Are you tired of feeling stressed out? It seems like there is always something, especially living in the Bay Area. It starts with getting the kids ready in the morning, and then traffic on the freeway. Next thing you know, you are at work. The day is filled with meeting, reports, phone calls, etc. Before you know it the day is over. Where did the time go?
Then, you are left feeling like time is passing you by and that you are missing out. If you feel this way, you aren’t alone. More and more people are reporting an increase in stress. It’s actually nothing new. The good news is, you can take back your life.
Here are 7 tips to help you let go of stress:
- Unplug. We live in an electronic age, and we always want to be plugged in. Fearful we may miss out on the latest gossip. This means that your brain is never unplugged. We really need to give our brain a break. The next time you take a break at work, leave your phone behind. You actually won’t be missing out, and you’ll be surprised at how much more effective you’ll be at the office. Do not take any electronic gadgets with you to bed. The work will always be there the next day, and you need your rest.
- Practice being grateful. Want what you have. It’s easy to get caught up in wanting more. We are being pushed more now than ever. If you work in sales, it’s sell more. Even if you work in a helping profession, you are often told to see more people. Try not to take your work home with you. Write a list of 25 things you are grateful for today. Start with a roof over your head and a warm bed to sleep in.
- Spend time with positive people. Make it a goal to have more positive people in your life. Nobody likes to admit it, but the people around you can bring you down. Choose your battles. You don’t have to always be right. Spend time doing things you enjoy. You are more likely to meet people you have things in common with, that way.
- Don’t overthink a situation. You wouldn’t believe how much I see this. We’ve all done it. This is when you take a perfectly good situation and make it a bad situation. The next time someone gives you a compliment, say thank you. Do not question why they said what they said.
- Play, play, and then play some more. All work and no play (makes Jack a dull boy). Is really true. We live in a workaholic culture. The more you work the more recognition you get. This can be good in the beginning. But, if it goes on for too long it can lead to burn out. Make sure you schedule play on your calendar. What makes you laugh? Where are your favorite hang out spots? Invite a friend the next time you go out to play.
- Say less and breathe more. The next time you feel anxious or angry, stop and take a deep breath. This will help shift your focus and lower your heart rate. Set aside five minutes in the morning to close your are and do some deep breathing. This will help reduce anxiety in your life. You can always increase the time in five minute increments. It may sound like a lot, but in the big scheme of things, it’s not a lot of time.
- Take responsibility for your reaction. Be aware of what makes you feel stressed out, or who makes you feel stressed out. It’s alright to stay away from stressful situations or people, if possible. It’s easy to feel defensive or angry when things don’t go your way or people don’t do what you want. Remember, this is your perception and doesn’t give you the right to attack back. Learn to take responsibility for your behavior. As you change, the people around you will change.
Stress doesn’t have to ruin your life or your health. What unnecessary stress do you have in your life? How do you plan to let go of it? Remember, small steps really do lead to big steps. Start today by letting go of one unnecessary stressor in your life. Then, replace it with one positive habit. Like, going for a bath or taking a bubble bath.
Lianne Avila is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Mateo, Ca. Reducing stress in your life is possible and she can help you do it. For more information please call or email, (650) 892-0357 or lianne@LessonsforLove.com.