While many of us would like to create a “stress-free life”, the reality is that stress is a normal part of our day-to-day lives. Whether it is the stress of traffic, work, school, parenting, money, relationships, weather, or some unexpected event, we all have to find ways to effectively manage the stressors that we face. Since we can’t avoid stress, we need to develop tools to cope with the stressors that life sends our way. Listed below are some useful strategies that can help you relieve your stress.
- Get up fifteen minutes earlier in the morning – If you get up late you tend to run late. Create a more relaxed pace in the morning by giving yourself plenty of time to get going. Avoiding the inevitable morning mishaps will make your life less stressful.
- Don’t rely on your memory – The busier we get, the harder it becomes to remember everything. Write things down or add them to your appointment calendar. Use the organizational tools that are now available to help you keep track of your tasks and goals.
- Quit procrastinating – Procrastination is stressful. The more you procrastinate the more moments of crisis you tend to create. The faster you resolve a problem, the less time you allow for the stress of that problem to consume your life.
- Plan ahead – In general, the more prepared you are, the less stress you will experience. Don’t wait until the hurricane has arrived to start finding supplies or deciding on what to do. Plan ahead and you will be able to more effectively manage even the most stressful of events.
- Get rid of clutter – The more clutter you have, the more overwhelmed you tend to be. Get rid of the clutter so that you have less to take care of.
- Don’t put up with something that doesn’t work right – If your windshield wipers don’t work right, get some new ones. Keeping tools that don’t function well, only increases your own aggravation. Decrease your stress by getting rid of or replacing those things that cause you aggravation.
- Develop patience – Not everyone or everything operates on our time frame. Be prepared to wait if needed and adjust to the pace of what is going on around you.
- Be flexible – Don’t be rigid. Things rarely work out exactly the way you plan, so be willing to adapt as the situation changes.
- Cut things out, don’t squeeze – Rather than trying to squeeze more and more into a day, be willing to cut some activities out. You will be amazed at how much more relaxed you can feel when you stop running from one activity to the next.
- Simplify, simplify, simplify – The more complex things are the more that things can go wrong and the more that you must manage. Simplify your life to decrease your stress.
- Develop healthy friendships that are supportive – If you surround yourself with negative people that are always worrying, you will feel stressed. Surround yourself with positive people, it will help your overall mood.
- Eliminate destructive self-talk – Create positive self-messages that build your sense of self-worth. Stop saying “I can’t…..” and start encouraging yourself to “try new things”. It is easier to feel hopeful when you hear words of encouragement.
- Do one thing at a time – Multi-tasking is often unproductive and can create unneeded stress. Focus on one thing at a time. Give each person or task your undivided attention and you will be more productive, less stressed, and more connected to those around you.
- Manage your expectations – Develop realistic expectations that match the circumstances that you are in. Don’t expect to drive 70 mph during rush hour traffic. Instead, adjust to the pace that traffic dictates. You will get home at the same time, but with less stress.
- Communicate your expectations – Don’t make people guess what you want. Make it easier for people to understand your expectations and be willing to adjust them based on the feedback that you get.
- Do difficult tasks first – Getting difficult or unpleasant tasks out of the way early will minimize the amount of stress you feel around the tasks.
- Learn to be “in the moment” – Quit thinking so much about the past or worrying about the future. Life happens in the here and now. Don’t miss out on what can be today because your mind is somewhere else.
- Outsource those things that cause you stress – Is it time to hire a housekeeper to help with the cleaning or a tax professional to help with your taxes? When your responsibilities begin to stress you out, ask yourself “What tasks can I outsource, so that I have more time to do those things that I enjoy?”
- Unplug from social media, TV, the phone, etc. – Sometimes being hyper-connected can be stressful. Unplug and engage in activities that are relaxing and/or fun.
- Exercise – Exercise is a great stress reducer and is one of the fastest ways to release endorphins in the brain.
- Bring laughter back into your life – Laughter is an amazing stress reducer. Add fun and laughter to your life. Your future self will thank you for it.
New Dimensions Can Help!
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the above symptoms or problems, New Dimensions can help. Our team of experienced therapists and psychiatrists can help you overcome these challenges and help you develop the skills you need to thrive. To schedule a complementary assessment or to find out more about our programs, contact us at 1-800-685-9796.
Our affiliate, MHThrive, provides Individual Therapy, Couples and Marriage Counseling, and Family Therapy at our locations in Katy, The Woodlands, and the Clear Lake area of Houston, Texas. We also provide telehealth therapy for anyone who resides within the State of Texas. To schedule an appointment with one of the MHThrive therapists, contact us at 713-477-0333 or visit www.mhthrive.com to learn more.