Stress is one of the primary and most common causes of human problems in today’s society. From physical and mental health issues to relationship woes and problems at work, stress is a wide-ranging and implacable obstacle to achieving success and peace of mind.
But there are many ways to fight stress, from easy everyday tips to longer-term lifestyle changes. Here is a list of some things you can do to help you de-stress your life and create a peaceful, calmer way of living.
Declutter: Every item you bring into your home has to be stored, maintained, upgraded, cleaned, worked around and finally discarded appropriately. Plus, all that stuff is unattractive, as well as being emotionally and energetically draining to look at and live. Less stuff equals less stress.
Create an oasis: Your home is your oasis from the world, or at least it can be. Choose furnishings, accessories, colors, scents and artwork that create a sense of peace, welcome and safety for you. Also, set clear boundaries about what can, and what can’t, impose upon this peace. For example, one person might put his foot down at bringing work home, while another don’t mind as long as her weekends are sacred, or one person might enjoy spirited political debate, while another prefers to keep their politics private and off the list of conversational topics.
Create an “away space”: Set up a private space – be it a bedroom, office or even a closet with a comfy chair – where you can go to get away from noise, television, family arguments, work and other stressors. Stock your space with things that help you relax – music, candles, aromatherapy scents, artwork, whatever. Use it as a private retreat when you need to take a time out to recover your inner balance.
Manage your time: One of the biggest work stresses is time management, or the lack thereof. Each morning, take a moment to organize your day before you jump in, and at the end of the day pause again to review what you did and make a list of what needs to go on tomorrow’s calendar. During your day, do what you can to minimize interruptions and distractions, and to maximize the efficient use of your time. Consider hiring a business coach if you have trouble doing this on your own.
Underbook yourself: While it may temporarily feel important and productive to fill your calendar to the brim, in reality delays, interruptions, over- and under-estimations of time required and other such issues can quickly turn a full calendar into punishing workload. In almost every case, underpromising and overdelivering is far more impressive than the reverse.
Set boundaries: When people ask us to do things we’d rather not do, or that run contrary to our values, it creates a great deal of stress – especially if we don’t feel we can say no. Being clear about your boundaries upfront and sticking to them when approached will eliminate these issues before they can become a problem.
De-stress your diet: Junk food, eating too fast, eating too much or too little or forgetting to eat and then gorging when you suddenly find yourself starving are sure ways to find yourself nutritionally depleted. This nutritional depletion can leave you unable to cope effectively with everyday pressures and responsibilities, turning a normal day into a stressful one and a trying day into sheer madness. Opt for healthier food choices, and consider eating several small meals a day rather than three large ones to maintain a healthy, consistent level of energy and alertness.
Exercise: There’s no better way to work off stress than to move your body. Whether it’s a quick walk at lunch or a day spent chasing a Frisbee at the park, exercise is our body’s way of burning off pent up energy and anxiety in a healthy, productive manner.
Meditate: Meditation has long been shown to decrease stress, increase mental and emotional stability and resilience, and encourage a peaceful, happy frame of mind. You don’t have to spend all day in meditation to get good results, either. As little as 10-15 minutes a day can create substantial results. (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/meditation/HQ01070)