Reducing Stress – The Harsh Reality
A stress-free life. Isn’t that something we all want? But why don’t we have it? This topic has been written about a million times, but there are still tons of stressed out people walking around. So, what gives?
When you look up any article on reducing stress, you will usually get a list of things like “take a walk”, “meditate”, “take a bath” etc. And these things WILL work. But only if you want them too.
See the thing is, most of us refuse to commit any substantial time to ourselves. Rather, we focus on other people, work, friends, family and their needs. Reducing stress in your life won’t happen without you actually wanting to spend some time on yourself.
Then comes the age old argument, but… “I don’t have time”. YES YOU DO! We all have time. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Take a step back and look at how you prioritize your time. Are there things in your day that you don’t actually enjoy doing? Maybe you find yourself addicted to TV but you don’t actually care for watching TV that much. Maybe you are spending a ton of time on the internet, but are not doing anything productive.
These are the kinds of activities that are not bringing you value, and can be reduced. ESPECIALLY if you feel stressed out and want to move towards a more stress free life.
And I know lots of people like to mindlessly browse the internet or watch TV to take their brain away from the day’s events. But ultimately these activities are not productive for your own mental well-being.
So, now that we have gotten this out of the way, how do you actually reduce stress?
Well like I said, those lists you see over and over, they are there for a reason. They work. It just comes down to you and your personal interests.
Someone who dislikes being in a hot room may not find any value in doing hot yoga, or a sauna session. Whereas someone else might feel like they absolutely need to do to these activities to fully de-stress.
So what are your options? Well rather than go into each of them (because they are self-explanatory), here is MY list (to add to the many):
- Talk a walk & listen to music
- Have a bath
- Listen to a podcast
- Go to a yoga class or stretch at home
- Have a cup of tea & listen to music
- Write in a journal
These options are good if you are low on cash, or are looking for something in the immediate sense. However, my absolute favorite thing to do to relieve stress is plan trips. Or learn about new places. If there is some small chance that I might be going to a new country, I will look at tours, accommodations, flights etc. Then when the time comes to book, I will already have an idea of what I want to do, when to go, what to bring etc. I find this helps me because it takes my mind away from the present moment, and puts into perspective how big the world is, and how much more there is to see out there.
So try it out! Hopefully it helps you as much as it helps me!
Reducing stress in your life will allow you to handle your days better. You will be able to handle your finances better, your relationships better, your work better, and most importantly, your time better. Which will allow for you to sustainably continue maintaining lower stress in your life.
The whole point of living a stress free life is committing to it. Eventually you will change your mind set, and things will not have as much as an effect on you. But in the early stages, it is so easy to get caught up in situations. And this cycle perpetuates itself. First you are stressed at work, then that irritates you when you are at home, then you go to work irritated.
Break the cycle. Commit to living a stress-free life. Let go of the things that continue to bother you. We all have people and tasks that we continue to give time too even though we are not invested in them. It’s also important to remember that it is okay to say no to events, tasks, favors if you really don’t want to do them or partake.
My point is, it’s your life. You only have one. Make it count. There is no need to be spending wasteful minutes on something that doesn’t serve your happiness.
What do you do to reduce stress?