Leading a stress-free life is what everyone wants but what a stressful life is what everyone gets. Stress is inevitable. From a homeless man on the street to a Bill Gates, no one can escape stress and being unable to overcome stress can have some serious consequences such as strokes, headaches, panic attacks and in some extreme cases, death. Keeping that in mind, everyone needs to blow off some steam and make some changes in their life to overcome stress.
It is very important to know that the levels of stress can’t be altered overnight. Little and individual steps are what will make a big difference in your battle against stress. Here’s where you can start:
1. Focus on one thing at a time: Having multiple things to do can multiply stress with each passing day. One of the easiest places to start overcoming stress is to simplify your workload by focusing on one thing at a time and getting it done entirely before moving on to the next task. This will serve two purposes: Getting something done will boost your self-esteem giving you a sense of achievement and knowing that it will no more come in the way of your other commitments will reduce your stress.
Hack: Make a to-do list based on your priorities for the day and strictly stick to it. Move to the next task only if the task prior to it is completed.
2. Stay fit and healthy: When the shadows of stress are upon you, adding one more task is the last thing you want to do but not if that task is working out. Working out in this context ranges from a 20-minute walk in the park to pumping iron in the gym. Any form of physical exercise can go a long way in relieving stress as working out by reducing fatigue and releasing endorphins in the body which act as natural stress relievers in the body.
Hack: When you feel that stress is kicking in, go out for a quick walk and while you are walking, play your favorite genre of music and keep your mind off your stressful task.
3. Simplify your finances:One of the major sources of stress is financial burden. People under financial stress find themselves continuously worrying about how to pay their bills. In this process, they tend to skip their meals, overthink about situations, be distracted at work, have sleepless nights and lose touch with their fun and relaxed side. All this in conclusion leads to major stress.
Hack: Reduce your expenses by putting a cap on your card and using the ‘Want or Need’ method. Also, automate your savings and bill payments.
4. Get enough sleep: Sleeping might be difficult with stress knocking on the doors of your brain but skipping sleep will only make the knocking louder. While working, focus only on the task at hand and include enough tasks throughout the day to ensure that your mind and body is totally drained out of energy when you hit the sack. Nothing induces sleep like a tired body.
Hack: Get at least six hours of sleep every night and if required, take a 20-minute afternoon power nap.
5. Figure out the source of your stress: Stress like every other thing starts somewhere and then branches out into other parts of your life. Once you have the source of your stress figured out, you can eliminate it from the roots. This ensures that the stress coming from that particular source is gone away for a while and if it does come back, you know where it’s coming from and you can eliminate it again without letting it affect you.
Hack: Be alert about what task takes off how much stress off your chest and accordingly make a ‘priority stress triggers’ list. Eliminate the high priority stress triggers first.
6. Know your boundaries: Pushing your limit is always nice but not if it drops a mountain of stress on you. Pushing yourself to get things done will take away your leisure and rest time which will subject your body to stress. Set your boundaries depending on how much you can take on a daily basis and never ever ignore leisure time with yourself, your family or your friends.
Hack: Set SMART goals. SMART goals should be Specific, Measurable,Attainable, Realistic and Time Bound.
Include these simple steps in your daily life to win your battle against stress. You got this! We are rooting for you!
The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over the other. -William James.
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