Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Candice Pascoal, founder of Masters Channel.
“Every stress leaves an indelible scar, and the organism pays for its survival after a stressful situation by becoming a little older.” ~ Hans Selye
Stress can come from a variety of places in our lives. Work deadlines. Traffic. Bills. Arguments with a significant other or a friend. When we’re stressed, we feel less happy – and may take it out on ourselves by eating less healthy foods, smoking, or drinking.
While it’s not possible to live a 100% stress-free life, you can help reduce some of the day-to-day stress you experience – leading to a happier, healthier you. It doesn’t necessarily take a major life overhaul either. Just a few small changes can lead to a major overall impact.
Make time for fun
No matter how busy you are, there’s always time to have fun. Whether you set aside a few minutes to watch a funny YouTube video or take the time to play with your dog, it’s essential to enjoy the little moments in life. Remember the old saying, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”?
When you take your mind off whatever is stressing you out and focus completely on the fun you’re having, you’ll become more successful in the long run. At the end of your life, you’ll likely not wish you spent more time at work. But you may wish you had had more fun.
Do one thing at a time
Many of us think that multi-tasking is a desirable habit. However, trying to do two or three things at once can make us frantic and worn out – ultimately taking us longer to complete our to-do lists than if we had just done one thing at a time.
There’s nothing wrong with working at a slow and steady pace, focusing on one project or aspect of your life at a time before moving onto the next. As humans, that’s how we were meant to operate. If you’re driving, just drive. If you’re on the phone, just talk. Don’t feel the need to do both.
Stop trying to control the uncontrollable
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could make everything go your way, all the time? Of course it would! However, no individual person is in charge of every single aspect of their lives, especially the way other people act. People, situations, weather – when we worry about things beyond our control, we become more anxious than we need to be.
All you can control is yourself, and your reactions to the uncontrollable. Instead of trying to control how other people act, control how you react to them. You’ll be much happier in the long run.
Have realistic expectations
We should always set high standards and have high expectations for ourselves – but not so high they become unrealistic.
So while you should expect the best from yourself, you should not set up unrealistic expectations on the specifics of becoming the best you can be. When you set up unrealistic expectations, you set yourself up for failure and disappointment. Always go for realistic and achievable goals. They’re healthy for your physical and emotional well-being.
- How do you keep your stress to a minimum?
- Leave us a comment to let us know!
Candice Pascoal is the founder of Masters Channel, an online destination for life-changing classes on spirituality, self-help and personal empowerment. She invites you to join the Masters Channel community by visiting the website, subscribing to classes, or following them on Twitter!
Photo by joshfassbind