By Anubhav Srivastava ( Register for his Workshop – Build Super Confidence For Super Success!)
How To Get Rid of Stress? In this article you will learn ten powerful actionable tips to overcome it!
Stress is a part of life for most of us. In today’s hectic sort of life where everyone is in a rat race and trying to do things faster than ever before and worrying about everything as a consequence, stress is an inevitable result.
It is not possible to have a life completely free of stress because as long as you live you are going to worry or be fearful about something or the other at some point of time. However, it is certainly possible to lower your stress levels to the point that they don’t interfere much.
Here is how to do it.
1 ) Don’t create unnecessarily stressful scenarios yourself
A man struggling to pay debts or be evicted from his house or struggling to raise funds for a loved one’s serious medical condition will usually have little control over his stress because they are urgent and grave matters in the eyes of most people. They are issues that need to be addressed. These are real situations that anyone would be stressed about.
But then there are some matters you can let go of. If you are in an argument over a dent on your car, let go of it. Figure out a solution calmly and then don’t bother about it unnecessarily, these things are neither urgent nor grave unless you are unbelievably materialistic.
Don’t kill yourself over petty things.
2) Get rid of things that provide more stress than benefit
We often take up more than what we can handle and pileup unnecessary stress in the process. While taking on challenges that force you to push beyond your comfort zone but still give you a great reward and make you happy in the process is helpful, taking on things that give you too much of a headache and take a toll on your mind and body is not a good idea.
Take a look at your life and evaluate whether your plate is overflowing. Have you taken on projects or commitments that have made your life worse rather than better. Like I said, pushing beyond your comfort zone is a good thing, but getting burnt out is not, especially if the work is not worth the reward.
Get rid of the unnecessary stress. Instead of taking on everything, if possible, only do things that give you the most value or happiness in return.
3) Stop Over Thinking
Stop thinking about what you ought to be doing. It does nothing to make you more productive. Thinking what you ought to be doing accomplishes nothing but only drains mental energy. The reason why most to do lists stress people out because they are constantly in your face, reminding you that you ought to be doing something else instead. While having a reminder is good to keep you on track, at times it can be plain annoying and distracts you from enjoying the present.
Having time for yourself is not a sin, especially if you have been doing your duties well enough. Stop thinking. When the time comes to do the task required, then get up and just do it instead of thinking about it.
4) Don’t Procrastinate
Procrastination always leads to huge stress because by avoiding work that could be done daily in little chunks without much trouble, we end up leaving the task till the last moment when it becomes to huge and overwhelming.
Don’t ignore your tasks or problems become huge monsters that will kill you. Tackle it on a daily basis. Allot a particular time to do something and then do it. But then, don’t keep thinking about it and stress yourself. Stay in the moment so that you can enjoy a life outside the task. When the time comes to do the task, do it with relentless focus, get the chunk done for the day and then FORGET about it.
5) Create Fake Deadlines
Most people are late because they always just try to meet what is required. Your brain is very adaptive (in a bad way). If you tell yourself that you need to just reach on time or just meet the deadlines, you are subconsciously training yourself to leave home late or slow down your work just to meet the deadline. This is actually an observation in Psychology called the Parkinson’s law which says work expands to fill the time available. And if you only focus on meeting deadlines, you are inviting loads of stress.
A great approach to overcome this is setting fake deadlines. If you are supposed to meet someone important at 2 pm, most people would probably set out at a time that they just manage to reach at 2 pm (if everything goes well). But life is unpredictable and if you get too late , you will end up hugely stressed and may jump traffic signals or hit a few pedestrians on the way!
So instead of wanting to reach at 2 pm, why not pretend the meeting is at 1:30 pm? If the place is far, pretend that it is at one pm. If you have to submit a report in a week, pretend you have to do it tomorrow. The job will get done quickly and your stress levels will plummet.
6) Exercise Regularly
One of the simplest and easiest ways to manage stress on a day to day basis is to exercise. An hour of moderate exercise a few times a week is enough to produce chemicals in the brain will lead to a happy feeling and lower stress.
However, remember that you have to make this a lifelong habit, doing it once or twice wont help you lose weight or gain muscle. If you just exercise sometimes, can you expect to remain at your ideal weight permanently? No, you need to keep doing it. In order to keep stress at bay, you need to make working out a habit.
7) Consume the right diet.
The kind of diet you consume has a huge impact on your mental energy and stress levels. If you starve, your blood sugar goes too low, thus worsening your stress. If you eat a diet high in carbohydrates and fat, you will get a temporary high and feel great but then very quickly your blood sugar would crash again thus leading to high stress again.
Many people fall into the trap of trying to make themselves feel good by a heavy fat/carbohydrate laden diet. They get a temporary high, but then as soon as the blood sugar crashes back to a low, they get super stressed out again. This cycle continues and they just grow fatter, unhealthier and even more stressed.
A balanced diet with good proportion of protein, fat and complex carbohydrates (that keep blood sugar levels) stable will be of great help in keeping your stress levels low.
8) Cut out toxic people in your life.
If your immediate family members are the ones being toxic, this could be extremely hard.
But as far as annoying acquaintances, fake friends, bitchy coworkers and cruel bosses go, you can junk them out of your life, all it will take is a bit of courage and the desire to no longer deal with any of their nonsense that attacks your self respect.
Toxic people who use you, abuse you or add stress to your life need to be thrown out as quickly as possible. You may say it’s not so simple especially when it comes to a job. Maybe so, but is there a point of trying to earn a living when you are dying from within?
Gather the courage to leave such an environment and get rid of all the toxic people that you possibly can. Your life will be much better and stress free, even if you make less money.
9 ) Stop Trying To Control Every Outcome
As human beings we all want to control every single thing in life that happens to us. After all we have been taught that you can control your destiny and while it is true that you can influence a part of it through your actions, the fact is that you have no control over a huge chunk of your life. As I often say, you only have control over your actions, not the result of those actions.
You do not have control over whether or not you will get into an accident, you only have control over whether or not you can put on a seat belt.
You do not have control over whether or not you or a loved one will get some horrible disease, you only have control over practicing healthy habits.
Whenever you are worried about something, ask yourself, what aspect of it can you realistically control? Take the necessary steps and then release or let go of the attachment to the outcome.
Sometimes letting go and not trying to overthink or control things that cannot be controlled is the best thing you can do for yourself and your mental peace. Whatever has to happen will happen, worrying won’t change it.
10) Chill Out a little
Stop taking life so seriously. Don’t be a Type A kind of personality who is always hyper alert, obsessively perfectionist and excessively serious. While this kind of person may not doubt have considerable professional achievement, they probably can’t even relax for a moment.
Life happens once and if achieving only materialistic goals makes you happy, by all means do it but only to the point that they actually make you happy and not lead to unnecessary pile up of stress.
Taking a break every now and then, hanging out with friends, doing things purely for enjoyment and cutting themselves slack even if they are not able to achieve their goals is a great stress reliever.
The best part once the stress is relieved you can actually go back to your job with much more focus, determination and a productive mindset instead of being stressed all the time at work and dragging your tired mind and body to do something it just isn’t in the mood to do!
I hope this article has been of great use to you and you will implement the steps that you find useful so that you can enjoy a life with stress that is as low as possible.
A completely stress free life is not the goal and it is not even advisable. If you had no stress you would not react to any danger. If you had no stress you would simply end up being bored all the time.
Stress has its benefits and your goal should not be to kill it but to keep it at a level where it remains a good friend instead of becoming an annoying boss.
About the Author
Anubhav Srivastava is an author, speaker and the director of Carve Your Destiny, a first of its kind inspirational documentary featuring some of the most famous personalities from diverse fields. It has been seen by over 1 Million People on Youtube. Anubhav has also been featured in numerous International and India Media outlets such as BBC , The Times of India, Hindustan Times, Rediff.com, Leicester Mercury and many others.
For one on one consulting or a motivational workshop at your organization please email firstname.lastname@example.org . If you would like to write a guest blog post on Anubhavsrivastava.com you contact me on the same email address.
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