Many people today are suffering from stress levels that are not healthy. With elevated numbers of divorces, economic struggles, and everyday stressors, those numbers are likely to increase in the coming years. Having a plan to deal with stress has become as important as your annual checkups and preventative care plans. Here are ten things you can do to ease that stress without turning your daily life upside down to do it:
Get a Supportive Network
One of the easiest ways to deal with stress is to keep a great network of people in your life. That also means getting rid of those that add stress to your life. If someone is putting negativity into your daily routine, it is time to put some distance between you. If they are family members, minimize your contact as much as you can. Getting positive people in your life that enhance a calmer, rational way of living is a great first step toward battling stress.
Take the Rush Out Of Your Day
Rushing through life will not be a good thing for your stress levels and contrary to popular opinion, it will not help you accomplish anymore either. You might occasionally get some extra things done, but generally, you will just wear your body and mind thin quicker. Take the time to do things purposefully and with care and your quality will go up – in life and in performance.
Organize Your Life
A life that is organized allows for lower stress levels because you know what to expect. The unknown powers most stressful situations, right? Imagine an impending death, divorce or job change…not knowing what to expect is the primary reason for the stress. This means that stress and the unknown are related and can be reduced by eliminating some of the uncertainty in life. You can’t help some things like death and taxes, but you can certainly organize your work schedule, make a family calendar of upcoming events and work out a livable budget. Get organized!
Get Rid of the Mess
Clutter is another stress-inducing problem. If you live in a pig sty or have things all over the place, you are virtually guaranteed to have a higher stress level than you need to have. Finding things, stepping over things and breaking things because they are underfoot are all stressful. Clutter is also visually stressful compared to a nice, peaceful living space.
Go Back to the Earth
When stressed if calling, heading to the local woods or a hiking trail can really bring us back to our roots. There is something wonderful about sitting in a grassy field or beside a lake with no hustle and bustle to worry about. Go hiking or walking on a regular basis and stay close to the things that truly matter.
Get a Quick Start
When you have a long list of things to do, the best thing is to knock out the easy stuff first. Many folks say to do the things you hate first, but that is wrong in my book. Do the easy, enjoyable stuff first and get some serious momentum. The problem with doing the bad stuff first is simple…most folks never get started.
Why head out into traffic and craziness when you really don’t have to? Yes, I realize that some folks are headed home after work for that time period. Why not find something to do until it passes? Use that time to meditate in a local park, or go on that walk in the woods for an hour. The benefits over the course of a week will shock you. If you are forced to engage in rush hour because of obligations, keep the windows up and peaceful music going. Keep the insanity outside if at all possible and relax inside your cocoon of comfort.
Schedule Your Own Downtime
While you are going about the business of scheduling, don’t forget to pencil yourself in for some relaxation. We have no problems scheduling things that others want from us… Why should we have problems dedicating time to ourselves? Relaxation is the single best weapon against stress on the planet. Be sure to schedule some relaxation time every single day.
Take the Time to Have Fun
As we grow older, our lives tend to become way too serious. The fun takes a backseat to responsibility virtually every time. This is interesting considering that our need for fun increases as we grow older. What good is it to go into hibernation? Get out there and have some fun!
Spend Time with Your Maker
Finally, be sure to set aside time for God. Staying in touch with our Savior is absolutely vital to any life filled with stress. No one else is equipped to fight that kind of fight. God can make all things new again and take away the pain that stress enables. Even if you are not a Christian, you should make time to get in touch with whomever, you worship.
Stress does not always have to be the winner. As we age and become wiser, we can improve our tactics in the fight against stress. Nobody is immune to this killer, so be sure that you pick up some of the habits mentioned above. Life is too short to spend it stressing!