We live in a world that is faster, louder and more hectic than ever before. Studies are showing that we are busier now than at any other time in history. On top of most of us having to do more to keep up, we are also constantly being bombarded by information overload and the pressure that can come from social media. Overtime, this can wreak havoc on our nervous systems and erode our overall well being. It has been said that up to 90 percent of doctors visits in North America have to do with stress related illnesses of some kind. It is more important than ever before that we take appropriate steps to reduce daily stress and allow more time in our day for downtime and relaxation.
Here are my top 5 ways you can feel less stress right now.
1. Stop making such BIG goals in life. One of the reasons we feel internal pressure and stress is because we are trying to do too many things at once. Try to set small, realistic goals and commit to accomplishing them. Breaking bigger goals into smaller, more attainable goals will help you to feel more successful over time and also create a sense of accomplishment.
2. Stay in the present moment. When you are always focusing on the next thing or on getting where you want to be, you forget to be present and can miss out on all the fun. Practice staying in the present by naming/distinguishing something (in your head) that you see, hear and feel about your immediate surroundings. Repeat whenever you feel your mind wandering or rushing into the future.
3. Ask yourself if this task is really necessary? Stop trying to do all the tasks. Set yourself a realistic goal of one or two things a day to do and make sure you prioritize their importance and complete them. If you are juggling too many tasks, see if you can’t delegate to someone else. Also, be honest with yourself. Maybe there are things on your never ending to do list that don’t actually need your attention at all.
4. Meditate at least 10 minutes a day. Longer if you can. If meditation is hard for you try an app or even Youtube for a guided meditation. Meditation could be the single most important thing you do for your well-being and can be done anywhere at anytime.
5. Get outside. Studies show that the average woman spends less than 20 minutes a day outdoors. Reconnecting with nature has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety. Aim to go outside for at least 20 minutes a day. Forest bathe, walk barefoot on the earth, go hug a tree or just stand outside and breathe in the fresh air. It is vital to connect with nature for peace of mind.
Reducing daily stress isn’t one-size fits all, but anyone can have a calmer, less stressful life if they take simple measures to create more space in their daily lives. Give yourself permission to take care of your well being and put your own priorities first. You deserve a wonderful and less stressed life.