4 Simple Ways to Cut Through Stress
By Sandy Schroeder
No, we can’t magically shrink the traffic, instantly drop 10 pounds, or quickly simplify our budgets, but we may be able to take a few simple steps to ease our stress.
Fast Company reminds us that stress is one of the major causes of health problems in today’s world. For starters, stress can cause depression, heart disease, anxiety attacks, sleep issues, weight problems and autoimmune diseases. It can also make us forget to laugh, snap at our family, or lose track of our schedules.
Most of us can’t jet off for a spring vacation, or take time for meditation retreats or weekly therapy, but we can take steps to lower the tension and regain our balance.
Fast Company asked Leo Babuta, creator of Zen Habits, to give us some simple ways to reduce stress. See what you think.
Accept Uncertainty and Let Go of the Wheel
When the need to control everything winds us up too tightly, we may fear almost everything. Fear of abandonment, failure, loss of face, and countless other things may make each day a stress test. Most of us want it all. We want to be comfortable, liked, and at ease wherever we go. In short, we want the world to be a piece of cake, and it never is. Instead, why not accept reality and expect a few tumbles. Have faith in yourself and others that everything will work out. When you do, much of the stress may just fade away.
Accept and Enjoy People As They Are
If you have ever dealt with someone who thought they could remodel almost everyone and everything, you know how much misery can be created and how little can be accomplished. Why not be open to the world and the people around you? Add a dash of humor and muddle on through just like everyone else. Assume most people are doing their best and reach out to connect whenever you can.
Focus on One Task at a Time
Whenever possible, take one task and stick with it to finish it. If it is something you enjoy doing, let yourself be enveloped in the work. When we bounce back and forth between tasks or try to whip through several at record speed, we lose much of the pleasure of doing something right.
Walk Away from Your Troubles
As simple as it sounds, a brief walk really can clear the mind. Just the act of putting one foot in front of the other one can slow down a racing pulse or help you breathe more normally. When tension builds, skip the angry words and step away for a few minutes. In the process, you may come up with a fresh new solution or at least feel calmer.
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