“If you ask what is the single most important key to longevity, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension. And if you didn’t ask me, I’d still have to say it.” – George F. Burns
In our busy lives, stress is a major problem for many people. Today, we live in such a rat-race world and there is so much going on around us that is not easy to be stress-free. In this fast paced society, its hard not to be stressed out — a chaotic home life, stressful job, uncontrolled lifestyle, and bad habits such as drinking and smoking, unhealthy eating are the big causes to make us stressed out. We have families, friends, rent, bills, taxes and many more factors we have little control over. These factors can lead to a mountain of stress.
As its hard not to be stressed out, what we can do is to get our lives to a more manageable level and aid the universe in making life go as smoothly as possible. If your life is full of stress, there are some small things you can do to minimize your stress. Here are 10 ways which helped me reduce stress in my life. I’m not saying that all of these will work for you, because each person is different. Pick and choose the ones that will work best for you, and give them a try.
1. Learn from your mistakes — We learn from our mistakes. Our mistakes help define us. Whenever you’ll make a wrong turn, don’t criticize yourself, just analyze what you did wrong and how you could’ve made the situation better. So move on and learn from your mistakes. As Louise L. Hay said, “Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving yourself and see what happens.”
2. Be self-compassionate — People with self-compassion are less stressed and more successful. Self-compassion is important both for business and personal productivity. One of the most important tactics is looking at your shortcomings with understanding and kindness. Self-compassion has significant positive association with happiness, optimism, and personal initiative.
3. Stop multi-tasking — If you want to make your life simpler you have to avoid multi-tasking. So stop multi-tasking and do one task at a time with full focus. Research indicates that focusing on only one single task at a time is more beneficial than multi-tasking. The quality of what you are doing falls when you focus on too many tasks at a time. Most of all, single-tasking will help you greatly to make your life simpler and easier. Your days will be much simpler and enjoyable than ever.
4. Reduce your commitments — If you have to make your life simpler you have to say “no” to extra commitments. It may not be easy at first to you, but if you really want to make your life simpler, saying “no” is important. It is also important to recognize your comfort level for how many events you can smoothly manage. Off course, helping others is your noble trait. But before doing that, it is also important to know when helping others is making you suffer. We say yes to too many things where we should have said no, and at the end of the day we get mad at ourselves for saying yes. So, don’t be afraid to say no. Whoever you say no to, they will still love you, still respect you too. No one can always be the good person who says yes.
5. Stop trying to be perfect — Do NOT try to be perfect in everything. It makes your life more complicated and adds a lot of stress in your life. Don’t take your mistakes so seriously, nobody is beyond of mistakes. Laugh about your mistakes. Try to learn from your mistakes, and in one stage, same mistakes won’t repeat any more. Making mistakes is absolutely normal and we all make mistakes. Just try to do most of your tasks with full concentration, and actually that’s the natural and playful way you will reach perfection.
6. Do something physical — Do something physical each day to be active. There are so many physical activities we can do that are fun—walking, bicycle riding, hiking, doing yoga or physical exercise. Walking has therapeutic effects—a 10-minute walk can be as good to your mind and body as a 45-minute workout. Just walk. Have fun watching the nature, people around you, and do some relaxed deep breathing—you’ll leave the worries behind you with every step you take.
7. Do the things you like — If you have a passion or a hobby that you’ve been neglecting—this may be a cause to increase your stress levels. Do something that you enjoy, something that calms you down. This could be watching film, reading book, housework or yardwork, meditate, or take a nature walk. Engaging yourself with a creative activity is another great way to reduce your stress levels. For many people, it can be writing, painting, playing music, or sketching. Doing fun activities can also be take you away from stressful environments for a while. This could be taking a nap, or a bath, going for a coffee with a friend, or playing with your dog. Find your favorite activity that calms you down and try to do it each day.
8. Never procrastinate — Procrastination is one of the most common problems to increase your stress levels. A small break or a little escape from work is fine. This will reduce your stress and also boost your energy. But if it is procrastination, then it is bad and stressful. If procrastination turns into your regular habit you will not get the most important things done. Thus, never wait for tomorrow, finish your task at that instance only. Because, tomorrow never comes.
9. Exercise regularly — Taking regular exercise is not only good for your physical health but also your mental health. Practicing exercise every day can improve wellbeing by raising self-esteem and self-control. Regular exercise helps to decrease the production of hormones that are responsible for stress. Thus, push yourself to exercise regularly to feel better and put the stress behind you.
10. Simplify your life — Living a simpler life can be a great way to reduce your stress and to relax. You can make your life simpler and more enjoyable by reprioritizing your life, adjusting your schedule, or changing your physical environment. Simplify your schedule by reducing the number of commitments in your life. Learn to say no to the commitments that aren’t beneficial to you. Simplify your finances by spending less, and automate savings. Find ways to have fun that don’t involve spending money.
Many of us think that stress is the norm of our modern society. It is the norm because we love to think it so, and we make it so. Change your outlook on life, change your lifestyle. At the end of the day, you must discover yourself as the captain of your ship.
Photo by: greekfood-tamystika