The challenges of life can sometimes make you feel so full of stress. Every single day, you, like most of us, spend a major chunk of your time working. As your work-day turns to close, you start to feel like you have been to a war.
It’s okay to feel that way once in a while. But if you keep finding yourself feeling wrecked and drained most of your weeknights, it’s time to craft a better life with lesser stress.
Can You Live A Stress Free Life?
This is one big question to ask yourself now: Can you ever live a stress-free life?
And the answer is Yes, you can.
Stress is present in all aspects of our life, we know. Life is never completely stress free, and we always need some stress to perform at our optimum.
What is problematic is when the stress becomes distress and you find it hard to cope with. This could be the result of challenges and things you are not quite happy to deal with. And it gets even more intense when you have a tremendous amount of responsibility at work as well as at home.
So, the idea is to live a life free of distress (bad stress), and the just the right amount of eustress (good stress).
And it’s so much liberating when you do not let your distress imprison you into a joyless world. With a little patience and practice, the right tips will help you live a happier and more satisfied life.
But first, distance yourself from people who make you unhappy. We even suggest you get away from those movies, programs, sites, and apps that make you less happy.
Even if you are too busy to breathe a moment in peace, try applying these easy actionable strategies, and invite some calmness into your life.
Here are 8 helpful tips to master the art of a stress-free life:
Tip #1. Create A New Daily Routine
People who have a daily routine are more likely to have a less stressful life as compared to those who do not. Those with irregular routines only have faint ideas about things that need completed the next day. And this just adds to their stress.
A daily routine saves you from a lot of unplanned activities and unpleasant surprises. Now, those are some of the things that create apprehensions and other negative emotions about the outcomes of your tasks.
When you know exactly what you need to do the next day, you are more relaxed and free from unnecessary worries. Following a daily routine will set your mind to a certain mood and expectation and this is really helpful in eliminating stress.
If you already have a routine, and it’s leaving you stressed at the end of the day, then obviously it’s not working. So, you need to find an hour to sit down and check off those activities that are adding to your stress. Replace them with some relaxing distractions, and create a brand new daily routine.
Tip #2. Make A To-Do List For Next Day
Another simple thing you can do to make your life stress-free is to make a list of the tasks you need to do for the next day. While you are building that list of the things to do the next day, you are also readying up your mind and body for each of them.
Another advantage of having a list is you will surely not forget about an important task. One of the major causes of stress is forgetting you need to do something and realizing it only when it is already late. Having a list will save you from this untoward consequence.
You can create a to-do list on a piece of paper that you carry all day round. Truth be told, paper-lists are easy to carry, review, and discard. But you may also use the digital medium to note them down.
Tip #3. Schedule All Your Reminders
This tip bonds closely with the 2nd tip above.
With your smart phone and other gadgets, it is now very easy for you to set a schedule reminder. Now, this is as easy as it can get, once you have your tasks-to-do list for the next day ready.
The idea is this: Get if off your mind and onto an app. Free up your mental space and regain your calm.
You need scheduled reminders especially if you are the kind of person who needs to do a lot of things. If you do not want to forget something, you need to set a reminder for yourself.
This way, you will not find yourself stressing over something you are not sure you’ll remember to do.
So, why bother keeping yourself stressed with “I’ve to do this at 3 pm today, and that at 6 am tomorrow.” Just get these scheduled on into the various apps. Some of these are Google Tasks, Microsoft To Do, and Todoist.
Tip #4. Practice Positive Affirmations
Words are powerful because they can either make or break you. This is why you need to consider saying positive affirmations not only to the people around you but also to yourself.
Self-affirmations are positive reminders or statements you can use to inspire and motivate yourself. Lisa Legault, assistant professor of psychology at Clarkson University, says:
Self-affirmation is … taking stock of who you are and what you care about. You can think of it as mindfulness of the self — without the I’m wonderful component of self-esteem.
Some science-backed advantages of self-affirmations are:
- Self-affirmations that remind you of your core values can make you less defensive when facing threatening information as negative feedback, setbacks, and criticism.
- Self-affirmation can also reduce the gender and racial achievement gap by boosting academic performance.
- Self-affirmation can make you more open to opposing views and remain more in self-control.
So, start your day by spending a few minutes thinking how blessed you are and reminding yourself of those things you have. One example could be:
Today I will allow myself to be who I am without judging myself. I will accept my emotions and let them serve their purpose. I will give myself the care and attention I deserve.
When you go out of the door and see people around you, compliment them and say positive words to them. This will make your day better and happier.
Tip #5. Meditate A Little Everyday
Meditation is an effective way to relax and free your mind from worries and stress. You need to set at least half an hour for meditation every day to free yourself from daily stress. There are different ways on how you can meditate. Yoga is one of the easiest ways.
You could also try to free your mind from any thoughts and worries as you drink your coffee in the morning. This is mindful eating.
Instead of using your phone to check your social media first thing in the morning, you can consider meditating a bit, even 10 minutes, before you reach out for your smartphone.
Tip #6. Accept Your Challenges
The reality in life is there will always be challenges along the way. The most obvious way to deal with them is to find if there is still an unexplored way to solve each of those problems confronting you.
If there is a solution you didn’t see before, or someone else suggested you, try to apply it.
But you also have to have reasonable expectations of the outcomes. If you think there are no solutions that will work, then you have to consider accepting it not as a problem but as a reality that needs embracing.
Hey, not every problem has a solution!
Once you accept it as it is, you can stop the stress from rising and engulfing you about an insuperable obstacle.
There’s good way to handle it: The Serenity Prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.
Tip #7. Do Smart Work, Not Hard Work
Most people who have become very successful would tell you working smart is better than working hard. Working really hard can sometimes become the reason you feel stressed.
One of the best ways to avoid stress is to find out how you can work smarter. This way, you will not have to put in so much effort, and be able to use your time for other things. At the end of the day, you will feel accomplished but without that feeling of burnout.
A quick reminder: No one is given more than 24 hours in a day.
Tip #8. Challenge Yourself Routinely
Another reason people get stressed is the thought they need to do the same things every single day. Waking up and learning you are still going to have to do the same work you have done for years together may become the reason for your stress.
If you are in the same job for the longest time in your career now, try considering adding an exciting challenge. When you challenge yourself from time to time, you do not feel bored and deflect your triggers for stress.
Here’s a ‘but’ to this tip: Take up new challenges but do not take up more than you can handle. Keep the challenge just a little on the outer edge of your skill range, no more. If it’s way outside your expertise, you’ll get bored or stressed and leave it.
Stop overthinking the irreversible past events and overanalyzing the imaginary future situations. Both create stress that soon becomes a habit. And this now keeps you indecisive and even more stressed.
Now, this habit might become so much of a second nature that you take on other people’s problems and start overthinking and overanalyzing them. The worst side of this is when you watch a movie and get into a loop of thinking about what the movie characters could have done differently.
And in time, this crippling habit may go into a tailspin, and take you down into an abyss of depression.
Stop living in the past or future, and start living in the present. There is a great technique to help you live in the present moment: Mindfulness (learn it here).
As long as you are alive, you will face challenges. Life may get way too tiring at times, and it may be quite stressful now. But you can learn how to breathe in ease.
If you start to apply these proven tips to relax, you will have a happier and more enjoyable life.
Finally, for once, today, try to feel the wind on your skin as you take a walk, and let it relax you.
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Author Bio: Written and reviewed by Sandip Roy – medical doctor, psychology writer, happiness researcher. Founder of Happiness India Project, and chief editor of its blog. He writes popular-science articles on positive psychology and related medical topics.
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