By Zeenat | Positive Provocations
“Stress is not what happens to us. It’s our response to what happens and the response is something we can choose.” ~ Maureen Killoran
Believe it or not, we are almost always surrounded by stress. Be it work stress, relationship stress, self-image stress, social stress, world events stress….the list can be endless. Stress is unavoidable…it will be thrown at us at every nook and corner…BUT although we don’t have a choice at what is thrown at us…we have a choice as to how we allow it to effect us.
As a human tendency, we tend to reflect on the past and think of all the things we achieved or didn’t achieve. I personally choose to focus on what I did achieve…that leads me to feel happy for the time that has gone by and makes me feel hopeful for the future.
Over the years I’ve come to understand and manage stress positively and keep it as far away from me as possible. The one thing I do know is that I have to work on keeping stress away from me on a daily basis. A conscious effort to live stress-free is imperative.
So here are the positive daily habits I use to keep stress at bay…
7 Positive Daily Habits to Live Stress-Free
“The life of inner peace, being harmonious and without stress, is the easiest type of existence.” ~Norman Vincent Peale
Don’t fret my darlings, it’s easy and oh so doable. Smile and read on…
1) Manage Time:
When you have a flexible routine, you don’t stress over the rigidity of a time frame. So try keeping a short to-do list which can be moved around as per your day. Don’t let the To-DO list rule your day! I personally don’t plan for more than ‘today’….I’ve seen people who can have to-do lists the length of a thesis right through the month and they are the ones who live the constantly rush rush-I don’t have time-stress full life. So keep it simple and manage your time positively.
2) Be Prepared:
The night before plan your next day in terms of clothes to wear, lunches to prepare, stuff to carry to work/school, meeting/appointment timings, etc. I usually create a mental checklist at night and have stuff ready to go in the morning. It keeps the stress of deciding last minute away…and I can go by my regular routine with ease and calm. A prepared mind is a calm mind.
3) Focus on the little blessings:
While we are so busy all through the day we sometimes forget to notice the beauty and blessings all around us. Try to remain mindful of your activities by associating smells, colors and feelings to them. Like when you pass your regular route to work, look for a green patch or garden that pleases your eyes and enjoy the colors. While driving family around, crack jokes and ask about their day. Listen to your favorite songs. Notice how the little things make up for much deeper and richer memories…and while you are engrossed in the beautiful blessings also notice how stress-free you feel. I make it a point on a daily basis to notice something new and beautiful in my day. Sometimes when things are particularly hectic, I need to look harder. But the little blessings are always there to make me smile.
4) Keep Moving:
Regular exercise has been proven to reduce stress levels, increase your happiness quotient and keep you healthy. If you can schedule a workout/run/walk time daily that works perfectly…but even if you can’t, short spurts of movement can give you similar stress-reducing benefits. A ten-minute walk can be as beneficial to reduce stress&anxiety as much as a 45-minute walk. While I go for a 45-minute walk early in the morning daily and do yoga, I also try to take the stairs when I can or just get out for a stroll in nature for a few minutes especially when I feel like I’m feeling too muddled up. It works wonders to clear the mind and release stress&anxiety.
5) Laugh More:
Laughter has been proven to release endorphins that improve mood and immune health. Laughter also lowers the levels of stress hormones – cortisol and epinephrine. A good laugh has the ability to reduce physical pain too! Take out times in your day to simply have a good belly laugh. My personal favorite ways to do this is to play tickle monster with my little girl and watch The Big Bang Theory. Honestly, my daughter always asks me how loud will I laugh while I watch The Big Bang Theory. Yup the growing girl is a bit embarrassed by her mother's crazy laugh 😉 Any other sitcom or comedy or even a good old joke book can do the trick. But make a conscious effort to laugh more. Who cares about the stress when we are so busy having a good time. Right?!
6) Focus on Breath:
Take a 5-minute break to breathe slowly and deeply when you feel anxious and stressed. Slow breaths reduce the stress hormones in the body and lower the heart rate and blood pressure. I choose to pray or meditate and incorporate slow deep breathing in my daily routine. But you don’t need to learn to meditate to reap the benefits, just stop and take 5 minutes to breathe while listening to soft nature sounds or light melodies. It works wonders!
7) Write a Joy Journal:
I love journaling because it promotes introspection, reflection, and organization of thoughts. Sometimes when you write it all down when you are anxious or troubled and then read it back later, you can see a pattern of behavior you would like to work on. It's a great tool for self-refinement. You can journal about things you are grateful for, things that bring you joy, things that bother you or just little things that you would like to remember and not forget. Focus on your joys and you’ll see how the stress just fades away.
What about you? How do you live a stress-free daily? Have any de-stress tips to share? Please share your wisdom in the comments below. I would love to learn from you.
Thank you SO much for reading! If this article touched your heart, please share it on your favorite social networks. Every share, like or tweet makes me reach more people who need a positive healing nudge in their lives. I appreciate you! And, If you’re new, please subscribe for free updates by email. Love always, ~Zeenat~