I heard the loudest sigh when I walked out of my house today.
It came from my neighbor, who struggled to get her dog into the car. She's a successful woman, like all the people in the neighborhood. Usually, she’s very happy, but today she seemed really stressed out.
"What's the matter?" I asked. "Well, I've got to prepare a big meal tomorrow and I don't have the ingredients. I need to also clean up the house and it’s almost the end of the day" she said.
Like my neighbor, we all let out dozens of sighs each day. It relieves our stress. However, have you ever counted how many sighs you release each day? I just sighed as I wondered which kind of article could benefit my audience the most.
We are all susceptible to stress so I thought I might share some useful suggestions that work in my life. Here are 5 Tips to Dramatically Reduce Your Stress:
1. Give Yourself Credit: In this world, it's easy to feel like you haven't accomplished enough. If you ever feel down about yourself, you need to give yourself some credit. Take a moment to count your successes. Think about what you've accomplished already for the day, week, month, or year. When you do this, you'll feel much better about where you are right now.
Create a ‘success’ list. On paper, write down everything you have already done. This could consist of your material possessions, awards, events, vacations, and any other success you can think of. If you do, you'll realize that you have accomplished more than you could ever want. Give yourself some credit and get started with this list. It’s a great way to practice gratitude too.
2. Develop Stamina: Building endurance is the cornerstone of great achievers. Most people run out of steam too soon. By the middle of the day, they're gulping down caffeine, which is the antithesis of building endurance. Instead, you must continue to eat healthy and exercise an average of 30 minutes per day.
Every month, I run anywhere from 50-100 miles on the treadmill or outside. It makes me feel great. More importantly, it helps me to forgo my worries and develop the stamina I need to keep going. Make a habit of exercising regularly. You'll cut down on your daily 'sighs' if you do.
3. Give Yourself a Break: In the midst of a bustling month, you must learn to settle down and take a break. These breaks could be 10 minutes, 10 hours, or 10 days, whichever suits your needs. Either way, these breaks will rejuvenate you and restore your efflorescence for life.
Personally, I rarely take a day off. However, I do take a lot of half-days. In some cases, I'll read a book, go out to dinner, or spend time with family and friends. Most of the time, I usually do lighter activities. It gives me a zest for living and I enjoy about a dozen of these 4-8 hour breaks per month.
4. Bond with Loved Ones: In times of deep stress, you must lean on others. By doing this, you greatly alleviate your pain and gain more clarity in your life. When you take special time with loved ones, you get to reflect on your deeper purpose and build the motivation to move forward.
Take a couple days out of the month to completely focus on your loved ones. Completely disregard any business activities and invest your time with family or friends. Be sure to turn off your phone and any other distractions. Give your full attention to those you love and your stress will be dramatically reduced.
5. Write a Letter to God: If you believe in God, this is a life-changing suggestion. Writing a letter to God, or a higher spiritual force, helps you to express your deepest self. This process can also help you to ask the deepest questions, such as "What is the meaning of life?" or "What am I purposed to do?" Make sure you express your full emotions when you do this.
Many times, you will receive divine guidance. Almost always, it will be some form of redirection. When I do this, which is often, I tend to find the deeper version of myself. It allows me to change my approach in life and reflect on the truths in my journey. Try to write a letter to God.
Bonus: Create a Forgiveness List: Most people cannot move forward in life because they have failed to forgive the people in their past. They tend to hang on to grudges while they silently cling to their hate and anger. For many people, it causes complete destruction to their souls, which often affects those whom they interact with.
Make a list of all the people who have 'wronged' you in the past. Even those people who have done reprehensible acts towards you. We've all faced these kinds of people. Write their names down and forgive them dozens of times by saying, "I forgive you and wish the best for you." The sooner you make this list, the sooner you will confront your own soul and release layers of stress.
Reducing stress happens best when you confront it directly. The next time you sigh, be sure to ask yourself, "What can I do to make things easier?" If you ask this question, you'll be proactive in all of your endeavors while becoming successful in the process. Try it and see how you feel!