Have you ever met someone who seems to get stressed out by this, that and every other thing? I have. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to avoid stress when the people we surround ourselves with are high stressed (or highly stressed) individuals.
If you don’t know much about stress and how it affects your life, now’s the time to learn. Failing to understand the consequences of and how to avoid stress can greatly affect your business and personal life, and most importantly, your health.
It’s time to learn how to avoid stress in your life.
Tips to Avoid Stress:
1. Stress-List System
Make a list of everything that is causing you stress and rank each item from one to ten. One will be an itsy bitsy issue that many people will let slide (you got cut off in the grocery parking lot), and ten is something that if you don’t address will result in horrible consequences (ie illegal activities that could affect the well-being of you, your family or your business.) This lets you focus on the major things and not stress about the small things.
While it can be hard, learning how to not allow minor things in your life bother you can be a huge step towards a less stressful life.
2. Mantra Ray of Sunshine
Come up with a mantra for yourself. It should be something short that will serve as a coping mechanism for you and keep you focused. Say this mantra to yourself over and over to silence the part of you that is critical of yourself, which can increase your stress. Reassure yourself that you are competent, calm, and confident, so that you can stay calm and avoid stress.
Brendon Burchard has a great meditation, the “Release Meditation” which has helped millions of people.
“Release” may not be the word that works for you, so come up with your own personal affirmation. This should be a brief, encouraging statement that allows you to focus on positive thoughts. As you repeat your affirmation to yourself, you will be able to stifle that wheedling, pessimistic voice from within. Remind yourself that you are capable of handling whatever comes your way, that you are calm and in control, or whichever adage brings you the most comfort.
What’s your affirmation/mantra? Please share in the comments!
3. Plan for Less Stress
End each day by planning for tomorrow, and when you wake you will feel far less stressed. Since each thing that is on your plate adds to the stress you are feeling, planning for each day ahead of time will help alleviate stress before it even happens.
Avoid stressful situations by planning ahead. Don’t wait until the last minute to do necessary things.
4. Aroma Therapy
You can actually use certain smells to rid yourself of stress. Smelling basil, oils of anise, chamomile, bay, eucalyptus, lavender, rose, thyme, and peppermint can all be soothing. Place a little rock salt and a few drops of your favorite oil in a small bottle. Take the lid off the vial and inhale deeply whenever your stress level begins to rise.
Personally, and I know this may sound cheesy, when I was dealing with a lot of stress and anxiety I had a tee-shirt of my husbands next to my desk. My husband’s hugs are always the best form of stress relief, however smelling his cologne when he was away from his home would produce almost the same effect.
5. A Cup of…
A nice, relaxing cup of tea is an excellent tension tamer. Green teas are good for relieving stress, as well as some herbal teas like chamomile, mint, and passionflower. To get the best results, let the tea steep for at least ten minutes before you drink it. Have a cup before bed to unwind or a cup in the morning to prepare for the day.
Alternatively, drinking some orange juice or eating your favorite citrus fruit can calm your nerves. Colds and other illnesses caused by stress can be defeated with the help of vitamin C, and when our health is at its peak it’s easier to keep stress at the wayside.
6. Oil it Up, Baby!
While I haven’t used essential oils myself, I’ve heard an easy trick for reducing stress is using spearmint or lavender oil. Apply a few drops of oil on your neck and temples if you feel stressed. Small things like homeopathic treatments may have a huge effect on your stress levels.
I’ve also had HUGE success with CBD oil. Not to be confused with the other component of pot, THC, CBD oil is legal in many states (please confirm before purchasing!) and can drastically reduce anxiety when vaped or placed on the tongue. Please be sure to read the instructions before using, as using too much can cause cotton tongue.
**Please note: Hemp Oil is not the same as CBD oil and is far less effective. Please do not purchase Hemp Oil expecting to receive the same results. It just won’t happen. I used 6 drops of 350MG CBD Oil by Green Roads in my vape and had immediate relief from suffocating anxiety (which I have since recovered from).
7. Escape From Reality
A great escape from stress can be just to lie back and do some daydreaming. Imagine a place that you want to be and allow your mind to take you there. You can work through stressful events much easier with this technique.
Many sources say playing video games is a great stress reliever, however I find I am more stressed after playing because my stress is often caused by an overwhelming to-do list. Consider the source of your stress, and if playing an hour or two of video games won’t cause more stress, then go for it!
Concentrating on something you enjoy helps clear your mind. Personally, I indulge in hours and hours of podcasts to occupy my mind, and end up coming out ahead with all the new skills I have learned. For more information about the podcasts I listen to, see Part 1 of my 5 Powerful Podcasts Every Entrepreneur Should Listen to series HERE.
One thing overlooked when dealing with stress is to remember to smile more. Muscles used during the process of smiling activate the limbic system, which handles your emotions. Simply smiling will work to tilt the limbic system into a calmer state, and that is an excellent way to lower if not altogether avoid stress.
I know it can be irritating when others try to cheer you up when you’re just not in the mood. Their attempts can rub you in a way similar to the horrible sound given by fingernails on the chalkboard. Am I right? It’s important to remember, however, that the people who are trying to help you LOVE YOU.
If you’re in such a foul mood due to stress that you just can’t stand to be around anybody, visit YouTube and watched funny videos until you are ready. I’ve had peak stress levels interrupted and alleviated by Fail Army, a popular YouTube series my husband and sons are obsessed with. No, the videos aren’t always appropriate, but if you can’t find something to laugh or smile at in one of their episodes, please write me. I will make it my mission to find a video that DOES alleviate at least a little bit of your stress.
Psssst. I couldn’t find a Fail Army video that wasn’t front loaded with people hurting themselves so I decided to share a funny video of kids instead. Enjoy!
9. Just Move
Physical activity is an effective way to deal with stress. Something simple like a jog around the block or a quick walk. Your body creates endorphins when you exercise that help your body relax. Another stress-relieving benefit of exercise is that it helps your body get rid of toxins that could potentially contribute to stress.
Increasing my nightly quantity of sleep GREATLY reduced my stress and anxiety levels. When my stress and anxiety were at their worst I was sleeping 2-4 hours a night on a consistent basis. This little sleep is bad for your mind, bad for your body, and bad for your overall health. Adrenal fatigue can take much longer to repair than it did to develop, so it’s vitally important that you don’t allow yourself to deteriorate – both physically and mentally – due to lack of sleep.
Naps during the day, especially those lasting 20-30 minutes, are also very helpful in reducing stress levels. Personally, I get frustrated in the post-lunchtime hour when my body starts coming down from the food induced high and my concentration and focus begins to dwindle. 20-30 minute naps have consistently helped me regain my focus and energy – thus reducing my stress – and I just recently (cough cough, today) scheduled a recurring 1pm nap into my daily schedule.
Am I embarrassed to admit I schedule a nap into my day? Heck no! I would much rather be more productive, avoid stress, and be refreshed after a nap than irritated, tired and without focus for the rest of the day.
What NOT to do when you’re feeling stressed:
Stress can cause some people to use illicit substances or drink too much alcohol. Unfortunately, the temporary relief these substances may bring can lead to a denial or evasion of the underlying causes of the stress that is being felt. Alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs will not solve your problems. Turning to drugs and alcohol will often add to your problems, and cause even more stress.
I have found that drinking a beer to relieve stress made me far less productive, far more sleepy, and in the end more stressed because I wasn’t able to accomplish what I wanted to in my affected state.
Where to Start:
There are many factors that can cause stress, so the first thing to do is to try to pinpoint what is making you feel stressed. Many triggers are removable, so don’t hesitate to limit contact with the people and situations from your life which raise your stress levels. Finding ways to avoid stress sources can provide immediate and lasting relief.
Next, take a look at the methods you currently use to deal with stress. Track your response to different stressful situations for several weeks. Watch how you respond to the stressful situations and see if your response was productive and healthy. If you decide that you’re not responding appropriately, it’s time to develop new ways to cope with life’s stresses.
Last, use some of the methods I discussed above to get your stress under control.
Have you found another way to avoid stress which has worked great for you? Please share in the comments area below!
Kim Sutton is a Digital Marketing and Launch Strategist and owner of The Sutton Companies, which includes Sutton Strategic Solutions and Kim Sutton. A graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, she is passionate about helping business coaches, life coaches and speakers spread their messages and products to those who need them.
An avid reader and passionate learner, Kim is constantly researching, studying and developing business improvement strategies. You are invited to schedule a complimentary 30-minute Strategy Session by clicking here.
In her free-time, Kim cherishes the time she spends with her husband, Dave, and five children. She also enjoys reading, knitting, writing and playing video games.
Join Kim’s Private Facebook Group, The Positive Productivity Mastermind here.