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Stressed too often? Here are a few practical tips to reduce stress and increase happiness.
When was the last time you were stressed? Yesterday was it! Stress is a mood buster.
It comes so often, so a common man or woman should get used to it but we don’t. Instead, we fall into the stress trap and belittle ourselves again and again.
But it doesn’t have to be that way, we can change this phenomenon if we try out a few smart strategies I’ve mentioned in this article.
Nothing is impossible to a person who is ready to make his life possible. With that thought in mind, let’s begin.
16 Less Stressful Ways To Be Less Stressed
1. Stress is Inevitable
Quick fact – I am stressed every other day, so are you, so is every single human being on earth.
Stress is normal, it’s natural, everyone deals with stress from time to time. It’s unavoidable; if you think that you’re going to live a stress-free life, let me be honest with you – Stress-free life only happens in movies.
In reality, stress is as casual as you going to meet your close friends once a week. Understanding that stress is inevitable is important, why?
Because then you won’t waste time and energy overstressing on your problems.
If there’s a problem that causes you to stress, you can’t do anything to undo it, so instead of crying all day, being unproductive, solve the problem, find a solution to your stressful situation, problem solved!
Unless your problem focuses on reducing population, ensuring a permanent trip to Mars wouldn’t be necessary.
2. Stress and Success go Hand in hand
Stress is exactly like a coin, it had two sides; The Good and The Bad. We all know the bad very well, don’t we?
But the good that comes with stress is Success. Nothing great has ever been achieved by sleeping and eating wafers all day, stress plays a crucial part in success.
The No 1 de-stressing tool – Netflix, too had a lot of stressful moments while forming their company and I’m sure they have some stress even today.
People find solutions when they’re most stressed.
Stress makes them paranoid and gets them brainstorming for new innovative ideas to solve their problem, thus creating massive success for them.
Stress creates an atmosphere which forces you to stretch your thinking to get desired results.
3. Take a Step Back
When you get a call from your boss or an email or your spouse has a situation or your kids teacher wants to meet or your neighbor’s house caught fire and it’s spreading to you, it’s easy to get stressed real quick.
When something like this happens, take a step back, breathe in slowly, and just wait for some seconds, cool down a bit, and then decide your next move.
Decisions taken in panic may sometimes lead to more problems. Calming down during a stressful situation doesn’t mean you’re ignoring the problem at hand, it just means you’re in control of yourself instead of the problem being in control of you.
Don’t panic and make the situation worse, take a pause, think and react accordingly.
4. Determine the Cause of Stress
What is stressing you out? Is it some office work you can’t figure out? Your fiance arguing? A sudden call from your Boss? Your parents, neighbors or your friends? What is it?
Determine the cause to find an appropriate solution. This is extremely crucial and here’s why; you can’t treat your girlfriend as your mom or your mom and your friend.
Take the time to write down what’s getting you so stressed up right now, write actionable steps to get out of it, and start executing right away.
This will also boost your confidence and get you out of your misery. Writing it down will make it easier as it won’t look so difficult anymore.
5. Stop taking advice from friends
Most of your friends may never talk to you that much but when you’re all stressed about something serious, they all run back to your life (provided they know your misery).
All of a sudden, you’re getting unwanted advice from 30 people and all this input is shutting you down from thinking about the problem, instead, you do what others tell you to do.
I’m not against advice from peers, it’s good. But a lot of advice from a lot of people is bad, you need to self think more than taking advice from a dozen people who you don’t interact with.
Advice from one or two of your close friends is alright, don’t overdo it!
6. Help someone you don’t know
Helping someone releases good hormones that instantly reduce stress. A lot of studies are done on social service and its impact on an individual.
All of the studies stated that helping someone in need, doesn’t need to be monetary, can instantly reduce stress and make you feel happy.
Helping doesn’t just refer to helping humans, it also includes helping animals like dogs and cats; giving them food to eat, and seeing the joy on your face, it’s amazing.
This goes back to point 5, you can’t talk to and take opinions from people. Everyone has their own opinion and a different take on your story.
Not only that, when your days aren’t so amazing, someone might post a trek photo or story on Instagram, this may put you in a worse state than before.
Now you’re jealous because you weren’t invited and you wish you could go for a trek. A book you must read is The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*CK by Mark Manson; it explains why disconnecting from others and not caring what others do and say will make you happy and content. You can buy this book from Amazon.
The best way to disconnect is by deleting all your social media accounts for a few days, or at least till you get better.
Once you’re energized and refreshed, install them again if you like. Go for a walk outside, read a book, learn to cook, sing, dance, write. Do things that you normally don’t do and you’ll instantly feel better.
Disconnecting will surely make you feel better. If possible, try disconnecting once a week and be by yourself. You don’t need to be stressed to try disconnecting from the world.
8. Try Mindfulness
Do you know monks? How do they remain so calm and peaceful all the time? Sure they do face stress sometimes, but not as much as we do. Their secret – Mindfulness.
Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present at any moment. If you’re driving and your mind is thinking about eating pizza, that’s the opposite of mindfulness, bringing it back to driving and focusing on it is mindfulness.
In today’s day and age where there are so many things around us to distract us, Mindfulness comes in handy as it allows us to focus on the things we are currently doing to give our best efforts towards it.
By practicing it, you will feel the air around you, the birds chirping, the leaves moving, when others are distracted, you’re alert and active with your surroundings.
I suggest you read Think like a Monk By Jay Shetty, it’s available on Amazon. It’s a new book and is packed with knowledgeable content on mindfulness and more. Jay Shetty is the Guru when it comes to Mindfulness and Meditation. Do give it a read!
When stressed, mindfulness brings us back to our roots, it teaches us to value the little things in life and helps us be more self-aware. Almost all successful people practice mindfulness and make it a habit, so should you!
9. This is not the End
We always feel that this stressful situation is our biggest & greatest one. That it cannot ever get any better.
We’ll remain in the mindset and thus get more stressed. If you’ve just lost your job, I’m sure you’re very stressed right now but know that it will get better.
Tough times make tough people – keep that in mind. General things like forgetting to pick up the laundry or not doing the assignment on time aren’t the end.
It’s a problem at the moment and it will fade away, stressing too much on it is just pointless.
10. Go for an Easy Win
When you’re overstressed, filled with so many negative emotions running through you, all you may need is an easy win.
Yea an easy win will instantly boost your confidence and motivate you in no time. This pump of energy will make you feel delighted and especially it will make you feel like a Winner!!!
A winner mindset will instantly put you back in the place you were before – A Happy Place!
Some super easy tasks like making your bed when you get up, doing your projects on time, practicing mindfulness, exercising, washing your dishes can be extremely effective ways to make you feel like a winner.
Sage Tip – Choose short tasks that get done quickly and are extremely easy to do.
11. Make a To-Do list
Getting things done boosts you up, it gets you working. You accomplish things that improve your life. This reduces stress.
The more Success you have the less stress you’ll have, so it doesn’t matter if you’re sad or you’re feeling low, get to work and do what needs to be done anyway.
Writing tasks on your To-do list will help you stay on track, finish a task and tick it in your list. Do this till all your daily tasks are ticked.
Any.do is one of my all-time favorite to-do list apps. Use this to boost your productivity levels!
Every tick leads to accomplishment in your head which is exactly what we need to break stress.
12. Take a day off work to chill
Working hard is essential, it means you’re investing your time in developing yourself and the more you develop yourself, the better your life will be.
But a day off can be just the thing you might need to detox from stress. Take a break from work, be at home all day, watch Netflix and chill, browse on YouTube, laugh, sleep, eat, and repeat for a day.
You’ll break free of the monotony and you’ll be refreshed. Don’t like being at home?
Go for a one day trip alone or with your friends to an amusement park, a museum, a water park or a long ride is the perfect getaway!
Sage Tip – During this day make sure you don’t do any work and stay relaxed all day.
13. Practice H.I.G.H
H.I.G.H stands for Hobbies, Interests, Goals, Habits. You must make sure you do at least one of these every time you’re stressed.
Hobbies can include playing an instrument, dancing, chess, etc; interests can include learning about history, geography, culture, real estate, etc.
Goals can be one million dollars in 5 years or learning to play the guitar in 2 months. If it’s a long term goal – break it down.
Habits include things like washing your car once a week or reading a book 10 minutes every day or meditating & exercising 15 min a day.
Practically every week you should be doing these things, but if not every day, especially the days when you feel low, H.I.G.H can ease from stress.
14. Talk to Someone
I’ve seen some people run to 25 different people to discuss their sadness, to share their sorrows. That isn’t what I’m talking about!
Discuss it with one person or two at most. The people you’re closest to are the one you need to head over to.
It may seem awkward to speak about it but it’s only going to make things better. To involve someone in it.
Discussing your problem will help you get it out of your system and you will feel much better knowing that someone can understand your part of things.
It will also help you analyse the situation better and look at it differently. You may also take some advice from them but don’t get influenced by their opinions. Their opinions are their opinions, not yours!
15. Change your Attitude
Do you know how a negative person will react to a negative situation? – Negatively, while a positive person will react to a negative situation Positively.
You see, it’s all about how you face the situation, how you interpret it and use it to your advantage. If you constantly cry over the small things, you won’t get out of the problem, instead, you’ll get stuck in it!
If your employer calls you tomorrow and tells you, “You’re Fired” what will you do? Will you be depressed and sit in a corner of your room for a month or be sad for an hour or two and get back up and go job hunting?
16. Use Positive Affirmations
Positive affirmations will set your game and massively reduce stress from your life.
Affirmations like I can do it, That’s Easy, Give me 5 days and I’ll deliver it, I am Awesome, No one is better than me, Could I Be happier, Positivity runs in my veins, I’ll try my best to solve this issue, I won’t give up, etc you get the point.
What I usually do is say, “I’m Awesome” 5 times when I gargle my mouth in the morning and at night after brushing my teeth.
It’s a positive affirmation, it’s awesome and it makes me feel awesome throughout the day. Isn’t that Awesome!
How to Live A Stress-Free Life
We can’t avoid stress, it will grow bigger if we do. So let’s embrace stress, use the strategies above to alleviate stress.
Mindfulness and meditation have been proved to effectively reduce stress and increase happiness. It won’t happen so fast but by constantly practising, reducing stress will be a thing of the past.
Anytime you feel stressed the most effective strategy is to get out of it right away. Go for a walk and think about what just happened, why it happened, what could you have done to avoid it and what should you do now to solve it! But do it alone.
The more people around you, the more the fuss. Practicing these 16 practical tips will surely help you de-stress yourself in the long run.
What works for you when you’re stressed? Share your tips and strategies down in the comments.
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