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8 Stress-Relieving Practices

By • Dec 14th, 2007 • Category: Featured Articles, Feeling Well

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Like most people, your life may be like a large ball of activities rolling along with you at the center, feeling and looking frazzled, listless and tired. It doesn’t take a whole lot to ease the stress and exhaustion that results from a hectic lifestyle. Incorporate some simple regular practices into your routine and you’ll quickly see and feel the difference. In no time, you could look brighter and feel better as the pressures ease and your enthusiasm for life returns.

The following practices are guaranteed to slow down the pace at which you function all day, everyday and speed up your zest for life.

1. Wake up right.

It’s simple really – get up early enough to enjoy some quiet time. In fact, before your feet hit the floor, give thanks for your safe passage through the night (and that’s a lot to be thankful for these days).

Commit the new day to God in prayer. Ask Him to help you to see His hand in all circumstances that will present themselves during the day, to keep your eyes open to the blessings He will send your way and opportunities to be helpful and compassionate to others.

2. Have a dream.

Having a dream or even a few daily or weekly personal goals adds interest to your life. Write them out and keep them where you can see them every day. Review them regularly to see what progress you have made. Celebrate your successes and beef up your efforts, where necessary.

Don’t throw away your old lists. Tick off everything you have accomplished, transfer the outstanding tasks to a new list and file the old one. On those days when feelings of frustration and discouragement attack, pull out the old lists and thank God for each success. Few things rev up your motivation to keep going like a list with items ticked off.

3. Keep learning.

The greater your desire to know about the things that fascinate you, the more passionate you become about your life and your dreams. Curiosity also helps you stay open-minded and flexible. Become an insatiable reader of the books and magazines that target your interests. Connect with like-minded people and increase the joy of learning.

4. Adopt a healthy lifestyle.

(i) Eat healthy meals. Enliven your meals with a variety of fruits and vegetables – the more colorful the better. You’re an adult now. The days for whining about which vegetables you don’t like are long gone. Suck it up and get with the "eat healthy" program. Set aside ample time to enjoy your meals. Eat slowly and savor the flavors in every mouthful.

(ii) Exercise. You’ve heard about all the benefits and it is time to stop making excuses. Start with stretching for 10 – 15 minutes a day and slowly graduate to a more structured routine.

(iii) Get enough sleep. Keep a regular sleep regimen. Engage in a light, non-stressful activity before sliding under the cover. End your day with something that relaxes you and helps you to slip easily into sleep.

(iv)See your doctor. Too busy is no excuse for not managing your health. Stop complaining. Call your doctor and make the appointment for those crucial periodic medical tests.

5. Limit your activities.

Whittle the list down to a more manageable number. All your activities do not have to relate to your goals. Include at least one that takes you out of your comfort zone and adds an interesting dimension to your life. In any case, don’t fill your spare moments with commitments that other people thrust upon you. Learn to say, “No.”

6. Practice self-care.

Feelings of overwhelm usually filter into and adversely affect every area of your life. Set up a routine that allows you some time to unwind and nourish your body as well as your soul. Sometimes nothing helps you unwind better than a few moments of solitude. Choose a special spot in your home that will afford you some uninterrupted time for reading, thinking or some other quiet, body-soothing, soul-enhancing activity.

7. De-clutter.

Much of the clutter in our lives is a result of things we don’t need or don’t have time to use. Each item of course, takes up space that could be used for something that adds real value to our lives. Toughen up and rid your home and your life of the needless clutter and organize what remains. Make room only for what will make you happy, relieve stress, enhance and simplify your life.

8. Connect with friends.

Friends amplify our joys and help to weaken the effect of our unhappy experiences. They are the flavorful ingredients that spice up our lives and add the warm supporting comfort that makes the worst tragedies bearable. But friendships, like plants, whither and die without care. Make time for the friends that bring meaning to your life.

Any change can be difficult, and reshuffling your existing routine to make room for new practices may seem like a major life adjustment. Even if it is hard at first, don’t give up. A small change can have a big impact. Start with one, and then add another. Persistence will pay off when you begin to feel and see the benefits.

 

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2 Responses »

  1. This is some very good advise. Every point you have made, makes sense to me. I have actually started making time for friends again as i feel this is very important. Even though i was talking to my friends on the phone quite often, it is not the same as actually maklng time to see them in person.

  2. Hi Kristina,

    You have done well by taking action on what you read. May your friendships deepen as you take the initiative to nourish and sustain them.

    Cheryl

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