Ten Ways I Use to Reduce Daily Stress


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by Jayaram V

Both physical and mental stress are common to everyone. No one can avoid it, since the very normal working of the mind and body produces stress even in restful state. Some stress is also useful since it helps the mind and body to perform tasks. People manage stress in different ways according to their convenience, knowledge and circumstances. Some do it rather spontaneously, without even knowing.

Yawning, napping, taking deep breaths are some of the natural ways by which the body absorbs stress. When stress becomes chronic due to physical or psychological reasons, it becomes a problem. Social and economic conditions, and the psychology of each person also plays an important role in how people manage their stress or suffer from it. It is necessary to keep stress under control for our general Wellbeing, longevity, and happiness. I manage my daily stress in many ways. The following ones are found to be effective and useful to manage everyday stress.

1. Meet your deadlines: Procrastination is a major source of stress, not only for you but also for those who are affected by the delays. If you leave any task pending, it troubles you, as the thought that something is unfinished or needs to be completed keeps bothering you. Therefore, manage your time well and see that you complete your tasks in time.

2. Organize things: Clutter is a self-inflicted problem, which produces a lot of stress, especially when you badly need something and cannot find it, do not show up for an important appointment, spend a lot time searching for things or fail to pay your bills in time. If you organize things, you can avoid much of this.

3. Eat healthy food: Indigestion, bloating and other gastric problems caused by our food choices, are a major source of stress, as they do not let us relax or sleep peacefully. Even with all precautions, when I eat outside, I often face the problem. Therefore, I avoid certain types of food, which I know will cause digestion problems.

4. Practice relaxation: I regularly use relaxation techniques to reduce daily stress. For example, I pause in between work and take deep breaths. Sometimes, I leave my desk and walk around. I also use meditation, mindfulness, being in the present, listening, smiling, laughing, etc., to reduce stress and feel relaxed.

5. Sleep adequately: I find that lack of adequate sleep is one of the major factors, which leads not only to stress but also to many health problems such as heart disease, fatigue, blood pressure, obesity, etc. If you sleep well, at least eight hours a day, you will feel fresh, relaxed and energetic when you wake up.

6. Exercise well: Physical exercises, be they aerobics or anaerobic ones, produce a lot stress. Yet, I find it to be a healthy practice because it helps my body rebuild itself and increase its immunity and threshold to absorb stress. It also makes me feel good, improves my health, digestion, metabolism, sleep quality and blood circulation.

7. Know your limitations: I know that I have limitations, and there is no point in fretting over what I can or cannot do. I cannot change the world, change people, make others listen to me or make them appreciate my work. Often, I also face unjust criticism. I learned to make peace with what I cannot change and focus upon what I can do. You should also know when to quit and when to move on.

8. Practice detachment: Everyone has his or her own share of troublesome memories, failures and disappointments, lost opportunities, wrong choices, troubled relationships, costly mistakes and toxic people. You cannot have peace, unless you learn to let go of them and control your negative self-talk.

9. Manage expectations: I have learned from experience that expectations create a lot of emotional stress. People are unpredictable. They cannot be taken for granted. They also change overtime. You may also fail to meet your own expectations. Therefore, be realistic and do not expect too much from people or Self.

10. Rest and recreation: Going out to a theater or a restaurant can be stressful if you have to deal with traffic and noise. However, you can sit at home and relax, listen to music, watch a movie, practice some hobby, cook or spend time with your friends or family members. These breaks refresh your mind, and help you regain your balance.

These ten commonsense suggestions are easy to remember and practice. They do not need any lifestyle changes. You can use them to avoid unnecessary stress, which may arise in your daily life due to the very nature of our living conditions, behavioral problems and relationships or the way things work. I hope you will find them useful to manage your manageable stress, which may be disrupting your health or normal life.

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