To perform at our optimum best, we all need a little stress. The issue starts when we begin to feel stressed out.
So, to live stress-free lives, we must maintain a low level of stress that doesn’t make us sick.
Life is such that it has to have challenges. Most of these enter our lives unknowingly, in small doses, while we are at work.
Then one day we realize we’ve gathered a lot of them and need to fight them.
It is okay to feel that way once in a while. But if you continue to feel wrecked and depleted on most days, it’s time to design a better life.
To avoid burnout, you must eliminate the majority of those stresses.
8 Tips For A Stress Free Life
How to be stress-free and happy?
The goal is to plan a life that doesn’t have too much distress (bad stress) while having just enough eustress (good stress).
First, get away from those toxic people in your life who only make you miserable.
With patience and practice, these eight tips will help you live a more relaxed life.
Here are the 8 helpful tips to create a stress-free life:
1. Create a daily routine that has joyful breaks.
This is big: Have a routine.
People who have a daily routine are more likely to have a less stressful life than those who do not.
This is because the brain loves predictable patterns so it has to spend less energy on making decisions. Unplanned days are unpredictable and full of urgent decisions.
A daily routine saves you from a lot of unplanned activities and unpleasant surprises.
Those with irregular routines only have only faint ideas about their next day. Unplanned things create decision fatigue, worries, and other negative emotions about the outcomes of your tasks.
Occasional days of no routine are refreshing. But, when most of your days are irregular, it adds to your stress.
Make schedules (it is quite difficult in the beginning, we know) to chalk out exactly what big tasks you need to do the next day.
You are more relaxed following a daily routine as it sets up your mind to a certain mood and expectation. This predictability helps eliminate stress.
However, if you already have a routine, and it’s leaving you stressed at the end of the day, then obviously it’s not working.
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.
2. Schedule your reminders.
This tip bonds closely with the tip above.
With your smartphone 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 to bother keeping yourself stressed with “I’ve to do this at 3 pm today, and that at 6 am tomorrow.” Just get these scheduled into the various apps. One of these is Google Tasks.
3. Write a journal at the end of your 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.
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 such 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 about 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.
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 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.
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 to 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 a 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.
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.
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.
And don’t let others push you into overwork. Research shows overwork can kill. Instead, learn to say No.
What is the number 1 stress in life?
It is overthinking, as per Buddha. 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.
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 with 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. And promise yourself that you will avoid movies, TV shows, websites, and apps that make you unhappy.
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Stop dwelling on the past or the future. Learn to be mindful.
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Author Bio: Written and reviewed by Sandip Roy — a medical doctor, psychology writer, and happiness researcher, who writes on mental well-being, happiness, positive psychology, and philosophy.