Ask anyone among your friends and family what the biggest problems in their lives are right now, and I can almost guarantee that many will list “stress” – and I don’t know even know your friends or family! (unless you’re my mom. In which case, hi mom!)
Employing humour – as I just did – is a good way of relieving stress. But humour by itself it isn’t always effective.
Indeed, tackling stress requires you to get smart by planning a few methods of attack.
To use my own life as an example, I can’t remember a week when I wasn’t stressed in my twenties. I was working very long hours in a high-pressure job, and I barely got to see my friends and family. I was stressing too much, skipped exercising, and eating unhealthy foods.
Eventually, things got so bad that I started to lose sleep.
What did I do? I made drastic changes. I simplified things. I learned new habits. I adopted a new mindset.
I got better.
If I – who was The World’s Most Stressed Woman of 2013 – am now able to live a stress-free life, so are you. Here are 10 tips:
Sort Out Your Finances
To use a pun for one second, I cannot stress enough the importance of sorting out your finances if you’re feeling stressed.
Finances are probably the single biggest worry that anyone has in their life. Whether we owe money, aren’t sure of our taxes, or need to borrow cash, financial worries can cause crippling anxieties – and much stress.
Before you do anything else on this list, please simplify your finances first. If you owe money, set up a payment plan as soon as possible. If you need to borrow money, strategise how best to do this.
Only once your finances are secure can you properly start to plan a stress-free life.
Make Small Changes
Creating a stress-free life often doesn’t mean overhauling your entire world. It’s usually just a case of making making small but effective changes.
For example, it could be something as simple as a different food choice, or a new morning habit.
Certainly, don’t get stressed thinking that you need to make massive changes!
The wise man Confucius once said that the person who chases two rabbits invariably catches none.
In 2016, many of us are chasing 17 rabbits and getting confused, stressed and downright exhausted.
It’s no surprise. Contrary to popular belief, multitasking is not productive. And women are not “natural” at multitasking. It’s a total myth.
Doing two – or more – things at once will only stress you out. Instead, do one thing at a time. Focus on just one task. You will get it done quicker, which will relieve any feelings of stress you have when nothing is actually getting done because you’re trying to get everything over the finish line all at the same time.
Forget About What Other People Say
Sometimes, it’s the opinions of others that can really stress us out. Just a barbed comment about the way we look can be enough to derail us and set us off on yet another stressful day.
It’s important that you don’t wait for validation from others. Don’t let their opinions sap the joy out of your life. Happiness comes from within – it starts and ends with you.
Always remember that often a person is projecting their own reality onto you. Don’t let it affect you.
You are what you eat. And while this doesn’t mean that you’ll turn into a coconut if you eat too much coconut, what it does mean that if you eat too much junk food you will sluggish and not at your best.
And what happens when you’re not at your best? You become unproductive. In turn, you miss deadlines. Things begin to pile up.
At this point, you become stressed.
Fix up your diet by eating more micronutrients. Eliminate bad fats, such as greasy hamburgers, which are contributing to brain fog and stress. Consume more fruit and vegetables. Get smart about what you eat.
Ask For Help!
This golden advice, yet it’s one piece of advice that SO many of us ignore. But why?
When you’re facing a stressful situation or even a full-blown crisis, why wouldn’t you ask for help? Because you don’t want to waste someone’s time? Because you don’t want to look like you can’t do this by yourself?
Forget pride. Forget it all. Your friends, family and colleagues are there to help you. Life will be so much easier if you just ask.
Move Closer To Work
If at all possible, move closer to work so that your commute becomes less stressful.
Take A Walk
Walking is now one of my favourite activities, and I’ve been taking it at least three walks a week since I made the decision to live a stress-free life.
Walking helps because it’s a calming, soothing activity that helps you clear your mind of thoughts. You’re finally away from the confines of your office, and you can now breathe in the fresh air and take in some new, more vibrant surroundings.
Taking a walk also exposures you to sunlight, and vitamin D is really important to your overall wellbeing.
Focus On The Present Moment
Lots of us get stressed when we start to picture the future and how things are going to go disastrously wrong.
Don’t do this. Live your life entirely in the present moment. You will feel much happier.
Remember – what will be, will be.
Have Some Fun!
As we get older, we often lose sight of what it was about life that we used to enjoy. So caught up in the daily rigours of work and our responsibilities, we forget all about letting our hair down and just having some F.U.N.
No one should be ashamed to have some fun. If you’ve ever trawled through your Facebook timeline, you’ll have seen photos of your friends having a blast. They’re not stressed right now because they know that playtime is important to adults.
Remember what it was that you loved about life and go back and enjoy it again. Be a kid. Let loose!