Did you know every 2 seconds, 7 people die of stress related illnesses around the world? That’s 110 million people every single year, all being wiped off this planet thanks to a little word called stress.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to tackle stress in your life. Here are 9 tips that will help you live stress free.
1. De-Clutter your life!
We live in a world of easy access, think about it, cheap online shopping, buying off social media, suitcase rummages. With all of the clothes and knick-knacks we have always desired readily available at our fingertips or the click of a button, I get it. It’s hard not to fall into that hoarding trap! Admit it, we all have ‘the pile’ somewhere around the house (usually the corner of a bedroom) or desk, where everything that doesn’t have a home (or need) lives, but you just can’t seem to let go.
In reality, these items could be causing more stress and anxiety than happiness. As Albert Einstein once said, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” So, with that said, step one: Let it go!
2. Stop Stress Eating!
Stress eating is the most common reason that contributes to the failure of fitness goals, which in turn leads to more stress. That pint of Ben and Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk Ice cream you just devoured for your second dessert, is just serving as a Band-Aid trying to cover deep wounds! Instead, immerse yourself in something other than food. Stroll through the city, read a new book, catch up with an old friend. If all else fails, jump on the #fitspo #cleaneating bandwagon and whip up some clean treats! Mmm.. raw cacao brownies.
3. Acknowledge your stress triggers
We all have different triggers that tip us over the edge. Whether it be your boss, family drama or money, it’s easy to identify these triggers but not so easy to handle them. Learning to combat particular issues will teach you how to minimise stress from certain situations.
If you have a bad day at work, have a night out with friends to take your mind off things. If you prefer to be alone, treat yourself to a movie or a dinner out. Don’t go home sit on the couch and throw down another pint of Ben and Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk Ice cream and then feel guilty for ruining your diet, again. Take your mind off things, go to bed with a clean slate, tomorrow is a new day.
4. Get a Hobby
Finding something new to love or be creative with is a great way to calm, de-stress or prevent stress. Be adventurous, try painting, bush walking or writing. Don’t limit yourself to activities you only think you will do well at. Choose a challenge or dare to be different. To wind down from an exhausting day at work, I like writing, others enjoy cardio (weird I know).
5. Be Early
I admit, I struggle getting out of bed even 5 minutes earlier than I absolutely have to. But I struggle even more with the stress of being late. Start scheduling more space between events, or try getting ready and leaving earlier than you usually would.
Everything usually takes longer than it should, so schedule in some buffer time to make room for unexpected dilemmas. Rushing to work or being late always leads to a bad morning and bad mornings always lead to a bad day. This kind of stress is avoidable, a good morning will always lead to a good day which will see you more productive than if you were stressed over lost time.
6. Add Yoga to your morning routine
All of you stress heads out there always forget the most important part of our existence, to just breathe. You don’t need an expensive gym membership to learn this, in fact there are hundreds of 5 minute routines you can find on YouTube and social media to add to your morning routine. The benefits of yoga are endless. When it comes down to stress, the slow, deep and mindful breathing exercises will calm you down and restore you for a great start to your morning.
7. Take your time, you will get there eventually
The opinions and judgements of those around us often affect the ability for us to be ourselves and to live how we want to live. The need to please will only lead into a very stressful life, we will never please everyone.
Whether it be a project, your degree or deciding on a career path, rushing in to things will always lead to where you don’t want to be. I know all too well the pressure of University and the “hurry up and graduate, stop changing your mind!” that gets thrown around every once and a while.
Don’t rush into things because you feel like time is slipping out from underneath you. Do exactly what you believe is right for you. Hold on, slow down and breathe in. Don’t change your journey so that it matches someone else’s. Your life is your life, not theirs. You will get where you want to be eventually.
8. Learn to say NO!
Repeat after me N-O, No. Stop over-committing yourself. Learn to say no if the workload is too great. By building and setting boundaries, you will gain important skills for personal and professional growth. With boundaries, we have the freedom to behave in our own best interest, with unwanted interventions. By saying no to the things that don’t help you, in turn, you are reserving the space for the necessary things that will.
We can’t commit to both, you are not Superman and I am not Batman (unfortunately), we are only human.
9. Give yourself a cuddle
Not literally, well you could try. Reward yourself, take a warm bath, burn incense, have a glass of red, book a retreat for when you will have free time so that you have something to look forward to. Don’t get so lost in your work load that you forget to care for yourself. Even if the work is not completely done. Finish project No. 1, have a bubble bath and relax and then start project No. 2. Do whatever it takes to make you feel taken care of, it is the best move you can make to dramatically reduce stress in your life.