There are various situations where we have too much work to do, and it takes a toll on our health if we cannot cope with it. However, dealing with stress is achievable if you would admit that there’s a problem. Since most of us face the same issues daily, I hope to give you an insight into how I manage my anxiety levels. In this article, I’ll present to you six easy steps to live a stress-free life.
1. Reduce Stress at Work
We all have that nagging boss who wants to have everything done in the least amount of time. But there’s only you to do a specific task, and by hurrying, you’ll do more harm than good. If you want to reduce stress at work, there are three fundamental rules to follow:
- Avoid distractions while working. Be it a colleague who wants to show you their new pair of shoes or a dog barking outside the building; there’s always a way to escape. If you aren’t dealing with social anxiety, kindly ask your colleague to save that thought for lunch break. Moreover, put your headphones on if that dog is still barking outside. Lastly, put your phone in your bag and leave it there. Spending time on social media won’t help you to get to work.
- Never procrastinate. Once you decide you can leave today’s work for tomorrow, there’s no going back. Don’t skip the tasks you had to finish today. Complete them as soon as possible. Although you sometimes have to relax, the middle of the week isn’t the best time for that. Procrastination can only bring more stress by continually worrying about how much work you have left.
- Focus on what you do. According to a study from the Technical University of Denmark, our collective attention span is narrowing due to the excessive amount of information we process every day. Nevertheless, you should try to stay focused to complete your work successfully. Get rid of distractors and dive in the task you are supposed to complete. On the other hand, meditation is a great tool to help you get rid of useless information when you’re aren’t working.
2. Develop Good Time Management Skills
The utmost goal of living a stress-free life is to live in the moment. Sadly, time is of great importance when you’re busy. One thing you can do to worry less about whether you’re going to accomplish a task is to develop good time management skills. Set your goals, prioritize special tasks, motivate yourself and decide why, what, and when you’re going to do the things you wanted.
3. Control Stress Triggers
The third advice I can give you to live a stress-free life is to control stress triggers. My biggest anxiety trigger was repressed anger. I had problems with my relationship and didn’t know they can have such a deteriorating effect on the rest of my life. Some people’s stress triggers, on the other hand, might be phobias. The symptoms of specific phobias could distract you from what you’re supposed to do and cause anxiety and stress. Luckily, you can fight those harmful emotions with the following:
- Always have an alternative energy source at home if you are afraid of the darkness, a small portable generator would do the trick
- Scream at the top of your lungs.
- Break up with addictions, such as excessive alcohol consumption and cigarettes.
- If you take care of a relative or a child with health problems, develop behavioural strategies to avoid more stress.
4. Stop Overthinking the Past
When you overthink your past decisions and actions, it only leads you to a depressive state. You cannot change what happened yesterday, let alone a year ago. What’s more, you’ll become exhausted with your thoughts in the past. The same goes for thinking about the future. Naturally, you should have a plan for your future, but overwhelming fear and anguish about the future can only bring more anxiety. Stop overthinking the past to be able to live your life to its full potential.
5. Forgive to Those You Care About
One of the hardest words in life we have to say is “sorry.” It’s even harder just saying it to yourself and really thinking about it. After a difficult life situation has exhausted you physically or emotionally, it is crucial to learn how to forgive everyone who has hurt you. However, you first must forgive yourself.
As stated by Karen Swartz, M.D., director of the Mood Disorders Adult Consultation Clinic at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, being hurt and disappointed, puts an “enormous physical burden” on us. Our health depends on forgiveness. Chronic anger makes changes to our body and increases the chances of higher blood pressure, stress, diabetes, heart diseases, and the weakening of our immune system. So, to forgive is necessary if you want to be healthy and live a stress-free life. It was probably one of the hardest steps I did in my life, to forgive unconditionally. Still, it was and is something that pays off the most.
6. Include Workout in Your Routine
Even though stress is a natural reaction made by evolution, its accumulation has terrible consequences for our health. The accumulation of cortisol, a stress hormone in the body, should, therefore, be eliminated or at least reduced. One of the ways to do that is by exercising.
According to research from the University of Arizona, physical activity as a remedy for stress dates back to ancient times. Today’s research confirms the effects of exercise on our health. It gives us the feelings of happiness and pleasure because during and after working out, the body secretes substances that affect our mood and reduce stress, making it easier to achieve biochemical balance in the brain. It influences both our mental and physical health.
Any exercise, be it yoga, pilates, swimming, kayaking, walking, or running, benefits our health. Nonetheless, aerobic exercise or cardio is one of the most appropriate methods of training to deal with stress. If you’re stressed out, consider running as your workout routine; it’s the cheapest and the most beneficial cardio activity. Start with as little as 10 minutes every other day and progress further until you incorporate it into your everyday schedule. Once I included yoga and occasional running into my life, I became less stressed out.
Do You Lead a Stress-Free Life?
Coping with stressful situations and anxiety-driven problems is extremely difficult in today’s fast lifestyle. However, you can reduce stress at your workplace, have an efficient time management system, control your stress triggers, and stop thinking much about the past. Moreover, if you forgive those who you care about and work out occasionally, you can have a stress-free life.