Ways to Live a Stress-Free Life - Alpha Male Nation
Stress – we all face it constantly, yet still hate it on a day to day basis. Many consider it an ‘invention’ of modern times, which came about after the technological revolution of the past centuries and which increasingly affects our psychological state as we get older. Nevertheless, people nowadays are striving to find ways to live a stress-free life, but are their attempts valid or just in vain?
While the pessimists amongst us might be eager to respond negatively, it is actually possible to start living a calmer, more relaxed, and de-tensed life starting even today. For instance, take a look at the following steps and advice to see whether you too should start making some adjustments to your outlook on existence for the better:
- Asses your stress levels – take a moment to really analyze what are the major sources of stress in your life, whether we are talking about your current job, family dynamics or friend relations, even your own way of perceiving life. Knowing where you stand in terms of stress levels and its sources is the first step towards learning how to start minimizing them.
- Look out for triggers – we call ‘stress triggers’ the things or situations which make you nervous, sweaty, even sick (heavy breathing, rapid pulse, headaches, etc.). These reactions can be caused by numerous instances, so try to monitor them and asses in which way they might be reduced or eliminated completely.
- Let go of toxic factors in your life – for instance, find a job that satisfies you or attempt to work less when possible. Let go of friends who don’t treat you right and confront the family members who constantly make you feel bad about yourself. As much of a cliché as it has become, life is indeed short and it should not be lived under the sign of such toxic social elements.
- Exercise your breathing – meditation is a great way of learning how to control your breathing techniques in order to better handle stressful situations. For instance, you could try breathing in through your nose for five seconds, then breathing out through your mouth for another five, thus repeating this exercise for a couple of minutes until you feel better. Not only will your brain become more oxygenated, but you will also majorly shift your focus from the initial distressing instance.
- Surround yourself with positivity – if you just can’t seem to ‘think happy thoughts’ on your own, then surround yourself with sources of positivity and stick with them. While some people resort to movies, books, and music in order to disconnect from difficult situations in their life, others prefer to surround themselves with good company by going out, doing a few exercises in the park or joining a yoga class. No matter your method of relief, it is important to always stay positive and remember that nothing lasts forever, no matter how difficult things might seem.
- Minimize exposure to stressful situations – while we can’t always quit our jobs or move house every time things get a bit too overwhelming, it is always best to distance yourself from such situations and avoid them as much as possible. Consequently, aim to work out how to approach these instances in such a way that your mental state suffers as little as possible from them.
- Worry less, live more – sometimes, modern man has a very bad tendency to worry about everything, but especially about things which have yet to happen and, most of the times, might not even happen at all. Thus, instead of pouring your energy into hypothetical ‘worst case scenarios’ and giving yourself a panic attack in the process, make an effort to be more present in the moment and see what you can do to avoid similar situations in the future.
- Empathize responsibly – while it is true that we live in a very stressful and sometimes even bleak universe, taking on the entire world’s suffering upon your shoulders won’t do anybody any good. For instance, if a friend comes to you complaining about something, try to help them out as much as possible, but don’t mentally ‘transfer’ their entire suffering to yourself. Just keep in mind that, in the end, all things work themselves out eventually.
- Kick off your bad habits – excess is the mother of negativity in any instance, so get rid of stress in your life by resorting to balance in every aspect of it. As a result, you should let go of bad habits such as excessive amounts of alcohol, smoking, or binge eating when you find yourself under pressure, since these only accentuate the awful effects of stress in time (not to mention that they really take a toll on your health, for that matter).
- Get a good night’s sleep – a normal adult will need anywhere between 7 and 9 hours of sleep every night, which is what you should be aiming for in order to keep yourself healthy, happy, and stress-free throughout the week. And don’t think that you can ‘postpone’ a good night’s sleep for the weekend just because you are too busy – whether you like it or not, your body will quickly feel the exhaustion and actually amplify the effects of stress and fatigue the more you push yourself.
- Rely on a strict schedule – trying to cram in three days’ worth of work into a single one is not the way to help yourself both reach your goals and stay stress-free at the same time. The solution for this is to better organize, simplify, and leave room for relaxation in your personal schedule, which will then translate into better productivity and less worrying about deadlines.
- Take better care of your body – eating properly, staying hydrated, and exercising regularly are just a few ways in which you can actively help your organism stay as far away from stress as possible. How, you wonder? Well, it has been medically proven that, aside from having less illnesses or discomfort to worry about when living a healthy lifestyle, a good physical shape will almost always influence your mental state in terms of stress management and overall optimism levels.
- Pamper yourself once in a while – when you start feeling too stressed out, nervous or even anxious, then you know you should disconnect for a while from that particular environment. Take a couple of hours each week just for yourself by watching your favourite TV show, going to the spa or simply sleeping in during the weekend. Decide what helps you feel better and more in control of your life, then act on it. You will quickly see how these small steps go a pretty long way in terms of stress handling.
- Move around more – while many stressful instances leave us feeling like we are both mentally and physically paralyzed, the ‘antidote’ to this is to constantly challenge your body into being more dynamic. As a consequence, your mind will also feel more alert and focused, hence more likely to solve demanding situations faster and more efficiently. For example, you could make a habit out of running daily, joining some dancing or aerobic classes, even picking up a very active sport (football, volleyball, swimming, etc.).
- Clean it up – it has been demonstrated that cleaning your workplace environment can realistically increase your general productivity, as well as eliminate some of the stress factors of your everyday life. Additionally, embarking on a full on cleaning spree of your house will not only give you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, but it will also help your mind unwind and see things more ‘clearly’. By allowing you to detach and objectively analyze the stressful instances in your current life, this household activity can rapidly turn from a chore into a pleasantly distracting activity.
- Make time for yourself – no matter how selfless you might usually be, it is of paramount importance that you allow yourself a few moments of self-reflection and self-awareness each and every single day. Since most contemporary stress sources stem from our inability to understand why time just seems to ‘fly by’, slowing things down and acknowledging them on a constant basis is an ideal way of making sense of both ourselves and the world surrounding us.
- Be more honest – one big mistake people sometimes make is that of burying their present feelings deep down inside instead of facing a stressful situation head on. Unfortunately, this ‘strategy’ can have long-lasting effects such as the development of depression, anxiety, and even more serious mental illnesses. One way of avoiding this is by actually allowing yourself to feel the initial wave of stress and all its implications, then slowly working yourself out of it through different solutions – from logical approaches to more emotional ones (like crying or hugging someone dear, let’s say), only you can decide what is the best course of action towards a more stress-free life in general.
- Stay your own self – while today’s society puts a high price on people emulating their favourite celebrities in order to ‘fit in’, it is important to stay true to oneself in order to life a stress-free life. No matter whether we are talking about appearances or morals, the way towards a more peaceful and satisfying individual existence is that of being your own person, while also being considerate and nice towards others.
- Count your blessings – we can all agree that wanting more from life and ourselves included is a good stimulant for general progress. But, when this drive turns into a stress factor, then you should consider focusing more on what you already have or have accomplished instead of longing for the things you have yet to obtain or acquire. Not only will this make you more grounded and happy with your current life parameters, but it will also make you more grateful for what you have accomplished so far in life.
- Drop the negativity – we all have our bad days, when all we want to do is rant and complain about every single thing. These are only acceptable if they are very rare occurrences – otherwise, this negativity will most likely seep into your daily life and transform into a very toxic source of stress and overall uneasiness. Thus, instead of always looking at the empty half of the glass, try to see what you can do in order to improve the half that is already full.
- Focus on real life, not ‘reality TV’ – sure, living vicariously through other people’s experiences on reality TV shows or movies is an entertaining way of getting your mind off of things. The problem occurs when this sort of entertainment takes over your real life, making it increasingly more difficult to handle actual stressful situations which are thrown your way. Go out more, travel to different and exciting places, make new friends, and make your own memories – there is always more to life than a brightly coloured screen.
- Take it one step at a time – one of the ugly implications stress has is that it makes it feel like the end of the world for you – in the most literal sense possible. Even so, you should know that this is only an illusion and that every situation – no matter how daunting or dire it might appear to be – has a light at the end of its tunnel. So take a deep breath and take everything step by step, on your own or with help from others.
There you go! As you can see, there are a number of ways in which you too can achieve a stress-free existence. All you have to do is see which ones better fit your lifestyle, mentality, and general approach of situations. In the end, everybody is unique and our responses to stress and its implications are equally different from person to person.
Nevertheless, the crucial thing to be remembered here is that it is never too late to embrace change and transform yourself for the better in terms of internal peace, positive, and better grasp of human relationships. So always aspire to figure out how to deal with stress on your own terms in order to create a better life for you and those around you. Good things will come your way too!