Stress may be one of the most constant things in life. It can come from work, family ties, or even something as simple as planning your outfit for the weekend. Nevertheless, stress tests our limits by challenging us to rise above these obstacles, instead of seeing them as roadblocks to reaching happiness and peace of mind. But when stress becomes too unbearable for a person, to the point that it renders you lethargic, it’s a sign that you need to take a step back and find ways to live a stress-free life.
1. Spot the bad habits
Many do not realize that a big chunk of stress comes from our inability to handle it well enough. Procrastination in the work area may work for some people because they only find motivation to accomplish tasks once the deadline comes knocking at their door, but this unhealthy habit can actually contribute to the stress you feel. Some people build up stress from constant avoidance and evasion of their problems, leaving matters perpetually unresolved. In order to reduce stress in your life, you have to reflect on the negative habits you’ve grown to hide behind just to seemingly stay afloat. Once you can determine the mannerisms that hinder you from growing as a person despite the pressures of life, it brings you closer to a stress-free lifestyle.
2. Have a schedule
No, this does not mean planning out every activity in your life down to the last minute, but rather, it means being able to allot enough time for the things that demand your attention. Listing down the things you need to accomplish gives you the chance to plan your day out accordingly and eventually, prioritize. Putting order in your schedule avoids anything from slipping your mind, and you’ll feel less overwhelmed if you know what is on your plate for the days to come. It would also be helpful to squeeze in a little time for yourself, like mini breaks that will keep you sane with your feet on the ground but hopefully, with your head still in the clouds.
3. Focus on one thing at a time
If you’re spending quality time with your family, stop checking your emails from work. Chasing a deadline? Block out every distraction for the next few hours. Multitasking is a commendable skill, but more often than not, things done half-heartedly translate into poor results. Doing two or more things simultaneously may seem like you are making the most out of your time, but it actually drains you because it requires you to work harder to give the same amount of effort for all these activities (which rarely happens). The art of fully committing yourself to something may take a while to master, but putting your phone away or finding a quiet place to work can definitely help. Accomplishing one thing at a time, may it be work related or for leisure, can undoubtedly lift away stress knowing that you didn’t do a mediocre job at it.
4. Change your perspective
“Power of the mind”, they say. Well, they’re not wrong. Like I said earlier, you can either see life’s hardships as the universe’s way of punishing you, or you can take it as an opportunity for self growth. Personally, I get by knowing that everything happens for a reason, whether we know that reason or not. Every time life brings you down is just another way of it telling you to get back up, and seeing the stressful things in life as something purely negative will not help you grow stronger in any way. Don’t beat yourself up if you have a little slip up at work, or treat your fight with a loved one as the end of the world. Rather, turn that energy into something positive and productive so you can decrease the stress in your life. The amount of stress you feel only reflects how much you let it affect you, because you always have power over how you see things.
5. Make time for what makes you happy
At the end of the day, it’s all about what puts a smile on your face before you go to sleep and makes your heart feel whole. Make sure that your job helps you pursue your passions and dreams, and that you surround yourself with people who only want the best for you. Doing the things you love, with the people you care about the most, can definitely reduce stress significantly.
I don’t think that stress can ever be completely avoided or removed from any lifestyle, no matter how ~zen~ a person strives to be. We can, however, go the extra mile to enjoy life despite the stress, one step at a time. You won’t be able to handle what life throws at you without at least trying, so don’t be afraid to make mistakes along the way or find your own ways to deal with stress if it means you’ll come out stronger.