There are hundreds of positive things you can do to help alleviate or banish stress. Here are some of our current favorites:
1. Own your stress.
Sometimes we stress about our stress. Seriously! If, like most, you’re a sensitive and thoughtful person trying to make the best choices in your life, you may have to guard against the all-too-easy habit of judging yourself and beating yourself up over the negative feelings that come with stress. I find that the judgment of a stressful situation or emotion is often more upsetting than the original issue. This can create a spiral of negativity. If you’re stressed, own it! You are allowed to experience all your feelings, including the stressful, negative ones. Accept them and find a way to channel them in a positive direction, such as outcome-based thinking. This is where you say “I don’t like this situation. I feel awful. What do I want it to be like instead? How do I want to feel instead?” rather than “I don’t like this situation. I feel awful! It’s hopeless!”. At the risk of taking us all back to the 1970s, be your own best friend; be gentle with yourself. Give yourself permission to have your feelings. And if that’s hard for you to do, no problem: I give you permission!
2. Set priorities.
Sometimes we just don’t set priorities, so everything develops a sense of urgency and this creates an enormous wall of stress. It can be paralyzing. Set priorities every single day. Write down your 3 most important things that must get done. Make a separate list of all the other things you’d like to address. Just concentrate on those 3, and if you get more done, wonderful! But get into the habit of viewing your day as a hierarchy of priorities.
3. Play the hypothetical game.
This is also about prioritizing. Play Aaron’s hypothetical game – only with a bit of a serious twist. Everything can feel important and urgent, but few things really are. Ask yourself what would really need to be dealt with if your car broke down, or you woke up with a cold, or your office was shut down for the day. This can help you put things in perspective.
Mark talks about this quite a bit. Stop putting so much on your plate! It’s easy to say “yes” and difficult to say “no”, but in the long run, doing less will benefit everyone in your life far more. Do less better, rather than more barely. You don’t have to be in God’s business.
Another Sisson favorite, and something we all follow ’round these parts. For me personally, eating more fat and supplementing with Mark’s Vital Omegas has helped me to banish my migraines, manage my health, and simply feel more alert. I actually take a double-dose of the Vitals almost daily. If you haven’t read about how I went from flabby and sick to sleek and healthy, check out my story.
6. Basic indulgence.
You may not have the time or resources for a vacation or weekend at the spa. You may not be able to take time off from work right now. So find a way to indulge your senses via one of your daily routines. For example, spend a little extra cash on shampoos, conditioners and bath oils that smell wonderful and make you feel great. Or start your morning off with a simple ritual like a delicious cup of tea or five minutes of meditation. Another small indulgence that makes a difference is to dab your temples with an essential herbal oil you enjoy. These are easy ways to make “basics” more luxurious.
We can’t emphasize the power of exercise for your health and stress management enough. Exercise releases hormones that reduce stress, balance your mood, and help you handle everything from injuries to aches to germs to forgetfulness. Your body has a built-in system for stress management, and it’s called movement. Get that blood pumping several times a week!
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