Stress is a normal reaction to events that occur around us. How we manage or react to stressful situations is the key to stress being a positive challenge or a negative impact on our health. Here are some ideas to put into action so your life feels more under your control.
- Practice gratitude. This one action alone has been linked to increased happiness. Start small with writing down one thing that you are grateful for at the end of every day.
- Positive self talk. Too often our internal self talk is negative and critical. How helpful is that to learning from our mistakes? Listen to your own self talk. Be kind to yourself and consider what you have achieved every day instead of what is left undone
- Learn to say no. Stop saying yes to all requests or taking on new responsibilities. This is the path towards overwhelm. Stop and consider what each request really means. Does this request fit my goals? What will I learn? What will I have to give up to start this new project. Then only say yes if this new idea fits your needs.
- Plan ahead. Take the time to plan out your day or your week. You make better decisions on what is important when you are focused on what you need. Identify one most important thing for each day.
- Avoid negative people. You know who they are. These are the people who complain, blame and point out the negative of every situation.
- Reduce your clutter. I know why we get piles of things, there never seems enough time to deal with the stuff on our desk or in a closet. Start small and take 30 min to sort out your piles. See how it feels to clear out one area.
- Socialize with friends. Being out with other people in a social setting gives you a different perspective on life. A strong connection with other people supports your own wellbeing and emotional health.
- Play. Play with your kids, your friends and your pets. Do something fun. Laughter and play are great ways to lighten your mood.
- Practice self care. Be aware of what you need to recharge or reenergize at the end of a busy day. Take the time to do something nice for yourself today.
- Appreciate beauty around you. Sometimes we get so stuck in the clutter of our brain that we forget to focus on the external environment. Stop and notice the bigger things in life. Admire a sunrise, clouds, work of art or anything that grabs your attention.
Any change takes a while to become a habit. Try one of these ideas and see what happens. A healthy lifestyle is based on making small changes over time. Get started by takin this stress assessment. Do you know your stress triggers?