We live in a busy world. Many of us are time-poor, over-committed but responsibility rich, meaning we have lots of responsibilities and are doing too much for the time we have available to us. These 7 tips below give you ways to reduce stress in your life from a number of different angles.
Here are 7 Ways to Reduce Stress:
- Aim to get to your appointments and commitments 15 minutes early: Then if you get caught in traffic or held-up you’ll still be on-time! And if you do get there early – fantastic, you get some real YOU time; read your novel, meditate, review your To-Do list, make those phone-calls or relax and enjoy the view.
Far from ‘wasting time’, when you get somewhere early you get essential ‘alone’ time to recharge your batteries – or deal with a couple of minor tasks while you wait.
- Have a whine! Whilst some people call this complaining – a healthy whine or whinge is one of the great ways to reduce stress. With some rules… Keep it brief – 5-10 minutes maximum. Find a listener who can really listen – ask them to nod and sympathise without trying to fix you. When you’re finished, say what you’re grateful for – or identify a silver lining. (This last part isn’t to negate what you’ve said – but to bring a new perspective and create a shift or ‘state-change’ from complaining back to daily life again.)
A problem shared is a problem halved…
- Stress-proof your morning: Get up 15-30 minutes earlier and start your day with a short walk, bath, meditation, yoga stretches or a cup of tea in bed.
By creating an oasis of calm at the start of our day it allows us to start the day from a place of peace and connection with ourselves. This reduces stress as we have more energy and power to handle stressful situations.
- C is for Vitamin C not Chocolate: Your eating habits affect how you feel. Chocolate, chips, ice cream – whatever your comfort food is – gives us a high, a starchy sugar rush. And it also gives us a blood sugar crash with little or no nutrition. So, change your stress eating habits and take care of your body, go for mother nature instead – strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, carrots, kiwis – whatever appeals to you.
Now you’re taking care of your body, and giving yourself great fuel and new ways to reduce stress hormones.
- Connect to your wisest self: It sure can be hard sometimes to connect to our wise self when we’re stressed, but one simple way to connect is to take a deep breath and ask ourselves, “What would ________ (insert your name here) do now?”
This distances us from the self that is whizzing around or feeling pressured, and creates an ‘observer’ position – whilst still being ourselves! This is one of my favourite ways to reduce stress – and identify what matters most. Try it and see.
- SLOW wayyy down! Some of our tasks ARE actually enjoyable – or could be if we didn’t rush through them. For example, I love food. And I enjoy cooking – but not when I’m rushed. When I allow plenty of time and relax into it, it becomes a pleasure. And when I rush it, it becomes a total chore. Connecting to the kids or partner at the end of the day, walking the dog, cooking, even washing the dishes can become quality time with a loved one. But only when we get INTO the moment, when we stop seeing the activity as something to be completed or hurried through to get to the next thing – and enjoy where we are…
When we slow down, we honour ourselves and the present moment. We have more fun in our lives – and this helps us handle stress more positively and easily.
- Let go: We try to control when we do not trust that things will work out. There is a peace that comes when we can let go of trying to manipulate our world. Can you surrender your need to control your world? Can you let go and trust that all is unfolding as it should? Try this mantra “All is unfolding as it should and whatever happens – I CAN handle it”
This is one of the best ways to reduce stress I know. Controlling is tiring and trying to stay on top of everything? Exhausting. Focus on what really matters, let go of the rest. See what happens.
Hopefully at least one of these ways to reduce stress has resonated with you. Which do you see yourself using or trying?
If you liked this article on ways to reduce stress you may also like:
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- 5 Minute Fix: 3 Simple Steps to Cope With Stress When You’re Under Pressure
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