It may seem that stress is ever present and that there should be one big answer to solve it. However, it’s actually the small changes to our daily lives that will cause us to feel stress-free. The key is consistency. Make being stress-free a habit by tweaking small details of your day, every day.
These 7 techniques will help to drastically reduce stress from your life and can easily be integrated into any lifestyle or routine.
- Go to Bed Earlier and Wake Up Earlier
Sleep is so important. It is important for our mental well being, overall health, and daily performance. Going to bed earlier and waking up earlier can help you start the day off just right, and your body will thank you for it. Our bodies need to recharge.
If you go to bed late, you will most likely want to wake up later too. This may cause your mornings to be chaotic and stressful. You zip from one task to the next, trying to get everything together before you’re out the door. If your mornings are chaotic, it is likely that the rest of your day will also follow this energy.
To prevent this from happening, give yourself time in the morning so you can relax and get ready for your day at a more leisurely pace. You can even organize yourself the night before, so you can spend time in the morning doing things that you actually enjoy like reading, journaling, meditating and so on. Prepare yourself for success by giving yourself the time you need to get things done. You time.
- Make Lists
With all this extra time you will have in the morning by going to bed early and preparing yourself the night before, start your morning off by making a list of all the things you have to do. This will help you stay on track and keep you organized for the day ahead.
If you find it overwhelming to make a list, try to only include things that are 100 percent necessary for you to do that day. This will stop you from feeling overwhelmed and help you to know definitively what needs to be done first and what will just have to wait for another day.
- Learn to Say ‘No’
It may be difficult, but one of the most powerful ways to reduce stress in your life is learning how to say ‘No’ to the things that you don’t really want to do. If you find yourself agreeing to things because you feel bad or because you “should” do them, you are simply wasting time in your own life. Putting pressure on yourself like this can lead to a lot of unnecessary stress. Not only this, but it also leaves less time for things that you actually want to do. No bueno. Learning how to say ‘No’ is powerful and the more you practice using it, the more room you will create in your life for things you actually want to say ‘Yes’ to. How great does that sound?
- Don’t Worry About What You Can’t Control
If you are a big worrier (and even if you’re not) you may have noticed that worrying takes up a lot of energy and sucks time out of the day. We often times worry about things that are totally out of our control. It sounds pointless when you think about it, doesn’t it? No amount of worrying is going to change the situation so it is not worth your time.
If the situation is in your control, however, keep your mind focused on solutions rather than the problem. When you give energy to a problem, it grows and becomes more complicated and difficult to manage. Positive energy is the way to go. Hone in on the solutions rather than the aspects that you have no power over.
- Limit Distractions
Think about how you spend your free time. Do you find yourself justifying spending 2 hours watching Netflix and sitting on your phone when you should have been starting that new personal project you have been planning for years? Do the effects of your weekend partying spill over into the rest of your week? Do you spend hours a day checking Facebook and scrolling through social media? The case may vary for each individual but we are sure that many can relate to this. Take the time to identify things that are distracting you from moving forward and actually doing the things that you want to do with your life. Once you have identified these habits, see if you can make some changes so they become less demanding of your precious time. For example, if you are spending roughly 5 hours a week on social media, consider cutting this time in half and using the rest of the time to take up a new hobby or do something that feels rewarding and purposeful. Crazy to think that this is just how things used to be. C’est la vie!
- Eat Well
A healthy diet plays a huge role in your body’s ability to adapt to stress. When you nourish your body with a wide variety of healthy foods, it gives you the fuel you need to get through the day. If you don’t already, try to incorporate lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, protein, healthy fats and whole grains into your diet. Another key to stressless success includes hydration! Drink lots and lots of water through the day, as this can also help to restore energy levels and improve the functioning of your body.
Avoid foods such as fast foods, processed foods, and foods that contain artificial preservatives, colorings and flavors. This includes artificial sweeteners and manufactured sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup. It’s just so, so terrible for our bodies.
- Practice Gratitude Whenever You Can
This is one of the most fulfilling and easiest ways to eliminate stress from your life. Just be thankful for all of the amazing opportunities and experiences in your life. In the morning, when you start your day, write a list of five things you are thankful for. This will start your day on a positive note. At the end of every day, make it a point to reflect on another 5 things that you feel grateful for. Perhaps even get into the habit of asking yourself- “What is the best thing that happened to me today?” This is also a great question to ask your family over dinner or to share with your roommates or partner as you are winding down for the night. Spread the gratitude!
If you incorporate these concepts into your life and make them habit you will find yourself feeling much less stressed and more energized. You might even find a smile on your face more often than not. Doesn’t sound too bad, does it?