Last week, I started the series Tips for a Stress-Free Lifestyle. I welcome you to the second part of the series and hope you find great tips to reduce stress in your life and move to “the happy zone”.
Tip #11: Use the magic question
One of the magic questions that can help you shift from one state to another is: What am I feeling? It is amazing what this simple question can do for people who are stressed, angry and overwhelmed.
The need to find the answer slows down the impulsive reactions and causes the mind to move from a tempered reaction into analyzing mode. Some people, when they are hungry, are actually thirsty. Some people, when they are angry, they are actually disappointed and some people think they are stressed but are actually worried.
Analyzing your feelings while you are stressed forces you to work with your mind and may help you find there is actually no logic to some of your reactions.
Tip #12: Duplicate important keys
Forgetting is something that creates lots of stress. It happened to me once that I could not find my house keys (I had forgotten to take them with me when I left the house). Make copies of all your keys. Bury a house key somewhere in your garden. Have a duplicate car key somewhere apart from your key ring.
Tip #13: Get up earlier
Some people are not morning people, and they find it very hard to get up. The alarm goes off and they roll over, stealing one more minute and then another minute, then they end up rushing out of the house like a storm, always late for the bus, for work or for school.
Get up earlier. Rushing things in the morning can set you up for a lousy day. Give yourself a bit more time to get dressed, wash and eat. Running out of the house late is very stressful.
Tip #14: Prepare for the next day
Prepare for the morning the evening before. Evenings are much calmer. When the kids are in bed and you are preparing to sleep, plan the following day and do all the things you are going to need done for the following morning.
Set the breakfast table. Make lunches if you can. Put out the clothes you plan to wear and encourage your kids to do the same.
Tips #15: Write things down
Trying to remember things creates a lot of stress – the kids’ assemblies, afternoon activities, the dentist – the list is endless. Remember:
The opposite of forgetting, is writing down
Danny Heimann (a friend of mine)
Write down everything you can: library return days, appointments, birthdays, important numbers, all phone numbers, anniversaries, what to do and addresses. Do not try to keep it all in your head and, if you can, write everything in one place, so you can find it easily when you need to.
Tip #16: Do not lie
Avoid lying. When you are not telling the truth, or even when you are not telling the whole truth about something, you create lots of stress. Liars need to have perfect memories and people find themselves very stressed when they realize they need to remember the untruths they have created.
Remember, when we lie, it is only because we believe that saying the truth is going to cause us more pain. However, in the long run, lying is worse.
Lies will lock you up with truth the only key
Missy Higgins (The Special Two)
Tip #17: Spend time with happy people
The people you hang out with can influence your attitude a lot. Stay away from worriers, because their worries can be contagious. Worrying is a state of mind and I know people who do not know exactly what they are worried about, but they spend most of their time worrying anyway.
Constant worrying is very draining and very stressful. Examine people you have regular contact with and decide if they are worriers or not. If they are, and if you can, stay away from them and seek the company of happy, relaxed people instead.
Tip #18: Take a hot shower (or bath)
Warm water can relieve stress and tension. If you feel too tense, take a hot bath or shower. When my kids come home grumpy from school, I tell them to take a shower and “wash away the bad feelings”.
It works miracles. Taking a good shower before bedtime can help you sleep better and feel better the next day.
Tip #19: Count before you talk
Many times when we are upset, we say things that we may regret later, which will make us more stressed in turn. Learn to recognize when you are upset and count to 10 before you say anything.
If counting to 10 is not good enough, count to 20. Keep counting until you find the magic number that helps you calm down before you say something you might regret.
Tip #20: Talk about your problems
Problems can create lots of stress. Talking about your problems with someone may bring you halfway to solving those problems.
Find someone who is supportive and understanding with whom you can share your thoughts, problems, ideas and feelings. If you cannot find a friend, get a professional, like a life coach, to talk to.
Join me next time for the next chapter of “Tips for a stress-free lifestyle” or subscribe for updates via RSS or email.
Have a happy and stress-free life,