Much has been said about stress and we all experience it from time to time. A change in life situation, exams, a new baby or a new job can all lead to stress. Stress is bad for the body-physically, mentally and emotionally. However, there are many easy ways to avoid stress and it all starts by being more conscious of things that cause stress in the first place.
So, let us discuss 20 easy ways to avoid stress.
1. Get up earlier than usual
This is one of the easy ways to avoid stress in the morning. Morning mishaps will be less likely if you wake up a little bit earlier than usual so you have more time to spare for getting ready for work.
2. Prepare for the day the night before
This is another easy way to avoid stress during morning rush hour and can be used by grownups and kids alike. You can get the breakfast ready-set the coffee-maker, prepare lunch boxes, pack your school bag and ready the clothes you would wear for the day.
3. Dress comfortably
This is one of the oft overlooked ways of avoiding stress. We increase our stress tremendously by wearing clothes or shoes that do not fit or happen to pinch. These might appear to be trivial things but they do add up. If needed, spend some time on weekends shopping for the right clothes, shoes and accessories. When you know you look good, you feel more comfortable and this, in turn, can reduce stress.
4. Manage time effectively by being organized
Most people can easily avoid stress by identifying the time of day they are most productive. This is the time for which you can schedule work you aren’t too fond of. Make a list of to-do things and then tick them off as you go. Try and vary dull jobs with interesting ones so you become more productive and also avoid stress.
5. Relax from time to time
This is one of the easiest ways to avoid stress. Not only should you take annual vacations, you must also relax as you proceed with your day. Pause, take a look at all that you have accomplished. Next, practice some deep breathing exercises. If you have time for it-take afternoon naps. All these little things can help lower daily stress.
6. Develop a hobby
People who have hobbies and passions tend to have a more positive outlook towards life and, as a result, tend to avoid stress. So select a hobby that can help you use your brain differently than you normally do.
7. Make time for friends
Go out and meet friends-people who love you and make you laugh. This will stimulate hormones that counter stress hormones and relax you.
8. Have clarity of thought
Indecision is one of the most stress-causing situations. So try to be clear in decision-making. Once you arrive at a decision, follow it through instead of regretting or feeling guilt. Mental clarity can be achieved through many spiritual practices. You can even talk to a friend or an elderly person or a business mentor. This can help you become clearer in communication and also help you become more assertive.
9. Resolve conflicts by forgiving people
There are always going to be people who tick us off, no matter how hard we try to please them. While it is always better to avoid conflicts, what works best is to try and resolve them from the root. This is one of the easy ways to avoid stress, especially in relationships. Forgive and forget is a good mantra to follow here because it absolves you of the baggage of hatred and negativity. No matter how hard, try and forgive even those who do not ask for your forgiveness.
10. Practice preventive maintenance
This is true in case of your car as well as in many other things and day to day life. Schedule an annual health checkup for you and your loved ones. Similarly, schedule a servicing for your automobile. Make a duplicate set of keys and leave them with a trusted neighbor. Repair and service machines you depend on. Such prevention can save money and prevent much stress down the line.
11. Reschedule where possible
As stated above, we all have our best working hours. If possible, reschedule your hours so that you can manage time for work, kids etc. This can easily help you avoid stress and get things done positively. Take advantage of extended banking hours. Shop at night when the supermarket is relatively less crowded. Also do your holiday shopping online or a month or two in advance. All these things can help avoid a lot of stress.
12. Acknowledge a problem if there is one
If you have a problem, it is important that you face it instead of brushing it away. If needed. Talk to a professional or write down your worries in a diary. There are many hidden signs of stress like insomnia etc. If you have trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor. It is a good idea to sign up for some physical activity, Yoga, etc which is known to improve sleep quality. Relax and stay away from electronic devices, social media etc at night before sleep. Also avoid keeping cell phones, tablets and laptops in the bedroom as they can interfere with your sleep.
13. Exercise and eat healthy
You need not be sporty or competitive-but indulging in daily physical activity is one of the proven easy ways to avoid stress. Not only can this help you get in shape, it can also release feel-good hormones that reduce stress hormones. Likewise, there is a direct relation between what you eat and your stress levels. So watch what you eat and be more mindful of your food by chewing slowly.
14. Have an attitude of gratitude
This is not just some New Age philosophy. From times immemorial, it has been proven that people who are always grateful tend to get more of the things they love in abundance. So no matter what your situation is, practice saying thank you for all the good things in life. If needed, make a list of things you are grateful for, regularly. This is one of the easy ways to counter stress.
15. Anticipate your needs
From small things to the larger ones, prepare for all kinds of situations. It can be things such as stocking up on supplies like soap or toilet paper to making your will and copies of important legal documents to preparing for emergency disasters and so on. These are not easy things and may seem futile sometimes, but there are professionals are out there to help. And once you have taken off this load off your chest, you will feel happier and more stress-free.
16. Lower your expectations
Often we set standards for ourselves as well as those around us. Lowering these standards can greatly reduce stress.
17. Learn the ‘so what?’ attitude
So what you missed your flight? So what if you forgot your mom’s birthday? So what if your life is a huge mess? You have survived and you will survive. More importantly: see the humor in situations. Practice this attitude, change your perspective and see the stress levels drop!
18. Un-clutter-your space and your mind!
Get rid of the old- old clothes, old shoes, old receipts and bills you have kept unnecessarily, books you no longer read. All these little things add up and take up space causing stress each time you see them. The same is true with your thoughts- de-clutter your mind and especially watch your thoughts when alone. Remove negative thoughts and replace them with the positive ones. This is one of the not so easy ways to avoid stress but with practice you can get better at it. Reinforce positive thinking by reading motivational quotes and books by great authors.
19. Avoid chemicals, drugs etc
Sleep aids, pills, anxiety-medication can temporarily give you relief but they cause chemical dependence and lead to stress in the long run. So it is best to stay away from these so called easy ways to avoid stress.
20. Use the power of touch
Hold hands with your partner, hug someone, stroke a pet, or make love. Physical contact goes a long way in reducing stress. Go for regular massages-professionals can literally unknot your tensed muscles to help your relieve and avoid stress.
We hope you find these 20 easy ways to avoid stress useful!