In order to minimize the negative effects of stress is to minimize the stress itself. You need to identify the sources of stress in your life and then eliminate them or rethink them to reduce the stress they cause. Note that this doesn’t include only the things we hate in our lives. Getting married, having a baby, getting a promotion, planning a kids’ birthday party, or taking a vacation can be just as stressful as dealing with your overbearing boss for 8 hours a day or coming up on a big deadline.
Since the big positive changes in our lives can be just as stressful as the negative ones, dealing with stress can’t be simply a matter of getting rid of everything that stresses you out. Instead, you need to develop practices and a mindset that dissipate and reduce the inevitable stress of life itself.
Here are the Steps to Easily Kill Stress:
1. Make quiet time: Whether you meditate daily, go to the gym three times a week, go hiking on the weekends, or just spend an hour a night with a book, you need to create a space where you can clear your mind of everything that’s dragging at you.
2. Put everything on a list: If forgetting something would cause you to stress, make sure you’ve got it written down in a trusted system so you know you won’t forget.
3. Stop procrastinating: You can put off important tasks, but you can’t put off worrying about them — and the stress that causes.
4. Eat good food: A good diet can help your body better deal with the effects of stress. A healthy diet isn’t all that complicated. As a general rule, eat as much as you can from the “edges” of your supermarket — produce, bakery, butcher counter, dairy case — and save the stuff in the “middle” for once-in-a-while — Twinkies, Pop-Tarts, potato chips, canned foods, instant meals, etc.
5. Always have time for yourself and your Family: Try to eat at least one meal a day with your family (or with friends if you’re single). Better yet, eat at least one home-cooked meal a day with your family/friends. Do some Facebook or Twitter.
6. Express out your frustrations: Bottling up your frustrations, even the little ones, leads to stress. Learn to express dissatisfaction (in a constructive, non-hurtful way) and to voice your worries and fears to someone close to you.
7. Prioritize: Figure out what in your life actually needs attention and what doesn’t. Know what you can easily let slide — and what you can drop entirely — and focus your energy on things that will actually make a difference in your life.
8. Have routines: Having a set routine means you don’t have to worry about what comes next; after a while, it becomes second nature.
9. Accept interruptions gracefully: Don’t let your rituals become so rigid that you can’t function if they’re interrupted. Leave yourself enough wiggle room to adapt to changing conditions.
10. Know when to stop: Don’t stand for employers, friends, or lovers who treat you badly. Decide how much of yourself you’re willing to put into a relationship, job, or activity; when you cross that line, walk away and don’t look back.
11. Pay attention to yourself: Notice when you feel stressed, and determine the cause. Notice when your body hurts or you feel unhappy, and determine why — or see a doctor. Figure out whether the things you’re doing are fulfilling your own definition of a good, productive life — or somebody else’s. Give up unnecessary competition (you need to make a better product than your competitor does; you don’t need to have a prettier girlfriend or a faster car than he does).
12. Give Love: Build relationships. Share yourself. Feel human warmth.
What do you do to beat stress in your life? How do you maintain a balance between the stressful and the not-so-stressful? Let us know!
These are just 12 steps to easily kill stress. Do you have other tips in mind? Share it with us!