You might like doing some of the above listed activities, but it certainly does stress us out sometimes!
When I grew up, life seemed simpler. We didn’t have select/competitive/traveling sports teams like we do today. My mom and dad were home for dinner every single night, and we ate together and actually had a conversation. Unfortunately, this seems to be a lost art these days. I often wonder when and why society has changed so much. Why are we required to do a million things until our head explodes? This creates unneeded stress. And stress causes a whole bunch of physical problems.
If you have been feeling crazy with the amount of pressure you are under, then keep reading. I have 7 tips for helping you de-stress your life.
1. Say NO.
Sounds easy enough, right? Not for everyone. So many people worry too much about what other people think, so they say ‘yes’ all the time. A lot of these people are ‘people-pleasers’ - they don’t want other people to feel bad, or not like them. So they say YES all the time. But if you’ve said yes to being the president of the PTO, coaching all of your kids’ sports teams, chairing a new project at church, and working overtime, then you need to learn the two-letter word that could save you a lot of stress – NO. It’s okay to say no!! It’s not rude. It’s part of self-love.
2. Stop chasing perfection.
First of all, I want to make one thing clear: there is no such thing as perfection. Yes, you heard me correctly. There is no such thing! What is perfect to me is not perfect to you! ‘Perfect’ is relative. So why would you bother chasing perfection? Even if you think you can achieve it, someone else will probably think that you are not perfect. Or vice versa. You don’t think you’re perfect, but other people do. So instead of striving for perfection, strive for excellence. Trying to be perfect just stresses people out beyond belief. And so it’s time to stop.
3. Take time for yourself.
I know what you’re thinking: “How is that even possible when I am so busy and over-scheduled?” Well, if read what I wrote in #1 and #2, you will see how it’s possible. If you say ‘no’ to all the unnecessary commitments in your life, then you will have more time for yourself! If you stop caring about what other people think and stop chasing perfectionism, you will create a lot more “me-time.” Even if it’s just 5 or 10 minutes a day, it is important to take time to re-charge. If you don’t do that, your tank will be empty. And then you will have nothing left to give to your loved ones.
Some people have the wrong impression of mediation. They think it’s kind of “woo-woo” and it’s only something Buddhists do. That couldn’t be farther from the truth! There are plenty of studies that show the benefits of mediation on your body and mind. There are also many download-able mediation programs that you can use to help you focus so you don’t have to do it all on your own.
5. Take supplements.
I am a big believer in supplements, and I have spent years researching the good ones. Your body needs certain nutrients to help rebuild your body after too much stress. I use magnesium, melatonin (for better sleep), valerian, omega-3 fish oils, and essential oils like Lavender. Supplements don’t substitute for eating healthy, saying no, taking time for yourself, or meditating, but it sure does help the process.
6. Try Biofeedback.
Most people have never even heard of biofeedback. But in a nutshell, it is a technique in which you learn to be aware of – and control – the changes in your body that are stressing you out. You are hooked up to electrical sensors that tell you when changes occur, and then you can consciously train yourself to control your body with strategies like breathing correctly to bring your blood pressure down. This is just a very simplified explanation, but it is worth looking into. My stepmom uses it in her psychology practice and has had amazing results with her patients.
7. Try Reiki.
Like biofeedback, most people haven’t ever heard of Reiki either. And even if they have, they probably think it’s “woo-woo” just like mediation. But if you have an open mind, Reiki can provide lots of benefits. The first time I had it done on me, I couldn’t believe the mental and emotional change that occurred. I wasn’t even expecting to feel lighter and happier, but I did. Take some time to research it, and then you’ll see the benefits it could provide.
So don’t think that you need to “Keep up with the Joneses” by staying too busy and never saying no. Stress really can be a silent killer. You owe it to yourself and your family to do everything you can to keep healthy by controlling this common, yet deadly emotion!