Stress. Stress can be overwhelming and even debilitating. It can cause headaches, muscle tension, difficulty sleeping, irritability, and negatively affect our immune system. Obviously, we all know that stress isn’t good for us physically or mentally. However, how do we keep stress from manifesting itself into our daily lives?
Life Is About Choices
The great American philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson, wrote a letter to his daughter who was worried over a mistake she’d made. This is what it said:
“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders, losses, and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can.
Emerson’s quote serves as a reminder to us that we must give ourselves permission to make a few mistakes, be imperfect, and “fall off of the wagon” from time to time. Accept what you were able to accomplish and leave yesterday in the past. Do not let stress and mishaps prevent you from moving forward.
In an article that appeared in Medical News Today, discusses how “Stress, in everyday terms, is a feeling that people have when they are overloaded and struggling to cope with demands. These demands can be related to finances, work, relationships, and other situations, but anything that poses a real or perceived challenge or threat to a person’s well-being can cause stress.”
You may not always be able to control what happens in your daily life, but you can practice healthy habits to manage stress.
17 Ways You To Mindfully Reduce Stress in Your Life
- Go to bed on time. What does that look like? I can imagine watching T.V. until nearly midnight is not what we had in mind.
- Get up a few minute earlier than planned and take some time to be silent, meditate and visualize how your day is going to be great.
- Learn to say “no”. Say no to projects that won’t fit into your time schedule, your vision, or may compromise your mental and emotional health.
- Allow others to help you. If they did’t want to help, they shouldn’t have asked. And that my friend is not your concern.
- Allow extra time. Cutting it close or under budgeting time because you think that will make others happy will eventually backfire. Consider allowing more time and getting there or done early. Now that is a bonus!
- Have a back up. Have a back up plan, a back up car key, a back up babysitter, a back up ride home. Anything. We think that takes too much time to prepare. But imagine how long it takes to find something that was never planned for?
- K.M.S. (Keep Mouth Shut). This single piece of advice can prevent an enormous amount of trouble, concern and pain. Ask yourself: “is what I am about to say helping or hurting”? And go from there.
- Eat right. Start with one right choice. An apple. A glass of water. No need to bulldoze your life today. Just add in one new food or simply drink more water and see where it takes you.
- Listen to relaxing music, or guided meditations. Choose uplifting or motivating broadcasts or shows. Stay away from music, broadcasts and entertainment that only causes more pain, confusion, agitation, and anger. You can choose what you listen to.
- Laugh. Every single day. Laugh. Laugh so hard you cry. And better yet, laugh with a friend. Laughter releases endorphins that you desperately need to stay happy.
- Keep a gratitude journal. When is the last time you really stopped and reflected on all you have to be grateful for. The news and social media do a good job of showing us where we are imperfect and lacking. Remind yourself you have so much to be grateful for.
- Surround yourself with people who lift you up rather than tear you down.
- Take ONE DEEP BREATH before you say or do anything more.
- Be kind to unkind people. Kindness matters. Being kind doesn’t mean you agree with them, or even want to be their best friend. But if you won’t be kind, then who will be?
- Slow down. Most of us are all in overdrive in multiple areas of our lives. What’s the hurry? What if you will get there at the exact right time, every time?
- Live within your budget. It’s not something we all want to hear. And there are times in life you need to take a leap. But when is the last time you wrote down all your expenses and asked yourself “is this necessary? what value does this bring to my life”? Hard truth, most of it is unconscious spending and as a result we are unable to afford the essentials.
- Meditate, pray, practice yoga. You don’t have to do them all. But when is the last time you unplugged with something that will plug you back in?
Finding the best mindful stress relief strategies may take some time. Don’t give up if one doesn’t work; Simply move on and try another. However, it’s important to keep looking for the tools that will help you manage life’s ups and downs in a healthy way. Keeping stress at a manageable level is important for your overall well-being.
Surround yourself with people that support you in your journe and leave those that don’t, behind. You won’t regret it.