How Can I Make My Life Less Stressful And Enjoy It More
Its not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it. Hans Selye
Stress seems to be everywhere today. We all seem to be looking for ways to get rid of stress.
From the moment we wake up until the time we finally manage to get to sleep, finding a few moments of peace is becoming increasingly difficult for many people.
According to data from Statistics Brain, 77% of people in the United States regularly experience physical symptoms that are caused by stress.
Another 73% say that they regularly experience psychological symptoms that are due to stress.
Nearly half of all Americans feel like their stress levels have increased over the past 5 years.
1 in 3 people say that they live with extreme stress every day.
Although we cannot control the outside world and the stressful triggers it may send our way, we can control how we react to that stress.
You can choose to make life less stressful and enjoy it more because you have the ability to change your perspective.
Here are some ideas that can be implemented right now so that you can have more control over the stress that is in your life.
Ways To Make Life Easier And Less Stressful
15 WAYS TO MAKE LIFE EASIER AND LESS STRESSFUL
Life can be complicated enough and its easy to get overloaded and overwhelmed. However, with some careful planning and a bit of thought, we can make it so much easier on ourselves. Check out this post on 15 ways to make life easier.
HOW TO MAKE LIFE EASIER
Being honest, I have a busy life and not a lot of spare time on my side.
No amount of simplifying can wave a magic wand over my life and totally make it stress-free or a walk in the park. I think that goes for pretty much all of us at some time or other!
Life can get busy, very busy and its not always of our making. There are so many other factors that come into play. Work, family, financial or health worries, things to do and places to be
When I was brainstorming for this post, I asked myself some questions
- How can I make life less difficult?
- How can I make life more comfortable?
- How can I make everyday life easier?
I made a list of things which Ive done or have put in place which have really helped make my own life easier.
They may not all be right for you, but its perhaps a starting point to help you evaluate your own life.
Take what you can, adapt what you wish, use what appeals to you and fits with your current season of life.
Even baby steps and small changes can make a big difference over time
15 WAYS TO MAKE LIFE EASIER
Spend Time Outside Every Day
A healthy dose of fresh air is one of the best ways to instantly lift your mood, especially if your job or daily routine keeps you stuck indoors under artificial lights for more than a third of the day. Go for a walk right after you wake up, take your lunch to a park, or catch the sunset. It doesnt have to be complicatedjust get outdoors when you can.
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Can Stress Be Positive
Research has shown that stress can sometimes be positive. It can make you more alert and help you perform better in certain situations.2 However, stress has only been found to be beneficial if it is short-lived.
Excessive or prolonged stress can contribute to illness such as heart disease3 and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.4
What Are The Behavioural And Emotional Effects Of Stress
When you are stressed you may experience many different feelings, including anxiety, irritability or low self-esteem, which can lead to becoming withdrawn, indecisive and tearful.13
You may experience periods of constant worry, racing thoughts, or repeatedly go over the same things in your head. You may experience changes in your behaviour. You may lose your temper more easily, act irrationally or become more verbally or physically aggressive.14 These feelings can feed on each other and produce physical symptoms, which can make you feel even worse. For example, extreme anxiety can make you feel so unwell, that you then worry you have a serious physical condition.
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Stop Overanalyzing Situations That Havent Happened
The first step to living a stress-free life is to stop overanalyzing imaginary scenarios. Its easy to spend time in the world of worst-case scenarios. People tend to cultivate this world for one of two reasons.
First, because if you know what the worst-case scenario is, then it wont surprise you when it happens. Second, if you know what the worst-case scenario is, then you can do everything in your power to control the universe so the worst case never happens.
If thats really the world you want to cultivate, then become a professional risk assessor. If not, then ask yourself how you are benefiting from continuing to live that way.
Does it make you feel better about yourself and your life? Does it make you want to leap out of bed in the morning, eager to embrace the worst-case scenario? Does it bring you joy or fulfillment?
If your answer to these three questions is no, then stop living in the future and bring yourself back into the present.
What Can Prolonged Stress Lead To
Stress is a natural reaction to many situations in life, such as work, family, relationships and money problems.
We mentioned earlier on that a moderate amount of stress can help us perform better in challenging situations,34 but too much or prolonged stress can lead to physical problems. This can include lower immunity levels,35 digestive and intestinal difficulties, e.g. irritable bowel syndrome ,36 or mental health problems such as depression.3 This means it is important to manage your stress and keep it at a healthy level to prevent long-term damage to your body and mind.
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Take Shortcuts To Happiness
With a busy lifestyle, and with stressors that can seem to come out of nowhere, it’s important to have quick routes to happiness, so you can create or restore positive feelings as quickly as possible. Knowing what can make you happy, and practicing a few “happiness shortcuts” each day, is a quick and easy way to raise your spirits in general, and make happiness a habit.
Delegate Tasks To Others
If you live in a busy household, chances are there will be a lot of cleaning and tidying tasks to do. Why not delegate some of these tasks to others? After all, they live in the same house and contribute to the mess.
If you have children who are old enough to clean, ask them to do some chores. Let them earn a bit of money this way.
If you live on your own or you have trouble getting others to clean up, you could look for a cleaning service near you. Having someone clean your home at least once a week can relieve stress and give you more time to concentrate on the things you enjoy.
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Ways To Simplify Your Life: Less Stress More Living
Living comes with a lot of responsibilities. There is so much pressure to be this and that, a lot of people to cater to, and tons of responsibilities to meet up with. All these things add up to make life complicated, build up anxiety, and deplete your productivity.
We live in a very complex world where demands and expectations are high, from work demands to family responsibilities, the hustle never seems to end! As a result, a lot of women go through life feeling drained and washed-out because every day feels like a grind.
This is why you must reclaim your life and your mental health by simplifying your life.
Living a simple stress-free life is not a mirage, its a possibility and you can achieve this by making some lifestyle changes.
Smoking Drinking And Drug Use And Stress
You might find that you smoke, drink alcohol or use recreational drugs to reduce stress. However, this often makes problems worse.28
Research shows that smoking may increase feelings of anxiety.29 Nicotine creates an immediate, temporary, sense of relaxation, which can then lead to withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
Similarly, you may use alcohol as a means to manage and cope with difficult feelings, and to temporarily reduce feelings of anxiety. However, alcohol may make existing mental health problems worse. It can make you feel more anxious and depressed in the long run.30 It is important to know the recommended limits31 and drink responsibly.
Prescription drugs, such as tranquillisers and sleeping tablets, which may have been prescribed for very good reasons, can also cause mental and physical health problems if used for long periods of time.32 Street drugs, such as cannabis or ecstasy, are usually taken for recreational purposes. For some people, problems start as their bodies get used to repeated use of the drug. This leads to the need for increased doses to maintain the same effect.33
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Learn To Recognise The Signs That You Are Becoming Stressed
There are a wide range of possible signs and symptoms that may be associated with stress. These include headaches, stomach upsets and indigestion, and sleep problems. Many people also find they become very emotional and have trouble regulating their emotions.
Unfortunately, most of these signs are fairly non-specific: that is, they may be associated with many different illnesses and conditions. It can therefore be hard to identify when your symptoms are the result of stress. You should always consult a doctor if these symptoms last any length of time.
It is a good idea to learn to recognise the signs that you are becoming stressed, so that you can take action early on.
There is more about this in our page on What is Stress?
Create New Routines To Begin And End The Workday
While sitting around in your sweats all day is definitely the most comfortable option, it can sometimes be too comfortable, leading us to feel and act in a less productive fashion.
Establishing a morning routine can help you to feel like youve moved from the hanging around the house version of yourself to the professional version of you. Consider incorporating whatever makes you feel your best, whether thats exercising, showering, getting ready, or reading for pleasure with a cup of coffee.
Your morning commute may be a few steps between the kitchen table and your home desk, but that doesnt mean you cant start your day by getting out of the house and getting some fresh air. Remember that your morning routine has the power to set your mindset for the entire day. Mornings are also a great time to establish mental health routines. Try a meditation, write down what youre grateful for on your Hope Board, or write down how youre feeling and your intention for the day in a journal.
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Develop A Healthy Habit You Can Take On Monthly
Creating short-term goals for new healthy habits are great for a few reasons. Firstly, they are more obtainable, thus create less stress in trying to achieve them. Secondly, the feeling of accomplishing them will trickle over and these short-term habits will likely become habits that will stick around, maybe even becoming life-long.
One obvious habit to take on would be becoming more physically active. However, there are other small ways to improve your overall health. Eat more fruits and veggies for snacks. Floss every day. Cook something healthy for dinner. Drink water instead of soda. Just be sure to tackle one habit at a time.
Find A Job That Makes You Feel Good
You dont have to stay at a job just because it pays the bills. Most people spend more time working than sleeping. The average person spends 40 to 80 hours a weekor 2,000 to 4,000 hours a yearworking. That is a significant investment!
If your best friend or child told you that they were going to spend 4,000 hours giving their emotional, mental, and physical energy to something that wasnt going to value them, give anything back to them, or pay them what they were worth, what advice would you offer? Give that same advice to yourself. You wont be stress-free unless you dont learn this.
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The Diagnosis That Changed Everything
And then, in April of 2016, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. A diagnosis totally out of the blue, it completely pulled the rug out from underneath my feet and turned my world upside down. Three years on, Im thankful to say that I made it through to the other side but my fight taught me something.
It taught me that life is precious and that it goes WAY too fast. It made me see that nothing matters more than spending quality time with the ones we love. That being rich isnt about how much money we have in the bank. That happiness is a choice and that its okay to let go of the things that are weighing us down.
During my treatment, I made a promise to myself. A promise that if I won my fight, I would do whatever I could to make family life LESS stressful and MORE enjoyable. And that I would help others to do the same.
And thats exactly what Im doing right now.
Ive taken everything Ive learned over the past three years and turned it into an eBook just for you! An eBook where Im sharing all of my secrets to living a life LESS stressful and MORE enjoyable. In it, youll find the EXACT steps I took to reduce the overwhelm, take back control and make life easier to manage so that you can do it too!
Accept The Things You Can’t Change
Changing a difficult situation isn’t always possible. Try to concentrate on the things you do have control over.
“If your company is going under and is making redundancies, for example, there’s nothing you can do about it,” says Professor Cooper.
“In a situation like that, you need to focus on the things that you can control, such as looking for a new job.”
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Stop Living Through Other Peoples Lives
Um, Im just going to state the obvious here, because sometimes, we cannot see what is right in front of our own noses :
Someone elses life is not your life. Your life is your life.
Let me break that down even further. What that means is you get to live your life, and other people get to live their lives. You get to make stupid, ridiculous mistakes, take leaps of faith, and stuff things inside your handbag of fear just as much as the next person. And you dont get to judge that other person for their life choices or manage their life for them so they dont have to go through all of what you have gone through.
Going through stuff is the whole great messy adventure of being human! Being alive and living life is terrifying and glorious and everything in between.
Dont rob someone else of being able to experience the richness of humanity. And dont let everyone else have all of the adventure and intrigue grab some for yourself.
Need Social Support Reach Out Even If Its Just A Phone Call To A Parenting Helpline
This should surprise no one, but it needs to be said: Parenting is a lot easier when youve got friends, family, or neighbors on your side.
Indeed, as Ive explained opens in a new windowelsewhere, human parents have always needed helpers. People who offer childcare help, emotional support, and economic aid.
So if you find yourself feeling isolated and overwhelmed, know that it isnt a personal failing. You arent supposed to be isolated. You arent supposed to be overwhelmed. You are supposed to be part of a supportive social network.
Heck, even monkey parents can count on the support of their friends and allies.
But what can you do if dont live near friends and relatives? Or lack people in your life who can provide you with the support you really need?
There are many options: Local parenting cooperatives. Online parenting communities and support groups. Trained therapists.
Enrolling in a parenting class can be helpful too. Studies indicate that parenting classes can reduce your feelings of anger, guilt, and stress particularly if your child has difficult behavior problems . But keep in mind: these effects usually fade after the classes end suggesting that its the ongoing social connections that matter.
Not sure where to find these resources? Try your family physician, as well as parenting helplines. For example, if you live in the United States, you can contact the opens in a new windowNational Parenting Helpline, operated by Parents Anonymous.
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Ration Your Exposure To Negative Thoughts And Negative Media
Its natural to look for patterns. If a child is temperamental, defiant, or high-strung, you may be persuaded that his next move will be negative one. Its also natural to pay more attention to potential threats when youre feeling upset, angry, or alarmed.
Stress makes people zero in on the bad stuff.
But your beliefs and biases can become self-fulfilling prophecies. If you assume the worst, youre liable to provoke negative behavior from other people. Youre also more likely to experience a downward spiral of deteriorating mood.
After a very brief exposure to negative emotional content, people tend to pay more attention to upsetting images, threatening words, and negative feedback . They replay bad memories or worry about the future.
Such thoughts activate the stress circuits in the brain, causing even more anxiety and gloom. A single trigger an angry comment, an unpleasant reminder, or a distressing anecdote might be enough to set the process in motion.
Under certain conditions of crisis, this may be helpful.Switching to threat mode is a good idea when a lion is stalking you. But in other cases, youre much worse off. Overdosing on threatening information and bad news doesnt just spike your immediate stress levels. It can also undermine your ability to think constructively and solve problems. And that hurts everyone you, your family, your neighbors, and coworkers.