The problem with our hustle and bustle world is that it causes a lot of stress! We are programmed to believe that if we want to be more successful in life we have to work harder and take on more stressful activities. But let us take a step back and wonder how to live stress free and happy?
I’ve previously written articles like 7 Simple Stress Relieving Activities and Dealing With A Stressful Situation in Life which look at ways to relieve stress. Now I want to go even further and talk about how to get rid of it all together.
Stress is all in your mind. It isn’t really caused by any outside factors but rather it is us thinking about these outside factors and worrying about them that causes us to stress out. Because of this nothing in the world can really control how stressed out you are going to be except you.
“Give your stress wings and let it fly away” Carin Hartness
In other words stress is really about worrying and panicking about the world around us. This stress that we make for ourselves causes us to do stupid things and causes our health to decline. Stress is caused more by our mindset than anything else, by changing the way we think about life we eliminate stress or at least reduce it to a very low level.
So, how do you take your hectic lifestyle and turn it into the perfect stress free living arrangement that you have always wanted? Here are 9 Stress free tips to help lower the amount of stress in your life and worry a lot less.
1. Find Out What Your Most Important Priorities Are
When we run around in circles and try to do everything we worry about getting things done. We worry about what might happen if we fail to do this or do that. And sometimes we even worry that we are running around in circles without actually accomplishing anything.
The solution is to cut back a little. Figure out what items on your to do list are actually important to you and dump the rest.
You probably don’t hear many people tell you to do less, but it does help when it comes to stress free living and it helps you put more energy and focus onto things that are important to you. It is a win-win situation =).
If you are unsure about what is really important to you in life I just wrote an article about How to Set Priorities. It offers some helpful tips on what to consider and how to go about finding what things you care about most.
2. Lower Your Material Wants
As people we want things. We want to have the best car on the block or we want to own the best brand name shoes or have the latest high tech devise on the market. The problem is that it is hardly ever worth the investment.
When you spend a couple hundred dollars on a pair of shoes or get a new high tech cell phone every 6 months you get that momentary excitement. But it is never enough, you want more. Soon businesses come up with even more things to sell you that are supposed to be even better than their last model.
To stay ahead and to be an “innovator” you have to keep up and keep getting the latest and greatest things in life. This leads you down a dark road. To stay ahead of the curve you have to spend money, you have to work harder to make more money and you might even have to postpone retirement a few times just because you buy all of the new and interesting things that come out on the market.
“Reduce the complexity of life by eliminating the needless wants of life, and the labors of life reduce themselves.” Edwin Way Teale
The need to consume and buy more only means we have to work harder and put a lot more stress on ourselves to get, well let’s face it, something that won’t really help us live a happier life in the grand scheme of things.
Happiness comes from within; it has nothing to do with the items or gadgets we have now. So why make life harder on ourselves by trying to buy more things that we probably won’t even use down the road? Money can either be a tool to make life easier or a ball and chain that holds you back and makes you work that much harder to move forward.
3. Take Chances and Be Innovative
Looking at life like a challenge can be pretty fun. If you want to do something with less stress why not be a little creative and look for other ways around your problem.
Innovation has, after all shaped our world and caused life to be a lot less stressful. The wheel made it easier to travel and to move large objects with less effort. Recent inventions like the internet have made stress free living a lot easier because if we don’t know something we can just go online and search for it. Heck you may have found this article by typing in “How to Live Stress Free and Happy” into a search engine.
By being creative we not only lower our stress and makes specific tasks easier and faster, but we also get our minds working on something that is creative and fun rather than having it worry about life or some insignificant problem we might be overreacting to.
4. Be True To Yourself
One reason people have stress in their lives is that they are not true to themselves. They may stay in a relationship that they don’t like or work on a job that they hate simply because it is safe and secure.
Instead of just blindly following your path I think it is a good idea to ask yourself, is the path you are following really your own? If you don’t think about it you may end up regreting the things you could have done. You only live once after all.
If you are not true to yourself then stress is going to follow you around and make life more difficult. You will keep wondering “what if” and your problems will keep coming up as you keep asking yourself why you just don’t follow your heart and look for something that suits you better.
If you are true to yourself and honest about what you want out of life the world has a way of helping you find a way to get it. Besides life is all about living in the moment and experiencing new things. Why settle for something that makes you unhappy?
5. Ignore The Crowd
We live in a world that has been built upon over-consumption and working harder. Everywhere we are being pushed to work for money, not enjoyment, and to stress out about how successful we will become in life.
We stress out about getting As in school because if we don’t get good grades then we can’t go to college and stress out about how we are going to pay tuition. And if we don’t go to college then we can’t get a high paying job working 50 hours a week to pay for the big house and big bills we want to accumulate.
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” Mark Twain
I’m not saying going to college is a bad thing. If you have a interest in a topic and college can help you advance in that topic then by all means follow your passion. But don’t do something just because it is what the crowd is telling you to do.
If you live your life based off of what other people tell you is smart and completely ignore your own interests and dreams then you may wake up one day to find you are living someone else’s life and your unhappiness is the real cause of all your stress.
6. Focus On The Big Picture
We tend to get caught up in our day to day lives. One thing happens after another and it is easy to get so stressed out about the little things in life which won’t even matter 5 years down the road.
Instead of focusing on the little issues take a step back and focus on the big picture. Ask yourself questions like “where do I see myself in 5 years” “what do I want to experience in my life” and “what will the world say about me when I am dead”
By focusing on the bigger picture in life you not only increase the likelihood that you will reach your goal, but it also helps you to see that the things you are stressing out with today are not really that big of a deal.
Why get upset when someone cuts you off in traffic or when you get that parking ticket. If you focus on the bad things in life you will find them and it will just make you more stressed out. But if you take a longer term perspective and look at life as an experience or a game that you can learn from and use to improve yourself then suddenly not everything is as big of a deal as we seem to make it.
7. Ignore What Other People Say About You
Many of our actions in life are shaped by other people. We wonder, “what will people think of me if I try something and fail?” or we wonder “What will they say if I show up wearing this?” By focusing so much on what other people say you are giving other people far too much control over your life and you are stressing out about nothing.
Life is better and less stressful if we stop focusing on what other people think of us. Instead just do what you believe is right and let the world take care of the rest. Chances are other people are more focused on what you think about them then what they think about you anyways.
This is an easy way to get rid of some stress and live a better life in general.
How to live stress free? One way is to laugh regularly. Laughter is the best medicine. By laughing we are letting ourselves enjoy life and have a good time. Everything becomes less stressful and more fun.
Taking a break in the day to watch a comedy or laugh with friends can be great for your health and can help to relieve some of the stress you have built up throughout that day.
9. Share Love and Forgiveness
When we love we are bringing more love into the world we feel better as a result. Falling in love with someone or just falling in love with life in general is a great way to lower your blood pressure, see more possibilities, and feel better about yourself and about the world in which you live.
When we hold grudges or hate other people it only raises our stress level and makes other people feel bad. When hatred gets involved there are no winners, hatred brings more hatred, understanding and compromise looks at our differences and helps us arrive at a point where we are both getting something we want.
“Forgiveness can lower ur blood pressure ,strengthen ur immune system and drop the stress hormones” Quentin McCall
Instead of holding grudges and bringing more hatred in this world learn to love the world around you. Learn to love your experiences, learn to live in the moment, and learn to forgive other people’s faults because nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes.
If you bring more love into this world it tends to come back to you, makes your life less stressful, and makes others around you care for you even more.
Those are my stress free tips, now it is your turn to answer the question how to live stress free. What do you do?