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10 Ways To Reduce Stress And Live A Worry Free Life

10 Ways To Reduce Stress And Live A Worry Free Life

Today, we live in such a fast paced society and there is so much going on around us that is hard not to be stressed out. We have families, friends, taxes, rent and so many other factors we have little control over. When we can, we need to minimize our stress and aid the universe in making life go as smoothly as possible. Here are 5 ways which helped me reduce stress in my life.

stress

    1. Make checklists.

    This will help you take things one step at a time and not overwhelm yourself mentally. When we make mental checklists, we tend to look at the overall picture of all the things we have to do instead of taking it one task at a time. Also, when we cross something off our checklist, we feel a sense of accomplishment and feel even more motivated to tackle the next task. By doing this, we begin to build a positive momentum.

    2. Don’t take the opinions of others to heart.

    The key to living a happy and fulfilling life is being able to be authentically you and do the things that bring you joy. Often, the opinions and judgments of others get in the way of our authenticity. We cannot allow this to happen, as Don Miguel Ruiz points out in The Four Agreements:

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    “Whatever people do, feel, think, or say, don’t take it personally. If they tell you how wonderful you are, they are not saying that because of you. You know you are wonderful. It is not necessary to believe other people who tell you that you are wonderful. Don’t take anything personally.”

    Understanding that whatever people say, think and do are projections of their own reality will take the weight off of the opinions of others. The need to please will only lead into a very stressful life—we will never please everyone.

    3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

    “The willingness and the courage to face a problem often means identifying and talking about the problem, looking at available resources, identifying solutions and alternatives, and developing a plan of action that works best.”

    Ellwood City Ledger 

    Being able to ask for help is a sign of maturity, not weakness. It is an essential part in developing a plan of action. Many times when we are facing a problem, we are not always seeing things clearly. Asking for help can often show us different way of approaching a problem that we may have never thought of ourselves—there is always something to be learned. Not to mention, having a confidant and someone to help you through a tough situation makes the process a lot less stressful.

    4. Meditate.

    Zen Cat

      Meditation is something that has personally helped me on my journey and has significantly reduced my anxiety and stress levels. Psychology Today posted an article on their website about a study that was done proving that “mindfulness meditation strengthens a person’s cognitive ability to regulate emotions.” The ability to regulate our emotions and maintain a mindful outlook will help us deal with our stress in a much healthier way. Meditation has also opened my mind up to the idea of other forms of relaxation and alternative healing such as hypnosis, which has changed my life! I love challenges like Oprah and Deepak’s 21 day series. Their guided meditations are not too long, easy to listen to and help to get you into the routine of meditating. Check the link out here.

      5. Be patient and embrace the process.

      Every time you feel impatient and restless, try to remind yourself that life is a marathon, not a sprint. We all need to embrace present-moment living more instead of always wanting to be at another place than where we currently are.  The present is the only time that has purpose and meaning right now. When we become impatient and rush through life, we are probably missing out on important lessons and not reaping the full benefits of life.

      6. Don’t compare yourself to others.

      This can be difficult, but we need to keep in mind that we are completely different people than those we are comparing ourselves to—we have completely different perspectives. Comparing ourselves to others will only result in decreased self esteem and increased anxiety.

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      7. Get a therapist!

      therapy

        I am a huge advocate of finding someone who you can speak to in a private, safe place without judgment. It is a completely outside perspective that may result in clarity and insight.

        8. Do something physical and GET MOVING!

        I am not the hugest fan of working out but I realized that there are so many physical activities I could do that are fun such as bike riding, taking a walk with a friend, roller blading, etc. Endorphins are natural pain and stress relievers.  Give it a shot. ;)

        peewee

          9. Practice breathing techniques.

          Rhythmic breathing has been proven to be an effective method for reducing stress and anxiety. There are tons of great books on Kundalini Yoga that will teach you how to get started or look up a studio that teaches Kundalini.  It is totally worth it!

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          10. Practice self care.

          Go get a message.  Watch your favorite movie. Get your nails done. Take a bubble bath.  The options are unlimited, but the idea is to pamper yourself and relax. I am committing to getting a message once a month to force myself and relax and take care of myself.  I think this is a necessary but often pushed to the bottom of the list due to timing, money etc.

          Featured photo credit: Daniela Munoz-Santos via flickr.com

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          Last Updated on January 2, 2019

          Better Alternatives to New Year’s Resolutions to Reduce Your Stress

          Better Alternatives to New Year’s Resolutions to Reduce Your Stress

          The end of the year is the time when everyone tries to give you advice on how to live healthier, look better, and earn more money.

          It’s understandable if you find yourself lost among all the tips and opinions. Sometimes you no longer know what you truly want to achieve next year – and what’s just imposed by society.

          To help you out, we’ve made this article about the things you should remove from your new year’s resolution list – instead of adding to it – to make your daily life more harmonious and peaceful.

          So just make sure you cross these off your New Year’s to-do list – your body, mind and soul will be thankful.

          1. Stop Buying Meaningless Gifts

          We all know the sense of obligation – when we have to buy a gift for an event or celebration that’s already tomorrow, but we still have no idea of what to give.

          Take these tips close to heart for all upcoming holidays, including birthdays, weddings, graduations, etc.:

          Stop focusing on the material objects

          Instead of focusing on what material object to give, think about the emotion you want to evoke[1] in the gift recipient, and then pick a symbolic gift that can support or represent that emotion. For example, you can gift coziness by presenting a “comfort set” with warm socks, tea, candles, etc. Or give motivation by presenting a beautiful planner or notebook.

          Plan gifts in advance

          We know this is easier said than done. But if you try to plan which gifts you’ll need in the upcoming months (try making a list three or four times a year), ideas will more likely come to mind and you’ll avoid that last-minute shopping. Not to mention, you’ll be able to keep an eye on sales to get the best prices.

          Suggest a better way

          If you’re tired of exchanging gifts for birthdays and holidays, initiate a different approach. For example, draw names among family members and agree that each one only buys a present to that one person they got. Alternatively, you can agree not to share gifts among adults, and only give presents to kids of the family. Or, ask friends to donate to charity instead of buying a gift for you.

          Go for common experiences instead of exchanging gifts

          You can agree (with your partner or the extended family) to go on a common trip, dinner or another activity, instead of spending money on gifts.

          Sometimes you’ll have to be the one who initiates breaking the rules that have been accepted in the family for years. But if you suspect that you’re not the only one in the group who’s tired of gift-hunting, you’ll surely find support for your suggestions.

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          2. Don’t Exaggerate with Diets and Fitness Resolutions

          It’s no secret that TV shows, article headlines, and ads (not to mention our healthy diet-obsessed friends) make us feel like we need to look better, slimmer and younger than we actually are. But going on yet another diet or starting a fitness plan with the wrong motivation rarely leads to great results.

          If you are like many people, you have probably signed up for an annual gym membership at least once in your life – only to drop it one month later.

          How do you balance a good resolution for a healthier life without pushing yourself into commitments that won’t last?

          Here’s what you can do:

          Set a healthier pattern

          For example, do meat-free Mondays or reduce meat consumption to three days per week (less saturated fat for you and better for the environment). Or choose to eat only healthy food at least three days a week or only on weekdays (e.g. make sure your meals contain vegetables, fruits, whole grains, dairy products, and protein). This way you’ll already have a healthier diet while still being able to treat yourself with a snack on weekends or parties.

          Get a fitness watch

          Fitness watches like Fitbit or MiBand are tiny accessories that will count your steps, calories burnt and will serve as an excellent motivator to move – or to take the stairs instead of the elevator.

          Find a physical activity that you enjoy

          Even if you are not that fond of doing sports, you can definitely find an activity that you’d do with pleasure. Think about what you’d like – from taking up Nordic walking to pilates or even exercising at home.

          Try intermittent fasting

          This is an alternating cycles of fasting and eating. For example, stop eating at 8 pm and restart not sooner than 12 hours later. This approach has been proven to have numerous health benefits, in addition to weight loss.

          Skip cabs or driving to work and opt for cycling or walking instead

          You’ll burn calories, breathe some fresh air, and save money – win-win!

          3. Put a Cap on Your Daily To-Do List

          In today’s busy world, planning your day in a stress-free way is actually an art in itself. It’s natural to want to be a loving parent, a diligent employee, an active member of the local community and probably several other individual roles.

          But playing all these roles requires energy and meticulous planning. How not to lose yourself amidst all the appointments and responsibilities? And – most importantly – how to still find time for relaxing and recharging yourself?

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          These daily planning tips will help you have more stress-free days:

          Leave bigger intervals between meetings

          If you schedule too many appointments or chores in a day, you’ll probably end up late at some point, and as a result – more stressed. There are many different reasons why people are late, but poor planning is a major factor too.

          Plan time to relax

          As weird as it may sound, you should try and schedule your resting time. For example, if you only have one free evening this week, and a friend tries to squeeze in a meeting, feel free to say no. Don’t feel obliged to specify the reason for your refusal, just say that you are busy.

          Try to be a little pessimistic

          We’re often packed with plans or running late for errands because we tend to be overly optimistic – about the traffic, the time it takes to do things, etc. Instead, try an opposite tactic — assume you’ll hit traffic or the meeting will take longer.

          Try waking up earlier

          Sometimes even waking up 30 minutes earlier can give you the much-needed head start for several errands of the day. But remember to get enough sleep every night, even if it means going to bed earlier.

          Plan your day the day before

          Chances are your day will be much better organized if you pack a lunch and lay out an outfit before going to bed.

          Designate a time for checking emails and social messages

          If you start checking your messages between appointments, you risk getting lost in a sea of messages that need replies. Designate a time for this activity or do it in case you arrived early to a meeting.

          4. Let Go of Unhealthy and Time-Consuming Habits

          If there’s one thing we should get rid of in the new year, it’s the habits that steal our time, provide instant gratification but don’t offer any value in the long term. Or even worse, leave a negative impact on our health.

          Here are some common (and pointless) habits along with tips on how to get rid of them:

          Binge-watching TV series

          Even if most online television platforms offer you lists of “Best TV Shows to Binge Watch”, being addicted to series is a major time-waster.

          You can manage this addiction in several ways, for example, watch one episode per day (or a few per week) as a reward, only after you’ve finished an assignment or done a house chore. Or try replacing this habit with exercise or reading a book – this will be hard at first but should stick after a few weeks. You can also try to track how much time you spend on TV or movies – seeing how much of your life you are wasting might urge you to do something about it.

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          Running on coffee

          Being a coffee addict is kind of a stylish addiction nowadays, but it’s not that innocent as it may initially seem. Besides addiction being a problem in itself, drinking too much coffee (more than 500-600 mg of caffeine a day) may lead to nervousness, insomnia, an upset stomach, a fast heartbeat, and even muscle tremors.[2]

          As a solution, try switching to tea or edible coffee – a more sustainable, healthy, and productivity-enhancing alternative. For example, Coffee Pixels are solid coffee bars that generate a more even energy kick throughout the day without the coffee-induced abstinence and dehydration.

          Procrastination

          Fighting procrastination requires some serious willpower. If it is a problem in your daily life or work, try ”eating the frog” in the morning – get over your biggest or hardest tasks first, then tackle everything else.

          Alternatively, use time tracking software to monitor exactly how much time you waste on unproductive actions, websites or apps. Once you know exactly how much time you’re spending unproductively, try to limit your time on social media, for example to just 20 minutes per day.

          If nothing else works, try bribing yourself — promise yourself to do something fun or pleasant when you finish your assignment.

          Whichever habit you want to give up, consider using some habits building tools to make a contract with yourself and reward yourself for milestones achieved.

          5. Stop over-consuming

          We live in the age of consumerism – huge manufacturers with their promise of a comfortable life on the one hand, and growing environmental threats – that are the direct result of our modern lifestyle – on the other hand. There’s only one solution – try to consume less whenever and wherever you can.

          Before making additional purchases, ask yourself these questions:

          • Do I really need it? Did I need it yesterday?
          • Can’t I buy it used or borrow it from friends?
          • Can I rent it?
          • Can I make it myself?
          • Am I buying the most sustainable version of this product?

          For example, check if the brand you chose is conscious about the environment, for example, are the products they manufacture energy efficient? Do they try to use less packaging?

          Also, if you often find yourself buying too many groceries, promise to buy only the amount that fits in one shopping bag (that you bring along). If you often forget to take your shopping bag with you, get yourself a 2-in-1 wallet with a built-in shopping bag for more eco-friendly shopping.

          6. Learn to Unplug from Your Phone

          Today’s world is crammed with information, and many people struggle to keep focus on what’s truly important. There’s just too much going on in the world – too much to read, to watch, to know, too many conversations to participate in.

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          But how to refuse the temptation to check the phone and start using social media in a controlled, not a compulsive way?

          Some tips for managing your phone-dependency:

          Spend only a limited amount of battery per day

          For example, start your day with 50% battery life, and manage your phone usage so that you’ll make it till the evening.

          Block distracting apps and notifications on your phone and computer

          Choose one-hour, two-hour or longer blocking sessions and enjoy the positive impact this will have on your mood and productivity.[3]

          Set your phone on flight mode

          When you start doing an important task that requires full focus, set your phone on flight mode so that nobody can disturb you.

          Leave your phone at home or in the office when you go for lunch

          You’ll see that the feeling of being unreachable for a moment is actually very liberating.

          The Bottom Line

          As a new year begins, we’re all excitedly looking forward to what adventures await ahead of us.

          But this year, promise yourself this:

          Instead of having a never-ending list of tasks and commitments, focus on the truly meaningful ones. And cross-out all the rest without feeling guilty.

          Less is more. Make this year count. We’re all rooting for you.

          Featured photo credit: Brooke Lark via unsplash.com

          Reference

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