That’s what I was thinking when I was practicing for a piano recital my last semester of college. I am very much an over-thinker. I focus too hard, find too many possibilities to any situation, and worry way too much that something won’t be perfect. While there is a lot psychologically going on there, what it all was causing me was a great deal of stress-induced pain in my shoulders.
I would often find myself in situations that either I had no control over, or was not able to fulfill the expectations to the desired level. This led to a stressed out life. And I didn’t even start to realize how bad it was getting until it started affecting my health and happiness.
Stress is not bad. But too much of it (just like anything) can kill you. People who live high stress lives are dying a lot faster than the rest of us. Personally, I’d like to live a long time and enjoy my time here on earth as much as possible. Here are 5 ways you can help eliminate stress from your life and be more happy, healthy, and high (on life).
1. Eliminate negativity
It’s everywhere and almost unavoidable. But you might be allowing it in your life more than you think. Negativity can breed all sorts of nastiness: depression, anger, emotional abuse, limiting beliefs, distorted worldviews, etc… It’s best if you can eliminate as much as you can from your environment.
Turn the TV off. The news is full of terrible events happening around the world. It’s important to be aware of what’s going on, but if you’re always watching the news and starting to feel hopeless about the world we live in, then it’s affecting you in a bad way. There are also plenty of stupid, and negative idea promoting TV series that can get in the back of your mind and influence the way you think you should act in this world. Turn it off and go read a book!
People can also be very negative. If you find yourself stressed out around certain people and don’t look forward to seeing them, they may be very negative and it always has a way of overflowing onto everything and everyone around it. Whether it’s at work, home, or a friend, do what you can to stay away from them. If it’s just not an option to avoid them, be the example of what a positive person is like. This will do 3 things. It will either make them want to get away from you, it might overflow enough onto them that they’ll eventually start being positive, or it will help you become more positive yourself and you’ll be happier.
2. Get out in nature
The outdoors are just breathtaking. One of my goals is to visit each of the 50 states and spend time enjoying some unique natural part of the state I travel to. Going for a walk outside does wonders for your your mind, body, and even your soul. Find a river, or a walking trail in the woods. If you’re by the ocean, go walk on the beach. Get some fresh air and enjoy and celebrate the beautiful world around us. There are amazing things to discover and if you’re stressed out because of a writing or creative mental block, getting outside has been known to give that spark of inspiration you may be looking for.
This one is related to the last one. Your body needs oxygen to survive. The more you have, the more energy you have, the stronger you grow, and the healthier you stay. I personally use meditation as a breathing exercise. I started doing this during a very stressful time of my life that I didn’t see any way out of at the time. Focusing on my breath for 10 min every night before I went to bed allowed me to decompress after the day and get to sleep faster. After about a month of doing this, I started to really notice how much more relaxed I was during everything, even the stressful situations! If you find yourself in a stressful work or family situation, take 20 seconds to close your eyes and take a few deep, slow breaths. This will calm you down and allow you to think more clearly.
4. Live your own life
By this I mean don’t try to live someone else’s. You are who you are, where you are, and when you are for a very specific purpose and reason. The only person you should be comparing yourself to is your future self. Accept who you are and then work to be the best you that you can. God made you special and unique. What you may think is your biggest weakness may actually be your biggest advantage. Be curious about how you might be able to leverage it for other people. Take time every month or so to really evaluate who you were made to be and what you were made to do. Are you heading down the right path? If you live your own life, this will keep you from stressing out about how you think life SHOULD be and let it be how it ACTUALLY is. You might just then find peace and affirmation in who you are and actually make progress towards something amazing!
5. Trust God
I think we all struggle with this. It’s hard to have faith when we don’t know the outcome or end result of a lot of paths in life. But, I’ve never heard one story of God actually failing someone or not following through with His promises. He’s a big God and He does have everything under control. Remind yourself multiple times a day to trust Him and that He will bless those who honor Him. I believe that when you are serving Him, loving others, and living your own life, you will be affirmed and blessed in ways you can’t even imagine. Give your life over to Him, it’s worth it.
Did this help? What is causing stress in your life? Is it avoidable? Let me know in the comments and share this on Facebook! Don’t forget to subscribe to be notified when I release a new post!