Many of us try to eat right and take care of our bodies to prevent illness and stay healthy. But, even when taking care of our bodies, there is something else that we all deal with that can cause illness as well. That would be stress.
Here are six stress busting strategies that you can start using today to beat this often overlooked menace to our well being.
1. Get your body moving.
Being active not only makes for a strong body, but a strong mind with a good dose of well being thrown in as well. Exercise does not have to be an unpleasant chore. Throw on an mp3 player and go outside for a brisk walk or a bike ride and send the stress packing. The fresh air won't hurt either. Busting stress can be fun.
2. Take a break from your thoughts.
Sometimes the enemy creating our stress is our own mind. The self talk that can, if left unchecked, become as loud as the heaviest rock concert, just without the entertainment value.
Stop this by learning to relax. Try yoga, meditation, or even tai chi to clear the steady stream of self talk. In our modern society, quiet is a rare commodity, so create some of your own, and send stress away.
3. Take your schedule to task, and be ruthless.
Life is busy, so much so that we often give up our personal time to other tasks. The thing is, if we really look at our schedule, a lot of our daily tasks are probably just busy work which can lead to even more stress.
Take a look at your schedule and be ruthless with your time. Start cutting out the tasks that are not truly necessary , and devote the time you get back to “you" time.
And that leads us to. . .
4. Learn to Say No.
We all want to be there for others and to help out when we can. However, saying yes all the time when others ask for your time often leads to increased stress. You need to have clear boundaries in your life. Once people know your boundaries they will come to respect them. And the way to set these personal boundaries is a word of only two letters, no.
Saying no occasionally will do wonders to help bust stress from your life. Don't worry about offending people. Your true friends and colleagues will understand. Only the users will be offended and will probably move on to easier marks. Your stress will also go down not having them around any longer.
5. Take up a true hobby.
A true hobby?
Yes, a true hobby. Many of us take up a hobby, then as we get better at the hobby we try to figure out a way to make it a business. The thinking behind this is doing something we enjoy would make a great business. That may be true, but you lose your hobby in the trade off and it then becomes part of your stress and not part of the stress busting solution any longer.
Find something you enjoy doing, and then do it for the joy alone. No matter how much you think it would make a great business, keep it for yourself, your escape from the world.
6. And finally, start every day by focusing on what you are thankful for.
It is probably safe to say that most of us have more positives in our lives than negatives. However, we become accustomed to focusing more on the minority of negatives than the majority of positives. That is a bit sad, really.
Put an end to that kind of thinking today. From now on, first thing in the morning, make a list of what you are thankful for. No matter how trivial, if it is a positive, write it down. Believe it or not, this may be hard at first, but keep at it.
Keep your daily list on you and reference it throughout the day, especially when negative and stressful thoughts creep in. Practice this every day and soon it will become second nature to look at things in a a more positive way. Soon, the positive stress busting thoughts will overpower the negatives. Then, you are on your way to a life of much less stress.
Eban is a new media producer at Reaching for Lucidity Productions.
Reaching for Lucidity started as a music podcast in 2004, and was signed to contract with Mevio Inc.in 2006. There are now 5 RfL shows spanning audio, video, and animation series.
Reaching for Lucidity: The Blog Is a daily indie music, animation, and New Media stop that also acts as a portal for the Reaching for Lucidity shows such as RfL 2.0: Indie Music and Variety Radio, and The RfL Animated Adventures.
3Currencies is the Reaching for Lucidity