Here is a list of quickies on minimizing the stress in your life.
First of all, define your “relaxing task.” What is it that really helps you to breathe deeper and relax? Is it a hot tub (if you don’t have one, what about a hot tub bath or hot shower)? Is it listening to classical music? Is it punching a punching bag in the garage? Whatever it is, store that task in a high priority spot in your memory. When you feel like you are spinning out of control and not able to figure out what it is that you are doing, that is where you will need that task to come to mind.
If you have a list of many things that help you relax, see if one of them can be identified as a multi-task-capable. For example, if you like to listen to classical music, that might be something that you can do while you do your work. That way, if you are unable to step away (i.e. working a day job and it isn’t like you can leave), you can also do your relaxing task at the same time. Obviously, “punching someone” is not something that you could multi-task at work.
It is amazing how music can inspire, relax, and calm a person. -Deborah E
Organize Your Life
You do not have to become obsessive compulsive about it, but maybe organizing a bit of your life can help those stressors to stay at bay. For example, what about defining your primary six tasks every day? Here is an article about encouraging yourself by recognizing the 5 Successes each day. There is a reason why most experts recommend that your “To Do” list is short (Six or less items). With a longer list, you can create more stress for yourself and since you cannot add any hours to the day, that longer list really isn’t benefitting you. Instead, have your long list as a sort of “attachment.” Allow yourself the six or less items on your daily list, and then, if you happen to breeze through them, you have your attachment list from which to gather the 7th “to do” task. Or, simply do your relaxing task at that moment and take the rest of the day off, eh?
I admit it. I am a bona fide, 100% workaholic. This advice that I am writing… well even I have trouble applying it because I don’t know the word “relax.” For those of you like me, don’t try to conquer the world in one day, not even to accomplish the task of trying to figure out how to relax. Instead, determine what you can keep and what you can lose and develop a balance. Allow yourself to work hard, to satisfy that workaholism, but also start identifying areas where you can set boundaries, to create a more relaxed life. You will live longer!
Modify Your Environment
Watch who you hangout with and what you watch on TV. Even look at the games you are playing. There is nothing wrong with playing games but if it is causing you to sit upright in the middle of the night, with anxiety attacks, you may want to modify your playing. This doesn’t mean that you have to give up your friends or your game, but start to identify and recognize the impact. Maybe, you want to modify when you play your video game so that it isn’t right before you go to bed. Maybe, you want to limit when you hang out with your friends and choose not to read every Facebook post they post, if that is what is stressing you and causing anxiety.
Much of life is about balance and finding areas where you can cut back, in order to have greater health. The key is to find that balance and not necessarily going “cold turkey” on everything all at once. Really look at your life and figure out what you can live with and what you can live without, and then.. relax!
And, remember, “Inch by inch, life’s a cinch. Yard by Yard, life’s hard.”