Deal With Stress

3 Practical Ways to Relieve Stress and Be More Productive

Hamster Posing on Exercise WheelI’d be willing to bet you opened this email because of one word—stress. You know it’s there, and you know it’s got its wretched claws in you, but you don’t know what to do about it. I know exactly how you feel. Stress is one of those things that can easily sneak into our everyday lives because we have this misconception that it’s somehow “normal” to feel stressed out all the time.

We think to ourselves, “well everyone’s busy; it’s just the world we live in; I guess it’s just a part of life.” If these thoughts sound familiar, then I’ve got news for you—feeling stressed is not a normal state of being, and you don’t have to put up with it. You can take charge and relieve your stress. All it takes is a shift in perspective.

You see, just because the world around you prefers to function at a break-neck pace doesn’t mean you have to live your life that way. In fact, if you let people persuade you that this is the only way you’ll ever check off all the items on your to-do list, then you’ll forever be that hamster on a wheel just running all day and never getting anywhere.

Good news, though—you’re not a hamster, and you were not designed to live your life that way! By practicing some simple methods to relieve stress, you can clear your mind and energize your body so that you’re more productive minus the constant anxiety! Here are a few tips for how to relieve your stress and be more productive at the same time.

1. Schedule free time

Most people realize the need for human beings to have a little downtime each day. At school, they call it recess. At work, they call it breaks. As children, we embrace this free time and use it to exercise, socialize, and just have fun! As we take on adult responsibilities, however, we find ourselves using our so-called “break” to run errands or catch up on our mounting workloads. But guess, what? Grown-ups need free time to decompress as well! That means, it’s time to start scheduling a little R&R for yourself every day, and watch as your stress melts away little by little. Start with 30 minutes a day, and yes—actually write it on your calendar!

2. Just say no

If you’re like me, you feel this intense desire to please everyone around you. You’ve heard people say that no one can please everyone all the time, but you think you’re the exception to the rule, right? You not only think you can make everyone happy, but you feel that it’s your duty. Unfortunately, you’re not super-human, and the more you try to do everything everyone wants you to do, the less content you’ll be and the more stress you’ll experience. Trying to do it all will just bring you down and make you feel so anxious that you’re literally frozen in place, not knowing what to do first and knowing that you’ll never get it all done.

One way that you can relieve your stress and make the people who matter most (like your family and friends, for instance) happy is to learn to say no to other people. Maybe it’s someone at school or church who wants you to cook a meal. Perhaps it’s a charity organization you’ve volunteered for in the past. Whenever these people come calling, ask yourself if you really have the time to spare, or if you’re just tempted to say “yes” out of guilt or the need to please. If your schedule is already packed, know that it’s ok to say “no” this time.

3. Stop multi-tasking

Our fast-paced society has made us all great multitaskers. We can make dinner while scheduling appointments. We chat with clients while standing in line at the grocery store. We’re doing more with our time than ever before. That’s a good thing, right? Not necessarily. Unfortunately, when you multitask, you’re dividing your attention among two (maybe three?) things, which makes you more likely to make a mistake. Plus, when you overload your brain with too many tasks at once, you’re just asking for a stress-induced meltdown. To relieve your stress, practice focusing all of your attention on one thing at a time. Not only will your stress levels go down, but you’ll also find that you’re able to accomplish tasks with more efficiency and accuracy.

Now that you’re equipped with some practical ways to relieve stress, I just know you’re going to see some positive changes in your life in the very near future. You’re going to be so much happier and at peace with yourself. To begin this new, stress-free period in your life, take a minute to listen to this short Core Energy Meditation. It may just give you that extra nudge you need to start being good to yourself and get rid of the debilitating stress in your life once and for all. I can’t wait to hear your success stories.

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