Stress is a common, recurring feeling for most people.
The problem with stress is that it impacts our mind AND body. For your body, stress causes your blood pressure to rise, your heart rate to increase, and your muscles to tense up. For your mind, you’ll have trouble sleeping and focusing, and think negatively.
There are a lot of ways to relieve or reduce stress, but what about preventing it in the first place?
There will always be stressors, but you can create a less stressful life by making wise decisions and taking certain actions.
Who and what you have in your life can make or break you.
Your friends, your significant other, your job, and your material belongings all can either create stress or reduce it.
If your significant other constantly lies to you, stress will be there.
Same goes for your friends that are negative or ask too much of you, a job that leaves you drained, a fancy car that costs hundreds for maintenance, and so many belongings you can’t see your floor.
Of course, there are some people and things you can’t control (your parents for example), but otherwise, I encourage you to be picky about who/what you allow into your life.
Having integrity means you do the right thing even if no one is watching. You are honest and adhere to your morals.
Have you ever done something and later felt guilty about it?
Well, guilt is a feeling that causes stress. You may dwell on the situation and think about it often.
You can eliminate that from your life if you practice integrity. When you do the right thing and act according to your values, you won’t have that guilt to weigh you down.
Simplify your life
Life is relatively simple, we just add chaos to it.
I think many people underestimate the importance and beauty of the simple things in life, so they tend to fill it up with more.
More belongings, more drama, more problems, etc.
Instead, opt for a more simple life by reducing the clutter in your life.
Get rid of some belongings and stop buying so much.
Write things down so you don’t forget them.
Get out of debt and automate payments.
Prepare simple, healthy meals.
Say ‘no’ more often.
Have a plan and create routines.
A simple life is a happy life.
Have healthy reserves in all areas
Money, time, opportunities, love, and so on.
When you have enough of these things you will remove common stressors.
Build up a solid emergency fund, leave for appointments on time, don’t procrastinate on projects, connect with people (network), and develop relationships.
You can develop in these areas and if anything happens you won’t worry because a solution is available.
Make better decisions
Avoid acting on impulse.
Think things through, trust your intuition, and remember your values.
Even small decisions can make a large impact in your life, so be careful.
It’s also important to make your OWN decisions. Another person doesn’t necessarily know what’s best for you. I like to make decisions by thinking of/from my future self.
Ask, “Would be future self appreciate this decision?”
“Expectation feeds frustration. It is an unhealthy attachment to people, things, and outcomes we wish we could control, but don’t.” – Dr. Steve Maraboli
Expecting someone to do something or expecting a certain outcome is an easy way to create disappointment.
When you do something for someone you may expect something in return. When you work hard on a project you expect good results.
However, you can’t control people or results.
Life doesn’t always turn out how you want it to, which can become problematic when you get upset or feel resentment.
Trust the process
It’s easy to get caught up in the highs and lows of life.
I find a lot of peace in believing, “I am exactly where I need to be.”
Rushing results or focusing on the past don’t serve you.
Things will come up in life that will make you question your worth, whether you should give up, whether this is how things should be.
All you can do is do what’s best for you and embrace the journey. Your life is the process. Trust it.
Go through it
When difficult times come up it’s important to go through all the feelings of that experience.
Challenges make you stronger.
And the more you go through those challenges the more you’ll know how to solve problems and in a timely manner.
You’ll also get to a point where things that used to cause stress and worry in your life don’t phase you or defeat you. When you work through it you see that you can handle this and everything will be OK.
Find positive sources of energy
What gives you energy? What raises your vibe?
I don’t mean feeling tired vs. energized here, I mean sources that make your soul feel good.
This could be creativity, discovery, helping others, music, healthy habits, routine, etc.
You can also release negative energy by eliminating bad people from your life, procrastination, over committing, bad habits, or anything else that drains you.
Keep those vibes high and problems are less likely to effect you.
Define your own success
There is not only a single definition for success. When you follow the path society or your parents want you to follow, you are taking away your freedom to do what you desire.
When you allow others to define how successful you are, you may not feel good enough or you may feel better than others, both of which don’t serve you.
You may even resent your parents for “making” you lead a certain life.
Success looks different for everyone. That may be becoming the CEO of a big business, it may be making $40,000 a year painting, or it may be living off-grid and gardening.
What is it that will make you happy?
Need less, be more
It is likely that you have everything you need to survive right now.
We are bombarded with things to buy and things to do but we don’t really need those things.
Instead, focus on “being.”
Creating, having conversations, taking walks in nature, cooking good food, enjoying quality time with loved ones, and so on.
Perfect your self-care
Know what it is that you need to rejuvenate yourself so that you can care for yourself on a regular basis.
Self-care isn’t just baths, face masks and doing your nails. It’s about doing what fills you back up and makes you feel good.
This includes proper hygiene, exercising, sticking to your routines, limiting social media use, and anything else that helps you thrive.
Develop the right habits
You can work toward ending bad habits and developing healthy, positive habits.
When you have habits in place such as exercising regularly, eating healthy, saving money, getting enough sleep, reading, good hygiene, drinking water, meditating, etc. you create a ripple effect.
You may still experience stressful situations but you are able to deal with them from a solid foundation. Improving your physical and mental help overall will reduce stress in general.
Start small and build one habit at a time.
Stressful situations will always come up, but I also want to remind you that all circumstances are neutral.
Meaning YOU decide what to think and how to feel. If you feel stressed, that is because of what you are thinking. No one can put a feeling inside of you.