You can reduce stress and improve your peace with these tiny steps!
Stress comes at you from all different angles. If you allow it, stress can start in your home life, the moment you wake up and extend to your commute, your workplace, and even the things you do after work. You can choose to allow the stress in, or you can make a conscious choice to kick it right out of your life.
Taking tiny steps, or small but effective actions, can help you to reduce and eventually eliminate those things that commonly stress you out each day. It’s important to do this because stresses, when allowed to build up can lead to burn out, which can dramatically affect your physical, emotional, and mental health.
Here are some suggestions that can help you reduce the stressors in your life. Remember – you are the one in control of what you allow into your life. If you allow stresses in, you will be stressed out. No one else can make the choice to take these tiny steps for you.
Don’t touch that phone!
If you are in the habit of checking your cellphone the minute your alarm goes off, just STOP! You have more important things to do when you first start your day. Make your first thought of the morning something positive. Give thanks for a new day or a good night’s sleep. Be creative, and be positive.
Not touching that phone also means not checking emails (which may have a negative impact on your morning). It also means not checking social media, and commenting on posts that annoy you. It may take getting used to, but you should eliminate spending too much time on the social media apps on your phone for peace of mind and less stress. Becoming dependent on your cellphone sucks the joy out of your life and your relationships.
If you aren’t already doing so, begin journaling every day. Start your day with positivity on paper or go to your journal before bedtime and write down the most positive memory you have from that day. My personal journal pages start each morning’s entry with, “Today is going to be the best day ever. If you write at night, it could be something like, “Great compliment on my work from the team leader. They see what I am doing and appreciate me. I appreciate me.”
Find your song
Have a “go-to” song or playlist available for anytime you feel the need for a relaxing moment. This song should speak to you in such a way that you feel an instant calming sensation from your head right down to your toes. Need some help? Try Beethoven-Moonlight Sonata-15 minute version or Elton John-Candle in the Wind. Another great song is Cat Stevens-Moon Shadow. There are probably songs in your head that you listen to frequently and do not even realize it. Sit down and write out a list of ten songs that you find relaxing, and then pick one to be your “go-to song.” You could even take all ten and develop a playlist of your own.
Staying positive can be challenging in a mostly negative environment. Start small by tuning out negative songs, shows, or other media. Love your friends, but don’t listen to them complain – change the subject or find a reason to escape. Don’t worry about other peoples’ opinions of you. Don’t think negatively about what others are saying, respect their freedom to say what they think, but don’t feel obligated to participate. Make it a point to be positive in every situation.
In turn, you need to only allow positive thoughts about yourself. Just tell yourself STOP every time you think a negative thought such as, “this is too hard, I can’t do this and never will be able to.” Zig Ziglar called this negative talk “stinking’ thinking.” Discard those negative thoughts, take out the trash, and don’t allow them back.
Rest your brain
Do you ever feel like there is so much going on in your head that one more thought might make it explode? Then it’s time for a break. Be proactive so it doesn’t get to the point by pausing to take those mental breaks throughout the day. Running a hectic pace 8 to 12 hours a day encourages stress and ultimately burnout.
Take a time out when needed, and breathe deeply. While breathing, pull up a positive image of your day and smile. It doesn’t have to be work-related; it could be an image of a bird, insect, or interesting clouds that you saw today. If you are having trouble with the pause, try doing a quick two-minute guided meditation which you can easily find online.
Get some fresh air
It’s that time of year that is nearing spring, but not quite there. You may be spending the majority of your time inside, but your body and mind need a healthy dose of sunshine even in the winter. Winter blahs are a real thing for some people, depending on where they live. If you are in a country that has harsh winters, you need to find the days when the sun comes out. If it’s too cold, but the sun is shining, find a big window and enjoy the warmth from inside. No matter where you live, getting outdoors in the sunlight for a few minutes will help to destress you and even strengthen your immune system.
Keep it simple
It’s important to get good physical activity. Many people have a complete workout plan and hit the gym on a regular basis. Sometimes during the stress of trying to fit everything into an already busy schedule, we tend to forget about simplicity. A simple activity like a quick walk around the block can support your physical activity goals and do wonders for your stress and overall mental health. Find a convenient time (maybe before you start your work day), put on your walking shoes, and go for a brisk walk while swinging your arms breathing deeply.
Quiet the interruptions
Set some boundaries on your time. Let people know that you are not available during certain times unless it is an emergency.
Shut off the notifications on your cellphone and computer. These constant alerts or lack of alerts can cause stress. Imagine trying to work, and every time you are deep in thought the alert goes off and you lose your thought. Even worse, in the back of your mind, you start thinking that you haven’t had an alert lately and the mind starts to worry about all kinds of unnecessary things.
Remind yourself, especially with social media notifications, you do not need to be alerted every time someone sends an alert or comments on a post. Check all those items at a more appropriate time.
One tiny step at a time
These tiny steps work best if you incorporate them into your life one or two at a time. Build these tiny habits gradually. Enjoy the journey, and remember to look back every now and then so you can celebrate how far you’ve come.
Find your purpose – find your joy!
Would you like copy of Improve Your Mindset? Just click on the link – it’s my gift to you.
Did you find a few more ideas of your own? If so, I’d love to hear about them in the comments, and as always please reach out with your thoughts.