10 Easy Ways to Get Rid Of Stress
Life is busy, and we get so stressed. But did you know that Stress is bad for you? Plus, it's a cycle that's hard to stop.
When we are stressed, it’s quite easy to develop negative thinking patterns because we become frustrated by our challenges and frequent feelings of being overwhelmed. This negative outlook then makes it even harder for us to manage those challenges and move forward and break through the stress cycle.
Practicing positive thinking helps to focus on our strengths and accomplishments, which increases happiness and motivation. This, in turn, allows us to spend more time making progress, and less time feeling down and stuck. The following tips provide easy and practical suggestions that you can use to help you shift into more positive thinking patterns:
1. Take Good Care of Yourself
Taking good care of yourself includes a variety of things, not just eating healthy. It's much easier to be positive when you are eating well, exercising, and getting enough rest.
2. Remind Yourself of the Things You Are Grateful For
Stresses and challenges don't seem quite as bad when you are constantly reminding yourself of the things that are right in life. Taking just 60 seconds a day to stop and appreciate the good things will make a huge difference. You can do it a few ways, here's a few ideas:
- Grab a journal and write down 10 things each day that you are grateful for
- At dinner with your family list some things that happened in your day that you are grateful for
- First thing when you wake up, before getting out of bed, think about 10 things that is good in your life.
3. Stop Assuming Things
A fear of not being liked or accepted sometimes leads us to assume that we know what others are thinking, but our fears are usually not reality. If you have a fear that a friend or family member's bad mood is due to something you did, or that your co-workers are secretly gossiping about you when you turn your back, speak up and ask them. Don't waste time worrying that you did something wrong unless you have proof that there is something to worry about.
4. Refrain from Using Absolutes
Have you ever told a partner "You're ALWAYS late!" or complained to a friend "You NEVER call me!"? Thinking and speaking in absolutes like 'always' and 'never' makes the situation seem worse than it is, and programs your brain into believing that certain people are incapable of delivering.
5. Detach From Negative Thoughts
Your thoughts can't hold any power over you if you don't judge them. If you notice yourself having a negative thought, detach from it, witness it, and don't follow it. Move on, think about something good in your day (or do #2 above).
6. Squash the "ANTs"
In his book "Change Your Brain, Change Your Life," Dr. Daniel Amen talks about "ANTs" - Automatic Negative Thoughts. These are the bad thoughts that are usually reactionary, like "Those people are laughing, they must be talking about me," or "The boss wants to see me? It must be bad!" When you notice these thoughts, realize that they are nothing more than ANTs and squash them!
7. Hug More!
You don't have to be an expert to know the benefits of a good hug. Positive physical contact with friends, loved ones, and even pets, is an instant pick me-up. One research study on this subject had a waitress touch some of her customers on the arm as she handed them their checks. She received higher tips from these customers than from the ones she didn't touch!
8. Increase Your Social Activity
By increasing social activity, you decrease loneliness. Surround yourself with healthy, happy people, and their positive energy will affect you in a positive way! But be careful and pay attention to how people make you feel. Not all social activity is uplifting, some people can bring you down. Become aware of how different people in your world affect your energy.
9. Volunteer or Help Someone
Everyone feels good after helping. You can volunteer your time, your money, or your resources. The more positive energy you put out into the world, the more you will receive in return.
10. Use Pattern Interrupts to Combat Rumination
If you find yourself ruminating, a great way to stop it is to interrupt the pattern and force yourself to do something completely different. Rumination is like hyper-focus on something negative. It's never productive, because it's not rational or solution-oriented, it's just excessive worry and stress. Try changing your physical environment - go for a walk or sit outside. You could also call a friend, pick up a book, or turn on some music. Give yourself a few minutes in your new environment and your stress will be reduced.
It’s important to understand the signs of stress and react with a positive way.
The key to busting stress is making sure that you look after YOU.
As your happiness levels increase, your stress levels decrease. Have a look at your work life, your personal life and social life to see if there are any areas you can create more happiness. You might be surprised on what you find.
Learn more about how I deal with stress and grab this FREE guide:
Which of these tips are you going to try? Let me know in the comments below!
Gaylene Gomez, NNCP, C.H.N.