Here are 20 proven methods for reducing stress on a daily basis. Some may be useful and others may be lifesavers:
1. Try to awaken at least 15-20 minutes earlier in the morning. The inevitability of morning mishaps and chaos will be less stressful.
2. Try not to use your memory as a flawless notepad. Write down appointments, and important events. Forgetting only adds to the stress of the day.
3. Make copies of important keys. Bury a house or car key in your garden, and carry duplicates of any other important keys in your wallet. We all know the stress of being locked out of our own home or car.
4. Make the event of an anticipated wait a bearable one. Bring a novel or magazine to make the wait at a doctor’s office almost seem pleasurable.
5. Being a procrastinator causes us undue stress. Whatever needs to be done tomorrow try and do today. Whatever needs to be done today, do it NOW!
6. Always plan ahead. Don’t let your gas tank go under a quarter full. Keep well stocked on staples and pantry items. Don’t wait until you have no change for the bus to run to the store and get some.
7. Always try and give yourself an extra 15-20 minutes to get to appointments. Plan to arrive at an airport at least one hour before departure time.
8. Reduce the amount of caffeine in your diet. The stress factor of daily living is high enough without adding this artificial stimulant.
9. Try to take a more relaxed approach with your standards. The world won’t end if the lawn doesn’t get mowed this weekend.
10. Work on your saying “no” skills. Say “no” to extra work projects, social activities (that you don’t really want to attend), “no” to requests made by your family that involve a lot of extra work for you. Saying no takes practice, discipline and a lot of self respect. You must believe that you deserve the extra time you gain to just be alone and spend some quiet time with yourself.
11. Try unplugging your phone. This gives you time to have that much deserved peaceful bath, to meditate, or to relax and read a book. (The possibility of there being a life-threatening emergency while you are temporarily disconnected are nil to none)
12. If your job entails long periods of remaining seated, get up and stretch periodically. Your body will thank you at the end of a long day.
13. Always try and get enough sleep. Stress levels tend to increase as sleep levels fall.
14. Try proper breathing techniques. Breathe in through your nose for a count of eight, and then slowly exhale through your mouth for a count of sixteen. This technique will re-oxidize your body and with every exhale you should feel a bit of the days stress slipping away.
15. Try to avoid unnecessary stress by selecting an environment (work, home, leisure) which keeps in line with your personal needs and desires. If you hate factory work, don’t choose or accept a job working in a factory all day. If you hate religious debates don’t associate with those who choose to engage in such debates frequently, etc.
16. Take a hot shower or a hot bath to soothe tired, aching muscles.
17. Avoid rigidity in your actions and your job. You can let some projects slide by as being less than perfect, and you can find a compromise in some issues.
18. Eliminate negative self talk, example; I’m too slow, I’m always late, etc.
19. Make time for yourself everyday just to be alone with your own thoughts and feelings. This alone time makes a big difference when compared to the chaos created by the hurried pace of everyday life.
20. Observe the act of delegating responsibility to other capable individuals.
Stress management can be a unique process for every individual. However, if we concentrate on what works for ourselves we will live more stress-free lives and be able to be more productive people as a whole.