Stress is sadly a daily occurrence for many of us. Whether we create our own worry or have stress thrust upon us, we all know that it is not healthy or productive. Not only does it impair our immune system, affects our mood, upsets our relationships, bring us down, affects our health and overall well-being but it is proven to reduce our life span. It is ironic that given what we know about stress that we seem to do very little to reduce it. This brings me to this week’s topic…What can you do to reduce stress in your daily life?
We all know that when we are free of or have greatly reduced stress levels that we are happier and healthier. Life seems to bubble along smoothly, we cope well, we are in good health and we are more enjoyable to be around.
Are there activities that you do that reduce your stress? Exercise, cooking, a hot bath, reading, gardening, socializing and the like? Activities that put you in a flow state of mind are brilliant stress relievers.
Can you use your resilience and positive self-talk to reduce anxiety and increase positivity? When destructive mind chatter and stress enters your thoughts, STOP them in their tracks and get constructive and positive.
Is there a mentor/friend that you can talk to who always gives you common sense and rational advice?
Can you let go? Let go of fear and negativity and just be? Take a deep breath and let it go.
Forgiveness is vital key to stressing less. Holding onto the past prevents you from living happily in the present.
Live in the moment – stop getting caught up in the past or the future. Be involved in mindful of what it is you are doing right now.
Pick your battles wisely, don’t get caught up with small issues or problems that do not really involve you.
Ask yourself “what is the worst that can happen”? Unless it is life threatening there are always choices that you can make to move forward. Using the catastrophe scale is one way of putting things into perspective.
Be grateful for all that you have. In times of stress, take time to make a mental list of 10 things that you are grateful for.
This is definitely an area that I really have to take my own advice on. When it comes to stress, I am often guilty of what I call “ducks disease”. Looking calm as I glide across the water but underneath my feet are going like crazy trying to keep me moving. Outwardly, I look calm and collected but underneath I can be a stress head. I have come to realize and often need to remind myself that stressing about things really never improves my situation. In nearly all occasions it only makes things worse.
How do you cope with stress? I’d love to hear from you.