Fighting stress is not like curing an illness. The thing is that this is something that you’re facing on a daily basis – a problem that cannot be solved. It’s like feeling hunger or thirst – something that you can quell for a while but, in time, it will come back. So, you need solutions that are systemic, reliable and something that you can resort to every single day.
With that in mind and without further ado, here are the top seven daily tips on how you can let go of negativity and stress.
1. Be honest about the day you’re having
Lying to yourself is one of the worst things you can do when you’re having a bad day. Positive thinking can get you so far and sometimes it might be better to just admit that you’re not feeling great. This will allow you to adjust your schedule accordingly. This can help you avoid people who have a negative effect (while avoiding them altogether would be a much better choice) and avoid tasks that stress you out. The most important thing you need to do is recognize things that you can’t change or control. This alone will help make them much more manageable.
2. Invest in personal development
Feeling that you’re going forward in life is often all you need in order to fight negativity and stress. For instance, being overworked feels a lot easier when you know that this is only temporary and that the raise/promotion is right around the corner. While some may argue that this is not always in your hands, the truth is that there are many online personal development courses to set you on the right path. This way, you control your own development and ensure that you’re always pushing forward. When you acquire more skills every single week/month/year, it will be hard to argue against your personal progress.
3. Engage in physical activity
Sometimes, sedentary life will lead you into a state of increased anxiety. Sure, not being physically exhausted is a good thing but humans are meant to be active. Our body, our biology isn’t designed to spend 16 hours sitting 6 days every week. So, find an outdoor physical activity that you like the most. Go for a walk, walk a dog, cycle around the block. If you prefer indoor activity, you could find a gym or a closed public pool. Either way, you have so many options to choose from and every one of them is effective at helping you fight stress.
4. Find your own exhaust vent
Finding your own exhaust vent is incredibly important, seeing as how everyone’s interests and predispositions are different. The key thing is that you figure out what calms you down the most. Is it watching movies, reading, hiking or playing video games? This is the question to which only you can have the answer. The thing is that you might have a hard time figuring this one out by asking others for suggestions. Just stop for a moment and ask yourself if you had a whole day for yourself, what would you do with it?
5. Force yourself to do chores
Now, this sounds a bit counterintuitive – how is doing something tedious going to make you feel less negativity and stress? It is important that you understand where all of this stress is actually coming from. First of all, you need to understand that stress often comes from being overworked and the only way to avoid being overworked is to do things when you don’t have to. For instance, if you do an hour of chores (that you don’t have to do today), you will drastically reduce your workload for tomorrow. It’s really that simple. In turn, your schedule will not be as tight and you’ll have some room to relax.
6. Learn how to say no
One of the most important things in life, as well as a way to stay stress-free, is to learn how to say no. Sure, being polite about it is important but you need to reconsider your stance on white lies. If you don’t feel like going out, tell your friends that you don’t feel like going out. Don’t pretend you have a headache or that something just came up. Being forced to lie (even when it’s only white lies) will make you feel bad and increase the level of anxiety that you’re feeling. Also, this will help you see which of your friends really do care about your feelings and interests.
7. Control your desires
The Greek philosopher Diogenes believed that the more we have, the less satisfied we are. This is because when our belongings increase, our cravings raise to a new level. So, he decided to abandon civilization and live in a barrel, as a response. Now, while this is quite extreme, it’s important that you understand that there are some desires that might be best left unfulfilled. Once you satisfy one craving, something else will take its place. By choosing priorities and deciding to leave some of your minor interests and desires unanswered, you might get a much firmer grasp on your own cravings.
While there are a lot of techniques like deep breathing, finding a mental getaway and using other techniques, the truth is that this is not a real solution. The best solution is to identify all the stress-inducing factors and do something about them. Sometimes, it won’t be possible to avoid them but you can at least take the necessary precautions to help you soften the blow.
Gabriel Hill is an Australian blogger interested in various spheres from mental health and environment to home improvement.