running late? Well there’s only so much you can do even if you decide to become that crazy driver trying to switch lanes with bumper to bumper traffic. Try something different for a change: take a few deep breaths like you would in a yoga class, the “breatheeee innn, breatheeee outtt” kinds.

    Though this will not help you get to your destination any quicker, it will for a moment empty your brain of the million thoughts running through it and calm your mind. The more stressed you are, the faster you age. Do you really want rush hour traffic to be the dominant cause of you looking older?

  2. Music

    Remember the time when you were having a bad day and suddenly the radio played your favourite song? Instantly every cell in your body was happy, the worries of the world were lost and nothing else mattered at that moment. You were happy  and refreshed even after a very long day and excited all over again. Hope was in the air, love for the radio jockey and people around you wondered what made you smile.

    The right kind of music can do wonders to your mood, from filling your heart with joy to reminding you of a heart ache, instantly you enter a different world filled with strong emotions and memories. If there’s so much potential in music, why not use it to your advantage? Feeling low? Put on your favourite music and your tapping shoes and take a break from the worries of the world. Waiting in traffic won’t seem as bad as you groove to your favourite beat and the long lines up not as long when you are lost in long forgotten memories.

  3. Exercise

    Though this may not sound like the most alluring option, its benefits are incomparable. Not only does your body get the well needed workout, the anger and frustration is taken out on the treadmill instead. The mind is now relaxed and the body too tired to cause anyone any harm. Either you’ve solved the cause of your stress while you were panting for breath or you’ve drained out the extra energy in you to worry any further. Most of our little worries disappear over night and we start the new day wondering why it bugged us in the first place.

  4. Connect with Nature and just ‘Be’

    Not only is this a great stress reliever, it is also a good way to convert negative energy into something constructive. Get back to an old hobby or try something new. Learn to paint or try new dance moves instead. This will keep your mind focused on things you enjoy and your body active.

When you’re having too much fun in life, the little things don’t bug you as much. It will be much easier to ignore the not-so-cordial co-worker or the rude cashier. Maybe they were having a bad day, why let their day affect yours?

(Photo credit: Stress via Shutterstock)

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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.

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Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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