Easier said than done, but ultimately, it’s incredibly important to work on stressing less and taking life less seriously. Not only does stress affect your body and behavior, but it also has a way of working itself into every aspect of your life – even the good parts! Sure, there are things that require a little stress to push us into survival mode but stress typically does more harm than good. So, if we know all of this, why do we continue to stress? Why do we often create unnecessary stress rather than mitigate it? And why do we often stress to the point of breaking or experiencing anxiety? As someone who has always stressed over what others think, my physically appearance, my intelligence, money, and a handful of other issues, I've come to realize how much of it can be reduced and just how much harm I'm actually causing to my body.
If you reduce your stress, you are increasing your happiness, you tend to lose weight, experience deeper sleep, have a healthier heart, create better relationships, and tend to have a more positive outlook on life! Much of the stress we have in our life is out of our control, yet we burden ourselves with the should've could've, why me, this is the end train of thoughts. Because, as my favourite quote goes, Everything will be okay in the end, if it's not okay, it's not the end. So, I've began to look deeper into the harm I've caused myself and others, and decided to begin teaching my brain to think differently and to love myself a little harder.
So, follow some (or all) of the tips I'm applying in my daily life to get myself from OMG to Om in just a short few minutes and eventually living a less stressful life:
1. EFT Tapping: Not for everyone, but I've recently been introduced to this form of psychological acupressure. By repeating a particular affirmation, and tapping, you are able to focus on your feelings and find a relief at the end of the steps. I've been using this a lot and can't tell you how much calmer I feel. I always assess my feelings on a scale from 1-10 before and after. (Click here for more info);
2. Work Out: "Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don't kill their husbands. They just don't" - Elle said it best! When you exercise or partake in other physical activities you produce endorphins— produced by the central nervous system, a chemical that acts as a natural painkiller which improves the ability to sleep (and sleeping deeper helps reduce stress). Whether you hit the gym, go for a walk, run, or add meditation through yoga, you are giving your body and brain a break. Allowing those endorphins to build up, inevitably allowing you to reduce immediate stress or become less stressful over time;
3. Be Realistic: They say aim for the stars, and while I agree with dreaming big, it's about setting realistic goals - ones you know you can achieve with some serious hard work and ones that won't shatter your soul, leaving your dreams in the dust. This applies to many things in life, but I focus on being realistic when it comes to my work and balancing life. I push myself but also know my limits. So, find what works for you, how much can you push yourself before the domino effect kicks in, causing you to scale back in how much you give to each aspect of your life. At work, prioritize your workload so that you don't burn out. In relationships, be available and make plans but don't stretch yourself thin and become worn down (time with yourself is always necessary). Set healthy weight goals and allow yourself to indulge - life is too short. Find a balance and be realistic. If you have unrealistic expectations you'll immediately stress and begin to blame yourself for your supposed failure. Realistic targets come with wins, and wins don't lead to stress!
4. Love + Accept Yourself: Easier said than done, but learn to love and accept yourself as you are. We all have moments where we begin to stress over our weight or how we look in a particular outfit. Our beds end up looking like our closet, the bathroom counter is hidden under cosmetics, and our eyes filled with tears. Before you even allow your brain to turn a blemish into a red alert disaster, take a deep breath. We all apply far too much pressure to look a certain way, especially women. And if we don't look that way, we stress about what we don't have and begin to break ourselves down until we're all out of confidence. So, whether you're on a journey to get your fit on, dealing with a cycle of acne, find your nose too big, learn to turn your stress into love and acceptance. Trust in your physical journey, conceal that blemish if need be, and embrace what your momma gave ya. Your beauty comes from within, and confidence is they key to love and acceptance. Write it on your mirror, change the background of your phone, but remind yourself daily that YOU are enough in every single way.
5. Be Rubber: Don't let others words stick to you like glue, take it for what it is and let it bounce on by. We always take a minute to understand why certain things may have been said, why looks are given, or how someone reacted, but ultimately you have no control over another behaviour. In a world of cyber bullies, envy, jealousy, and hate, take harsh criticism and unnecessary comments with a grain of salt. Because, you never know what someone else is going through, you're not responsible for their pain or anger, and you're most certainly not going to stress over the opinion of someone else if you're perfectly happy with how you do you. Be the rubber in your own life, deflect where needed, grow a thicker skin, and don't stress over opinions that don't matter.
6. Seek Guidance: Whether you resort to Google, books, or therapy, there is an abundance of helpful information out there to help you manage your stress and provide you with the necessary tools. We're often left feeling alone during moments of stress, but it doesn't have to be that way. We may think that seeking help is week but it's truly a sign of strength when you acknowledge there are areas you simply can't go through alone. And, accepting help will build bridges vs creating distance. So...reach out to a friend, seek guidance from a therapist, there is always someone that can help assess your feelings or situation from another point of view and act as your safe place when times seem to feel unbearable. Always know, you're not alone.
7. Gain Perspective: There are very few things in life that are truly life or death situations. The rest shouldn't be turned into a bigger deal than they are. It's important to remind yourself of this when faced with an unpleasant moment so that we can react in rational manner and avoid unnecessary stress. Because lets be honest, we can deal with most things. We just have to make a conscious effort to put things into perspective and pick and choose what we stress over, what is worth all the effects stress has on our body. (Example: I broke my blender on the weekend because I put the blades together incorrectly. I may or may not have lost my mind. Thinking back, Charlie reminds me how ridiculous that was. We ordered a new one on Amazon which arrives in three days...unnecessary stress 100%).
It's a daily choice . . .so, turn up the music, get dancing, smile like a fool, grab a coffee, sip on some wine, indulge, and take a second to decompress. Life is too short to cause unnecessary stress in your life.
Wearing: Jeans by American Eagle (because I'm obsessed), Shirt by Boyfriends Closet, Watch by Larrson And Jennings, Glasses by BonLook, Laptop + iPhone Case by Uniqfind.
Sipping on: Tonicakambucha (the best in the game) and Nespresso - because, you can never have too many beverages! Choice people, choice!