September 26

Dealing With Stress

By Richard East

September 26, 2021

Anxiety, Health, Mindfulness, Stress, Tools, Wellbeing

How to Live a Stress-Free Life 

Everyone wants to live a more stress-free life, but figuring out how to do that is the biggest challenge of all. While some people are naturally more predisposed to dealing with stress productively, it can still require efforts and resources that can leave you feeling a little drained.

Every person can have a different reaction to the sources of stress, and methods for dealing so it’s always a good idea to see if there are ways to sharpen your skills.

Let’s discuss some new (And old) methods of reducing your daily stress so you can live a happier, more fulfilled life.

What Is Stress?

To put it plainly, stress is the physical reaction to events and emotions. Stress is a part of life for people at every level of financial stability whether they want to admit it or not, but it’s up to each individual as to how they will deal with it. If you were to ask the general person how they believe stress affects their body, then a lot of them would probably say that it isn’t really a big deal because the issues are just in their head, but is it really?

Why You Should Be Concerned

If you haven’t been keeping track of the developments in the study of stress, then you might be caught unaware are to the devastating effects that it can have on your body. Stress on your system can be so intense that it can shape the entire experience that a person will have in life.

Stress has the ability to become a lens through which all things are viewed, and can leave a solid individual feeling weak, useless, and fraudulent when dealing with nearly any activity that they enjoy.

Armed with this new knowledge, you might find yourself wondering how you can protect yourself from allowing your mind to go in that kind of direction. In the western world, many have taken a more common approach in the hopes that they would find the relief that they’ve been looking for.

1. Setting Up a New Routine

The first thing you should do if you want to live a stress-free life is look at your daily habits and create a healthier routine each day.

Create and Follow a Routine

When you have daily routine that you can follow, it takes a lot of the stress out of things. This is because you have a schedule that tells you what you will be doing from one moment to the next. When your time is budgeted well, it becomes a lot easier to focus on tasks because you know close to the amount of time that it will take. You’ll feel less rushed to do things because you know that there is an appropriate amount of time that has been put aside for you to get it done.

One thing that’s important to remember though, is that things don’t always work out perfectly, so it’s not healthy to become obsessed with keeping a schedule to the minute. When confronted with these kinds of issues you can simply make adjustments to your schedule, and it’s always a good idea to leave a little extra time just in case.

Get Up Earlier

If you’re like most people, everyone has a day where they run just a little late. This sends them flying out of their door, and dropping things the entire way to their means of transportation. If you wake up a little earlier, then you’ll have the time to wake up, have some kind of breakfast and be more prepared for your day.

During the early hours of the day, it can be a great time to sharpen yourself with a new skill, some exercise, or make the list of what you need to accomplish for that day.

2. Daily Activities to Reduce Stress

As you begin working on your daily routine, there are some activities to fit in that can help you reduce your overall amount of stress.

Make Your Area Smell Nice

What’s your favorite scent? If you take some time to make the world around you smell nice, then it can do wonders for improving your mood and reduce stress. There are lots of products that you can find both in stores and online for better moods and concentration.

Not all methods are created equal however. It would be a good idea to find natural products to use, because artificial ones can contain chemicals that can cause hormonal imbalances. There are also options like wax melters and oil diffusers that get warm but don’t actually use fire for the spread of the scents as seen with incense.

Take Care of Your Hygiene

Cleanliness is seen as one of the great modern conveniences, but it also has a huge impact on your emotional and physical health. When you’re clean, you will think a lot more clearly about things.

It may seem simple but taking a shower will ease tensions in your muscles and trigger various relax responses within you. Also when you brush your teeth, your breath will smell fresher, and that will make you less nervous about saying hello in a crowded elevator.

Practice Deep Breathing

When was the last time you sat quietly and practiced deep breathing? In some eastern cultures, there is a lot of focus on awareness of the body and breathing. It turns out that deep breathing exercises can be extremely beneficial because they help your body to relax, and can help support heart health.

When you have a moment, find a quiet place to clear your mind and focus. As you sit there, focus on breathing in and out very slowly. You will notice that your heart slows down. Deep breathing can soothe anxiety as well, because the breathing will help your body to get out of the fight or flight response.

Drink Tea

Tea is a wonderful and ancient drink that promotes a lot of healthy mind and body attributes. Mostly this is due to the nutritional aspects of tea, and its ability to deliver anti inflammatories to your body. Some teas even have calming effects due to their makeup like Chamomile tea. If you’re feeling stressed out, it’s a good idea to have a cup of tea to take the edge off.

Keep a Journal

A lot of people have all kinds of stresses and little negative things that creep into their head in a day. These thoughts can bounce around and make you feel as if you aren’t in control of your thoughts. It creates a negative cycle that can rob you of your peace. If you take some time to write down how you’re feeling, it can help you to work through a lot of these negative feelings.

Be sure to take note of anything that you think made you experience those feelings. Another great advantage of this, is that you can look back over the period of time, and see how much progress you’ve made.

Have a Positive Mantra

When you’re deep in thought throughout the day, what kinds of things are you thinking about and saying to yourself? People who are dealing with emotional issues and stress can sometimes get caught up in dwelling on overly negative thoughts and feelings. Although lots of people would generally view the loud chanting of some phrase to be bizarre, studies have shown that repeating positive phrases to yourself can have positive effects on your attitude.

They even found that this improved blood pressure, decreased the heart rate, and even helped people with insomnia. Pick something that has meaning to you, and start to say it to yourself. After a while it’ll become a habit that will help you get through many situations.

3. Distractions and Multi-Tasking

How well do you keep your focus? The modern world is full of constant distractions that can make it a task in itself to stay on track. This is such a problem that there are now entire professions that have been created with the sole purpose of keeping stressed out executives on their daily tasks.

In order to keep your precious time from being stolen by all sorts of random things, it’s important that you learn how to ignore any distractions that you encounter. Surveys given to workers have revealed that the average worker is aware of the fact they waste between 2 – 3 hours of work time on most workdays. If you practice staying on track, it will become easier over time, and you’ll get a lot more done.

Don’t Try to Multitask

A lot of people who live busy lives have way too much on their plate. This can cause them to believe that they can do more things than are actually humanly possible. The fact of the matter is that when you try too hard to multitask and juggle elements of your life, then many of those elements will suffer, and sometimes these issues can have a permanently devastating effect on your career and personal life.

What works better is to stick to a small group of related tasks, or even better yet, just one task. Once you’ve finished, you can move on to the next thing on your list. Having a structure like this will make it easier for you to enjoy life.

Take Time Out 

A lot of people seem to be unaware of how important it can be to take time out for themselves. If you never give yourself any downtime, you’ll eventually burnout. Schedule some time for you to relax. During that time you can also take on some enrichment activities. You can try some new hobbies, or learn a new skill. Personal time is also a great time to think about positive things like the good parts of your day, what you have been thankful for, and so forth. If you want you can simply do nothing at all, as long as the time is all yours.

Know When to Say No

For some people, it can be really hard to be realistic about what they do or do not have time to do. This is especially true for people that are used to helping when they are asked. If you continue to say yes to everything people come to you with, then tasks will begin to pile up, and that is likely to cause many of your own projects and goals to suffer.

It’s a good idea to practice politely letting people around you know that you won’t be available. That way you can keep a good reputation with them for future involvements. If these people are your real friends, they won’t mind that you have healthy boundaries.

Avoid the News For a Few Days

While it’s good to keep updated on important current events, nothing should come at the cost of your sanity. That means that in order to reduce your stress, you might have to stay away from anything that could put you in a negative mood. The News today is filled with various types of strife and injustice.

Avoiding news also means more time to focus on more important things for yourself. You can use that time to create something beautiful, or simply relax with a book. Either way, your mind feeds on whatever you give it, so it’s a good idea to be more eager to find good things for it to absorb.

4. Spending Time with Others

Have you ever been having a hard time and received a hug that meant everything for just that one moment? Hugs are powerful gestures of affection and they create bonding between people. If you have been feeling stressed out, then you can seek out a hug from a friend or family member. When you are hugged, it can lower your blood pressure and heart rate.

This is because the touch of another person can cause your brain to release chemicals that have a relaxing and pleasurable effect on your body. Hugs are also able to help your body to dull sensations of pain, so it makes sense that children want to be with a parent when they are hurt, in that it also has a biological component. Another great thing about hugs, is that they can also help you to deal with feelings of fear and low self-esteem. People who had been hugged for a period of time were shown to have increased confidence.

Call a Close Friend or Relative 

Do you have old friends that you can reach out to when you feel down? Maybe there’s a favorite relative? Sometimes when the world feels like it can be surrounding you it might feel like it’s all too much to deal with, but if you have someone to talk to that could help massively.

When you talk to people that you care for, your body releases chemicals that make you feel happier. If you’ve been feeling isolated, then it might be a good idea to takes things a step further and take time to go and spend time with them. Engaging older friendships can be a very rewarding experience. In some cases, hardships can even resurrect old friendships. Finding good friends is a meaningful thing, so when it’s their turn, remember that they listened when you needed them to as well

Spend Some Time with a Pet

Do you like animals? If you do, then getting a pet that you can hang out with at different times of the day can be really helpful in reducing your stress levels. Researchers have known that pets can reduce stress for years. Their data has revealed a lot of health benefits can come from simply sitting and petting an animal. They have been connected with lowering your blood pressure as well, so they also have some heart health benefits. Pets love to entertain and be entertained, so if you decide to get a pet, you’ll be able to spend time with a friend that will provide life-saving laughter for years.

5. Have Some Fun with Life

There are a lot of people in the world that believe being serious is a sign of maturity. Having that kind of attitude can suck the fun out of the room at rocket speed. Try loosening up a bit. Read something overflowing with wit. Watch a visually stimulating comedy. It’s hard to remain depressed or stressed out when you are giggling wildly at something that is made to entertain you.

Read a Good Book

When was the last time you sat down and got extremely immersed in a great book? Reading can be a really fun, calming thing that you can do, and the best thing about it is that you can do it anywhere. You can take books with you to read when you need to kill time, or you can just read at home.

Listen to Your Favorite Music 

Music is a wonderful tool for stress relief. Hearing a piece of music that you love can help to settle the most disturbed soul. Researchers have been working to incorporate music into stress relief for a few decades now.

Find One Thing to Be Grateful About

What do you do when you have a bad day? There are lots of ways that people use to cope with having a hard time, but one of the very best ways to deal with a bad day is to try and think of at least one thing that you can be grateful for. What’s important here, is to go deeper than things like, “I’m not homeless” because it should go beyond avoiding inconvenience. Write about what moves you, and try to think of things you truly appreciate. This will help keep you focused on good things and improve your mood.

6. Moving Forward with a Stress-Free Life

One of the strongest forms of eliminating stress comes in the form of visualization. Visualization can be a powerful tool that allows you to see your possible future. All you have to do is sit and imagine your success.  Think about the details of your life. By doing this exercise, you are telling your mind to allow itself to accept the possibility of not only good things happening to you, but also that these things could be the direct result of your hard work and intelligence.

Another way that visualization can be used is for you to picture an environment that calms you down. This could be the beach, the forest, or anywhere you feel the most at peace and comfortable. Once you know what this magical place will be, you can practice taking yourself there whenever a problem comes up, or you are just feeling stressed out.

Make a List

Do you always have a lot of stuff on your mind? Making a list can help. When you have a lot of tasks to perform, it can rattle around in your head and cause you a huge amount stress until the tasks are completed. When you write a list down, you’re taking some of that work load off of your brain. This way, your mind can now focus on the daily things that need to be done instead of worrying about not forgetting certain sets of things.

Meet Your Challenges

How well do you do when you have something that needs to be taken care of? A lot of stress that people experience comes from procrastination. When you wait just a little too long, things can easily pile up around you and leave you stuck scrambling. Instead of avoiding those things, simply focus on one and get it done. Once you have taken care of that first thing, you can move onto the next one. If you don’t do this, unforeseen events can take place and create even greater difficulties for you to face. The more you do this, the more your confidence will grow.

Prepare for Tomorrow

One of the greatest sources of stress for most people is the lack of preparedness. When you end your day, you can do little things to get yourself set up for the next day. This may be preparing your food for the next day or getting your clothes and bag ready for the morning. The more you can do in readiness for the next day the better you will feel.

I hope some of the above tips have been helpful. I am aware of the importance of a healthy mind and pay particular attention to stress and anxiety. Within Active-Rest I regularly discuss the benefits of various approaches to helping people deal with stress and anxiety.

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