“You must learn to let go. Release the stress. You were never in control anyway.” ― Steve Maraboli
We all experience stress in our lives one way or another. Some of us experience it every day while others have a bit more relaxed way of life. The intensity of the stress can have less dramatic effect on us than the frequency of it. Even a bit of stress experienced daily/weekly can have a serious damage on our health. Thus, dealing well with stress and pressure should be our #1 priority in life. In this article I will share 7 ways to deal with stress and pressure to enhance your life and increase your active years.
- PRACTICE DEEP BREATHING
One of the ancient Indian techniques to relax your body and mind is pranayama (deep breathing). Close your eyes and inhale deeply through your nose and exhale slowly through your nose. You fill your abdomen with air first then move to your lungs. Afterwards you release the air through your nose in a slow and consistent way. Practicing this breathing can calm your nerves in a dramatic way. Within only 10 minutes you feel relaxed, light, and a feeling of relief from anxiety. As an added value, deep breathing enhances your sense of smell. Suddenly you notice the scents of the flowers and trees, the perfume on other people, and the smell of the rain.
- EXERCISE 30 MINUTES DAILY
Exercising has a proven positive effect on our health, energy level, happiness and many other areas of life. Doing only 30 minutes walking, jogging or any other kind of sport can reduce the feeling of stress significantly. When you exercise your body produces a chemical called endorphin that is responsible for the feeling of positivity, healthy self-esteem and happiness. This chemical interacts with receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. The question you may ask now is okay but when do I find time in my busy schedule for exercising on a daily basis? The answer is that you have to make it priority as we always find time for the important things in life. You have to find the motivation, the will power, and the desire in yourself to get up and go out for a run or workout in the gym after a long work day.
- SPEND TIME IN NATURE AND WITH ANIMALS
Spending time in nature calms the nerves in a way nothing else can. Go out for a walk in nature, feel the grass under your feet, smell the flowers and trees, watch the sunset, go to the beach or just sit in your garden for an hour. This hour will connect you with your inner peaceful self. If you have pets pet them often. There’s a proven health benefit of stroking the fur of animals. Just the movement and the feeling of it relax the body and mind. Pay attention that when you are in nature be really present. See the beauty that surrounds you at that moment and the peace you are experiencing. Recalling and reliving this peace can give you a relief during a stressful day.
Meditation when practiced frequently and in the right way can cure illnesses, relax the body & mind, improve sleeping, increase self-confidence and self-esteem and most importantly help you find your path in life. During stressful hours when you don’t know how to deal with the problem at hand, leave the office, find a quiet corner and sit with your eyes closed for 10 minutes only concentrating on your breathing or your heart beat. These 10 minutes can give you the solution for your problem, can help you focus more afterwards and even more importantly can substantially reduce pressure and stress. I would also recommend getting up half an hour earlier every day and spending that time in peaceful meditation before starting the day. That gives you a positive attitude and a feeling of relaxation for the day ahead.
- UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU CAN AND CAN’T CONTROL
The most intense stress that we experience in life results from our feeling of not being in control. But once we understand what control means that source of stress disappears. “What can you really control in your life?” -once I was asked in Thailand by an extremely wise Buddhist monk. I thought for a second and started listing all the events in my life that I believed I was in control of. He smiled at me and said: “the most important fact you can know about life is that the only things you can control are your thoughts. And the better you control your thoughts the more successful life you’ll have as your thoughts control your actions. Your actions define your character. And your character defines your life.” I understood then and there that if I want to live a more relaxed and happier life I must select my thoughts very carefully every day. You can now see that living a less stressful life only depends on the thoughts you feed your mind with.
- MANAGE YOUR TIME WELL
Good time management is the key to a more balanced life. Just imagine waking up in the morning and having a schedule for both your work and your evenings. How much less you have to worry about how you will manage all the errands and tasks you have to run that day. There’s no need for stress when you know exactly when & what to do, and how many people you need to execute all that’s on your schedule. Put time and effort into learning good time management skills and watch your stress decrease fundamentally or even disappear completely.
- FORGET PERFECTIONISM
So many of us believe that we have to be perfect and only a perfectly done job is worth something. That belief can fill your life with tremendous amounts of stress. If you look around you and take nature as an example, you can notice that nothing is perfect. No flowers have a perfectly symmetrical shape. The sky is never a 100% clear even if it strives to be. No oceans are ever completely clear blue; they always have sand or rocks in them. You don’t have to be perfect to get what you want or to be who you want to be. The little imperfections are what make you different and unique. No one else in the world has the same imperfections as you. When you forget perfectionism and strive for excellence you rid yourself from the pressure you have been carrying around all these years and open up a flow of positive energy.
Bottom line: Stress can be a tough emotion to deal with. It drains your energy and exhausts your life from the inside. Instead of accepting stress as part of your life, cope with it in an effective way and eventually you will be able to get rid of it forever. Try the above-mentioned methods and feel a relief and peace for the first time.