8 SIMPLE STRESS-BUSTERS & THE SERIOUS PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

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8 SIMPLE STRESS-BUSTERS & THE SERIOUS PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

Everything You Need to Know to Flourish and Thrive and found them super helpful in that very moment in time, and even now, so I thought I’d share. Sure we know some of these basic rules to a less stressful life, but they’re not so easy to remember on a daily basis, and especially when we are in a challenging time of dis-ease, as I am in now. I’ve been having serious sleep issues over the last few months {or more} that are not so much insomnia, but more my anxiety and active mind keeping me up and creating insomnia… which has now created a sort of sleep anxiety where I can feel myself start to drift off to sleep and my body kicks me back awake to a racing heart and mind… and some nights I don’t sleep at all… and then that causes more anxiety on top of it. So needless to say, I’ve been really trying to be mindful, practice positive psychology, meditate, eat better, creating a sleep ritual, and be more physically fit every day… and I think over time these things work, but they don’t really seem to be quick fix-its or the remedy and road to less anxiety and more sleep just yet. I sort of feel like I’m trying to make too many changes at once and my being is in total chaos because of it. On the other hand, I think I may just have to accept the fact that I will live with some form of anxiety rearing it’s ugly head in one way or another for the rest of my life… because as soon as I feel like I’ve figured it all out and conquered one area, it finds a weak spot and takes over an entirely new area. So I’m adding these eight steps to my daily to-do list in trying to make my overall health {mind/body/spirit} the top priority in my life.
1. Breathe Slowly and Deeply Before you react to the next stressful event, first take 3 deep breaths and consciously release each breath slowly. If you have more time, try a relaxation technique, such as meditation or guided imagery, before deciding how to handle the situation.
2. Speak More Slowly If you feel overwhelmed at any time, deliberately slow down the pace of your speaking. You will appear less anxious and more in control of the situation. Stressed people tend to speak fast and breathlessly. If you slow down, you’ll find you can think more clearly and react more reasonably to stressful situations.
3. Take a Break Outdoors Take advantage of the healing power of fresh air and sunshine. Just 5 minutes outside on a balcony or terrace can be rejuvenating. If you have more time, 30 minutes of sunshine has proven positive benefits.
4. Check Your Posture Hold your head and shoulders upright. Avoid slumping or stooping: bad posture leads to muscle tension, pain, and increased stress. If you are behind a desk during the day, avoid repetitive strain injuries and sore muscles by making sure your workspace is ergonomic, and take 5 minutes every hour to walk around or stretch.
5. Drink Plenty of Water and Eat Small, Nutritious Snacks Fight dehydration and hunger—they can provoke aggressiveness and exacerbate feelings of anxiety and stress. Drink plenty of water always have small and nutritious snacks available on hand, such as fruit, string cheese, or a handful of nuts.
6. Do One Thing Today Take control of your time. Every day, do at least one simple thing you’ve been putting off: return a phone call, make a doctor’s appointment, or file the paperwork piling up on your desk. Taking care of one nagging responsibility will energize you and improve your attitude! You might even find that completing one task inspires you to move on to the next one. At the end of each day, try planning your schedule for tomorrow using a calendar or day planner that works for you.
7. Reward Yourself after a Stressful Day At the end of the day, set aside any work concerns, housekeeping issues, or family concerns for at least a few minutes. Allow yourself a brief period of time to fully relax before bedtime each day—even if it’s only taking a relaxing bath or spending 30 minutes with a good book. Remember, you need time to recharge. Don’t spend this time planning tomorrow or doing chores you didn’t get around to during the day. You’ll be much better prepared to face another stressful day if you give yourself a brief reward of some free time.
8. Practice Letting Go When your next inevitably stressful situation comes up, make a conscious choice not to become upset. Just let it go. Don’t waste your energy on situations where it is not deserved. Managing your anger is a proven stress reducer. I also LOVED this quote from Arianna Huffington in her article: Best Advice: You Are in Control of the Clicker “Whenever I’d complain or was upset about something in my own life, my mother had the same advice: “Darling, just change the channel. You are in control of the clicker. Don’t replay the bad, scary movie.” We don’t have to wait until we move or change jobs to change our lives. Nor do we have to wait for large-scale, upstream change. We can initiate change right now. There are endless starting points.” There’s no way to avoid stress I suppose except to have a more positive outlook overall, but we can be proactive in managing it every single day, which hopefully, over time, will create a more peaceful mind/life. Here’s wishing us all a happy life with less stress!

Sara Dal Monte

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