Tuesday, June 15, 2010
10 Ways to Live a Stress Free Life
I read an article about Kathleen Hall, a noted expert on stress management. The list below is based upon her teachings and is something that I will be adopting to manage the stress in my life. Ms. Hall talks about a simple mantra that she lives by to help minimize her stress. The mantra is so simple yet so powerful SELF, an acronym for serenity, exercise, love, and food . Ms. Hall refers to this acronym as the” four roots of real happiness”. “It’s these basic, ordinary actions that ground you,” she explains. “By attending to your roots each day, you learn to stay focused and intentional — and stay true to your design.”
It is important for us to keep our lives balanced. Make time for family and friends. Make appointments with them if you have to. Make sure you get that quality time in with those you love and care about. Take time to exercise, create peace in your life for meditation and prayer, and eat nutritious food. Living your life in this way will bring benefits to the mind, body, and spirit.
Ms. Hall advises that you start small. Don’t overwhelm yourself with big changes. Alter one small thing — a morning habit, a food choice. Over time, these will add up to the intentional life you crave.
Connect. Put love and friendship first in your life, scheduling dates with others as you would doctors’ appointments. Connection may help improve heart health, prompt the release of the stress-relieving hormone oxytocin, and allow you to sidestep the health risks of isolation. While you’re at it, get a pet — you might further reduce stress and ease depression.
Focus on now. Rather than disperse your energy with multitasking, take one job, one person at a time.
The more mindful you are, the quicker you can stop stress and turn yourself around. Stay in the moment. Try not to let your thought wander and focus on the task at hand. Once you have completed that task then you can move on to the next task with a clearer thought process and more focused approach.
Write it out. Release stress by getting negative feelings out of your body. Pick up a pen and write down your thoughts. Journaling is always a helpful and effective activity. Some people journal everyday others journal when there is a need. The main idea is to get those negative thoughts and feelings out so you can focus on more positive thoughts.
Practice gratitude. It’s hard to feel gratitude and stress at the same time. Devote five minutes a day to giving thanks for all the gifts in your life — starting with your breath, the source of everything. This can also be another opportunity for journaling. Keeping a Gratitude journal is very therapeutic. It reminds us of all we are thankful for and also puts fuel in or tank to keep moving forward in a positive way.
Walk softly. When we’re stressed, we tend to hit the floor hard with every step. Imagine you’re walking on a lotus flower — tenderly, gently. Unplug through your feet, and you’ll calm down to a more tranquil mental place.
Try a mini-meditation. Memorize a three-to-five-word phrase, a mantra, that will bring you back to center when things get rough, such as “I make wise decisions” or “Spirit will guide me.” Also, keep a peaceful image mentally on hand (a beach scene, a quiet forest) to call up in stressful moments.
Take stock. Make a list of things that bring you joy — and another list of things that drain your energy. Do this 10 minutes daily for a week, and then review your lists and see how your own life matches up.
Love your commute. if you commute see your travel time as a chance to cultivate patience and compassion. Use calming breaths, focus on staying relaxed, listen to music that you enjoy and find relaxing. If you can stay relaxed and unruffled in traffic, you can handle anything!
Own the news. Change the way you approach the bleak information you get from the media. Don’t shy away from knowing the facts — apathy can prove as damaging to your spirit as stress or depression. But use what you learn to become part of the solution. Send light, positive energy and prayers to those suffering, while finding tangible ways to get involved. You’re in a position of power and control. Embrace the media — look at it and use it as your classroom.
Lynnis Woods-Mullins CEO and Founder PraiseWorks, Inc
Lifestyle Coach - Health and Wellness
Host, "The Wellness Journey" on Voice America Health and Wellness Network