I’ve never really been good with stress. Not that all forms of stress are bad. Like the saying goes, “No pressure – no diamonds.”
But for me stress has been my arch nemesis for most of my life. I’m getting better and the tips below have helped me tremendously.
Below you’ll find 50 ways to help you stress less and live a sweet life.
These are things that I do each and every day to beat stress.
Please share them with your friends and family.
50 Ways To Stress Less
1. Set out your clothes the night before. There’s a secret reason why Steve Jobs wore his iconic black turtle necks – to minimize decision fatigue.
2. Write out three things that you are grateful for. Recent studies have shown that keeping a gratitude journal increases your determination, attention, enthusiasm and energy levels.
3. Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier.
4. Wake up to music instead of the default blast of your alarm. Find a morning anthem that pumps you up and inspires you to bench press the earth.
5. Set your alarm to wake you up after four to five 90 minute cycles. Studies have shown that it’s not the length of your sleep that makes you feel refreshed when you wake up. The key factor is the number of complete sleep cycles you get.
6. Speaking of 90 minute cycles – work in 90 minute cycles then take a 5 minute breather.
7. In the morning write out the top five things you want to achieve that day on a little sticky note
8. Don’t check your email first thing when you wake up.
9. Eat breakfast.
10. Exercise. My morning exercise routine is push-ups until I can’t do them any more, crunches until I’m panting, plank until I’m vibrating like a leaf in a windstorm, and kettle bell swings until I’m about to drop the ball. Total time = 10 minutes.
11. Turn your commute into learning time. Read a book if you take transit or listen to audio books in your car.
12. Smile. Every time you smile you throw a feel good party in your brain. A range of “I feel awesome” chemicals are released that help in reducing stress, relaxes your body also lowering your heart rate and blood pressure.
13. Do your most important work in the first half of your day.
14. Celebrate the small wins.
15. Connect with your friends. In a recent study researchers found that people with close friends outlived those with few or no friends by 22%. Other studies have also shown that people who have a network of supportive friends and family have fewer cardiovascular problems and immune problems, and lower levels of cortisol – a stress hormone
16. Go for a walk in nature. Albert Einstein could often be found walking the tree lined of Princeton (did you know that he never wore socks).
17. Speaking of walking – practice the zen walking technique. Focus on your footfalls as they kiss they ground. What I’ve been doing lately is either marking them like “left – right” or “1 – 2” as I take each step. It’s really kept me focused, grounded in the present moment and happy.
18. Use white noise to help you focus (thunderstorms are what I’m into right now).
19. Take a deep breath.
20. Speaking of breathing – set aside a couple minutes each day to do a simple breathing meditation.
21. Reduce your caffeine intake.
22. At the end of the day ease into your sleep. Turn off the TV a little early, dim the lights, and maybe do a little stretching before you hit the hay.
23. Take a moment to truly thank someone for the help they have given you. Stop them, look them deeply in the eye and say, “I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you for ___________. I really appreciate what you did for me.”
24. Send out a thank you card (find someone who did this) the power of thank you cards
25. Be mindful of your words. Try using only positive and affirmative statements.
26. Flip the switch on your problems and see them as opportunities. Ask yourself “What’s the opportunity here?” or “What can I learn from this?”
27. Practice the art of giving.
28. Be helpful.
29. Keep your home and work environment neat and tidy. Mess creates stress.
30. Give someone the gift of your full attention. When you’re talking to someone just focus deeply on them. The Dalai Lama is famous for this. Making people feel like they’re the only person in the universe that he wants to be with in that moment.
31. Drop perfect and go with the flow.
32. When you’re chopping wood – just chop the wood. Pour yourself into the moment.
33. Feel the breeze, smell the flowers and taste the chocolate.
34. Tackle the projects that scare you. Procrastinating makes what you’re dreading or fearful of even worse.
35. Listen to music. My song of the day today is the “Glory of Dusk” which is so beautiful.
36. Anticipate that things aren’t going to go according to plan. There’s gonna be delays, setbacks and monkey wrenches thrown into the mix. Like the saying goes, “While you’re making your plans God is laughing.”
37. Speaking of plans – make them. Chunk down your goals into smaller bit sized bits.
38. Be prepared to wait. Don’t freak out if there’s a line. Use it as a chance to practice mindful breathing.
39. Give yourself a little extra time. Arrive early.
40. Ask questions. Get clarity. Don’t assume. Take notes.
41. Get good at saying “No” to projects and social engagements that just don’t work for you.
42. Pour out your thoughts and feelings into a journal. According to research done by Ohio State University College of Medicine, people who wrote about their thoughts and feelings surrounding difficult events and situations had a boost to their immune system that persisted for 6 months after the study.
43. Minimize interruptions. It takes about 15 minutes to regain focus after you’ve been interrupted from a task you were in the middle of working on. So when you get in the zone be sure to turn off all notifications and if you can tell the people around you not to interrupt your flow for a set amount of time.
44. Practice the art if forgiveness.
45. Drink plenty of water.
46. Do your work as best you can. Don’t phone it in. Show some pride for what you do.
47. Take a different way to work. Our brains light up when we’re presented with new things.
48. Eat well.
49. Look good to feel good.
50. Stop working through your lunch. Sure there’ll be some days where there’s some “sky-is-falling” deadline that you need to meet. But for the most part the world isn’t going to come to an end if you get up from your desk and go eat your lunch and take some time for yourself. You’ll actually come back less stressed, happier and more productive.
I hope that the above 50 ways to stress less will help you out. They’ve made a HUGE difference in my own life.
Keep being Buddhaful!
Work pressures, family demands, health problems and time constraints are just some of the many sources of stress in our daily lives.
Small amounts of stress are OK and we can handle them pretty good for a little while. But in today’s world we are constantly being bombarded from every direction by a never-ending series of stressors.
Maybe you have a stressful job and find it hard to switch off. Maybe you’re going through some physical problems that are taking their toll on you. Maybe you just feel anxious and at the end of your rope all the time.
However stress is showing up in your life, you know that it’s time for a change.
Our 8 Week Stress Reduction Program can help you.
→ Click here to find out more about this Stress Reduction Program.