Do you feel stress every day and often at unexpected times?
For example, you are at an office job or just doing daily routine tasks (nothing dangerous or frightening) and your heart is racing and you are sweating way too much. You may have a deadline but nothing life-threatening.
Sounds like an irrational physical reaction right?
Unfortunately, you are just so used to experiencing unnecessary stress you don’t realize you need to immediately stop and think about how its harming you.
You’ve probably also convinced yourself that because you feel stress you must be working hard and are being productive. It becomes a behavior pattern that you accept in your daily life.
You might have even told yourself, “Suck it up and just deal.”
But, as we all know, prolonged acceptance of daily stress is unhealthy for your mind and body. Experiencing daily stress can wreak havoc in the long term on your heart, and on your immune and digestive systems.
You can’t reduce all stress, but you can definitely end unnecessary stress.
How did unnecessary stress sneak into your life in the first place?
First, the following are some examples of stressful situations:
• Pressing deadlines
• Job interviews
• Final exams
• Speaking in front of crowds
• Last-minute projects
• Presentations to land a profitable client
Since you likely felt stress with these examples and whatever challenges life handed you, stressful feelings were expected, such as the following:
• Rapid heart rate
• No sleep
• Sweating bullets
• Gut twisted into a million knots.
After years of these stressful situations (and associated stress symptoms), you eventually accept the feelings out of habit.
Stress that is a conditioned response to even the most mundane daily activity is the unnecessary stress you must get rid of in your life.
You must retrain your mind to no longer think that feeling stress is the result of being successful or productive.
Don’t continue a life filled with the following dead weights:
• Mental exhaustion
• Poor health
You have a choice. You don’t have to live this way!
You can end the unnecessary stress now.
5 simple ways to eliminate unnecessary stress before it takes over your life:
1. Be mindful when stress symptoms begin.
Stop and recognize the onset of stress. Zero in on your symptoms.
Ask yourself, is what you feel appropriate for the situation? What triggered your reaction?
Imagine you are watching yourself. How would you feel about your reaction to the situation?
Don’t just mindlessly feel your reactions; think about them.
Mindfulness is the key to changing problematic behavior patterns. Mindfulness puts you back in control.
This takes practice, but it’s worth the effort.
If you want to reduce your daily stress, you must first become mindful of it.
2. Experience and practice daily gratitude.
When you become mindful of experiencing stress, take a minute and focus on feelings of gratitude.
Get out a piece of paper and write down three things that you are grateful for right now.
It could be the most basic and fundamental things such as breathing clean air, having the sun warm your face, or having hands to tie your shoes.
How do those three things make you feel?
Put that list up where you can readily see it and fill your moments with those warm, grateful feelings instead of stress.
Practice gratitude daily; it will then be a habit that keeps comforting feelings flowing.
Instead of stress, positivity will fill your life.
3. Let go of control.
Feeling gratitude is something you can control, but you cannot always control other people or what happens in the future.
Realize that you are not a mind reader or a higher being with the supreme power to control everyone’s fate (nor are you expected to be) — it is then that reality is clear:
You have control only of yourself and how you react to your environment.
When you realize this, the more liberated you will feel from the possible stressors surrounding you. When you master it, the stressors disappear.
When the email server is down, your car isn’t working, meetings get postponed, etc., these will no longer be triggers of stress but merely situations needing attention.
When you let go of the need to control your environment, you will sail through tough situations instead of battling through them.
4. Walk it out.
If you have too many situations to handle, then get out of your environment temporarily and move around.
Moving muscles other than your typing fingers breaks you out of that pattern of feeling stress.
Simply walking around for a short while increases blood flow and helps with your mood because endorphins (aka the body’s “positivity chemicals”) are naturally released.
Also, having some alone time helps to reset your emotions, feelings and mindset.
Two things are accomplished by walking it out:
1. Endorphins are released.
2. Alone time allows for self-analysis to ask yourself, “Do I really need to feel this way?”
So before unnecessary stress takes over, take a minute, go outside, walk it out, feel the sun shine on your face and breathe long and deep.
5. Slow down.
Unnecessary stress is also the result of always living your life like a timer is going to go off.
Take your time when you don’t have deadlines, time schedules or obligations to uphold.
You will start to control how you react to situations instead of racing through things mindlessly.
Especially slow down when you are doing things for yourself on your own personal time.
For example, slow down when you walk to your car, while eating your lunch or drinking a cup of tea.
Taking your time trains your mind to focus on the moment you are experiencing and nothing else.
Truly enjoy the tastes, smells, sights and sounds of the moment.
Clear your mind of everything except what you are doing.
Any worries (past or future) will lessen and eventually fade.
When you slow down and truly start to appreciate the present moment, stress disappears.
What Happens When Unnecessary Stress Disappears
Unnecessary stress doesn’t have to be part of your daily life.
You can actively lessen the stress you feel and still be successful and productive in all that you do.
In fact, you will be more successful because priceless, productive energy will no longer be wasted by stress.
With these five tools, it is now time to replace unnecessary stress with a healthy, positive mindset.
Only when you free yourself from unnecessary stress can you live life to the fullest.
Why continue on a path that leads to unnecessary suffering and unhappiness?
Instead, practice the five actions above and a positive mindset will follow.
You will feel more confident, focused, motivated and healthier.
Don’t deny yourself these positive benefits.
You are too important.
Which action above will you do right now?
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Author: Melissa Lopez
A self-professed positivity junkie and SciFi geek. She writes about self-development in our "Strange World" with a no nonsense, down-to-earth style. Take the adventure at zenonmars.com