Dealing with stress is simple, but it is not always easy. ~ www.jaywren.com
Life’s challenges create pressure. I can’t always control the world around me. However, I can reduce stress with my actions. Here are seven things I do.
I Fight Procrastination.
I feel tremendous stress when I put things off.
Also, thinking about doing a large project from start to finish is often overwhelming. To reduce stress, I break projects down into multiple, simple steps.
For example, when I am stuck and can’t write an article, I start with writing a title. I might write one paragraph. I save what I have written as a draft. After a few days, I may not come back to work on this draft. Sometimes, I never come back to finish the article.
That’s okay, because following this method gives me a start to every article I write.
I Write Things Down.
When something is bothering me, I can write it down. Writing takes the sting out of stress.
If I have something that I need to do but can’t do now, I can write it down. Having it on my calendar clears my mind for the things I need to do now.
Furthermore, having a plan of action helps me become more productive. When I become more productive, I have a sense of accomplishment. I feel less stress.
I Try to Eat Healthy Food First.
When hunger makes me anxious between meals, a snack cuts my anxiety until mealtime.
Although I try, I don’t always snack on the healthiest things. I must make choices for my snacks. One of my favorite snacks (not just for desserts!) is ice cream. Also, I love chocolate-covered peanuts. One of my favorite snacks is chips and salsa. It looks like a healthy choice.
But sugary and starchy snacks make me hungrier. From what I have read, the carbs in sugar and starch, when eaten alone, over stimulate the pancreas to produce a surge of insulin. The excess insulin drops blood sugar so that I am hungry even though I have just eaten.
Therefore, I try to keep more satisfying snacks handy. Nuts and peanut butter are calorically dense, but are low in net carbs. A couple of tablespoons of peanut butter (190 calories, 7 grams of carbs) kills my appetite better than a cup of ice cream (220 calories, 28 grams of carbs).
A slice of Havarti cheese has 80 calories and zero grams of carbs.
I use MyFitnessPal to track my nutrition. (This is not a paid endorsement.)
Furthermore, I am not a nutritionist, but low-carb, high-fat foods satiate my appetite. You may find that the same thing works for you.
I Take Breaks!
Being tired creates stress.
No one can run wind sprints all day long. Breaks make us more productive. I find that working alone in a virtual office, I can easily forget to take breaks.
To remind myself to move each hour, I have notifications on my calendar to leave my desk and move around. Simply walking for a few minutes reduces my feeling anxious.
I get plenty of sleep.
Not only do I take breaks. I try to get plenty of sleep. Allowing my brain to rest enables me to make better decisions. Better decisions increase success and cut stress.
Note: Not taking breaks from work or not getting enough sleep creates stress that can lead to burnout. We reach a point where overdoing our job cripples us in ways that we can no longer do our job.
I Try to Keep It Real.
It is so easy for me to want to control national or international events. Thinking that I can control these things is completely fruitless and painfully stressful.
People in forums say things that annoy me. Correcting them is pointless. I can’t police the Internet!
Likewise, I can easily believe that I can change other people. There are things that I can do that affect how other people react. However, just changing my own behavior is not always easy. Believing that I can change other people is often impractical.
Frustration over the things I can’t change creates stress. I try to keep it real about the things that I can change and not change.
I Talk with Friends.
Just having friends helps me beat stress. Talking to friends gets me out of my own head and into the present moment. Furthermore, in talking with friends, I get practical information on dealing with challenges in my life, thereby increasing success and reducing stress.