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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 September 20, 2018

          8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

          8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

          You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

          Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

          When you train your brain, you will:

          • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
          • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
          • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

          So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

          1. Work your memory

          Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

          When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

          If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

          The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

          Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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          Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

          What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

          For example, say you just met someone new:

          “Hi, my name is George”

          Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

          Got it? Good.

          2. Do something different repeatedly

          By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

          Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

          It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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          And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

          But how does this apply to your life right now?

          Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

          Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

          Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

          So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

          You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

          That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

          3. Learn something new

          It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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          For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

          Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

          You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

          4. Follow a brain training program

          The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

          5. Work your body

          You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

          Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

          Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

          Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

          6. Spend time with your loved ones

          If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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          If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

          I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

          7. Avoid crossword puzzles

          Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

          Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

          Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

          8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

          Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

          When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

          So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

          The bottom line

          Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

          Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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