Saturday, July 7, 2012

10 Simple Things I Do to Reduce Stress

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

I believe that having a stress-free life is impossible. Stress is a response to challenges in life, and a life without challenges is too boring to go through. That is why I put in the title of this post “reduce” and not “eliminate,” because I believe some stress is actually healthy.

For me, one benefit of stress is that it forces me to think about God. To call on Him. And I’ve learned in life that anything that brings you closer to God is a blessing. That’s why I consider that even stressful moments of my life are blessings.

However, I also believe that some stress in life is unnecessary, mostly of our own doing, and can be completely eliminated. I know it will not take overnight to accomplish – I know and I’ve been doing these things which I will share with you for quite some time now, and I’m still not done – but it’s a worthwhile endeavor.

It’s a continuing journey, so I have here ten very simple things that made a huge impact in my life:

1.           Be still. This is the simplest and best way to reduce stress. Whatever it is that you are doing or thinking right now, try to sit still for a moment. Be mindful of everything around you. Don’t think about what you have to do, or what you’ve done already. Just stay still and be in the moment. It’s very liberating.

2.          Breathe. Try it now while sitting and being still. Feel your breath coming in and going out. Most of us tend to take this gift for granted. Breathing can transform your life. Breathing takes us back to the present and remind us that we’re still alive. Whenever you feel overwhelmed, stop for a moment, and just breathe.

3.           Pray. After being still and breathing, pray. Talk to God and be fully honest. Cast all your cares upon Him, and trust Him. Try praying about the needs of others, instead of yours. You will be surprised to find out how it greatly eases away any stress.

4.           Simplify my priorities. A hectic schedule is a major cause of high stress. Simplify by reducing the number of commitments in your life to just the essential ones. Learn to say no to the rest. Schedule only a few important things each day, and put space between them. Focus and simplify.

5.           Wake up early. Have a head start on your day by waking early. Hurrying can be very stressful. Spend the extra time you will have wisely. Remember also to sleep on time, or else waking up early will just irritate you more.

6.           Declutter. A home that is simple, clean, and uncluttered takes away so much stress. This also applies to your office work space. Clutter are visual distractions that add stress and tension in our lives.

7.           Have a budget. A budget can be one of the most effective ways to decrease anxiety, tension, and stress if done right and with the right motive. A disorganized financial life is a major energy drainer and stressor.

8.           Stay fit and healthy. Improving our health overall will help reduce stress. Do it one habit at a time. Eat the right food. Schedule your regular exercise. Get moving and be active. Don’t forget to have fun while doing it.

9.           Drive slowly. For some, driving is such a stressful and frustrating experience. Learn to drive slowly. Be mindful of your surroundings and enjoy the company of those with you. When you’re alone, listen to relaxing music. Remember only to leave early, so you won’t arrive late at your destination.

10.      Be content. This is basic in reducing stress in life. A thankful heart is a stress-free and joyful heart. Learn to count your blessings and realize the essential things that make you happy. Value simplicity and focus on more meaningful things. Make your life count.

These are what I apply in my life right now. You can share yours in the comments!
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