Simple steps to reduce your stress

Stressed woman at desk

Let’s face it, life can be stressful at times. Whatever the reason you’re feeling frazzled why not try these ideas to help turn the stress dial down? Reviewing your patterns and introducing subtle (or radical) changes can make a profound difference and most aren’t too difficult to implement. Why not give them a go?

Decrease your time online

I’ve often heard people say that the internet is ‘a blessing and a curse’ and it certainly can be. All the what’s, where’s and how’s can be answered in moments, making it a great time-saving tool, but as with many things, moderation is key. You could be missing out on ‘real life’ opportunities because you’re overdoing your online time or that hours have passed while you’ve been mesmerised by onscreen content. If the pandemic taught us anything it’s that human beings need connection and ideally face-to-face. This could be as simple as chatting with an acquaintance or having coffee with a neighbour. Informal relationships provide valuable human connection without the obligations or responsibilities associated with family and friends.

Photo by Firmbee.com on Unsplash

Strike that thing off your to-do list

Books have been written and training courses created extolling the benefits of tackling your to-do list one unappealing task at a time. They often recommend doing the thing you least want to do, first. If you’re like many of my clients, you probably have a hierarchy of tasks with the least appealing relegated to the bottom. Such tasks frequently get transferred to a new list once everything else has been accomplished. In my experience working with clients who want to stop procrastinating and to get motivated, these ‘not now’ tasks remain undone regardless of how much time passes. The resistance can be due to the size of the project or because difficult decisions need to be made or implemented. Clients tell me they feel energised when they cross off a dreaded item. Habitual procrastination is not only frustrating, it can leave you feeling chronically stressed. And if you’re not a great sleeper you may find that ‘pesky thing’ haunting you in the wee small hours. So why not ‘do that dang thing’ and enjoy the resultant sense of liberation and relief?

Reduce your hours (aka leave work on time!)

Many of us work way too many hours, skipping lunch or staying at the office late. No matter how important or rewarding your job is, working like this long-term can lead to burnout. This was the old me. I spent so much time working that whole summers would go by without me stepping out in the garden once. Recognising that there’d be a price to pay eventually if I continued working so hard, I made some radical work and lifestyle changes. This allowed me to free up time and to live a more balanced life. Drastic change isn’t always necessary, but taking regular leave, or an extra day off will help you stay grounded and re-charge. On days off, please ignore any temptation to catch up with chores and catch up with yourself instead (or those close to you). You’ll feel tons better and may be more productive when you return to your everyday life or job.

‘Off’ is the new silent

Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is a huge problem and it’s not just young people who suffer anxiety if they are separated from their phone or device. I’m seeing an increasing number of adults in my clinic who experience anything from unease to panic when they’re parted from their phone, and I don’t mean when they think they’ve lost it. Like other forms of compulsive behaviour, checking your screen every few minutes (or seconds) only feeds the need. If you’re not ready for a full digital detox, try leaving your phone at home when you go to the supermarket or turn it off when you’re watching TV or doing some other tasks. This gradual desensitisation can be less anxiety-provoking than a hard stop. When you’re not distracted by notifications, your focus will be better, and you’ll feel more relaxed. You may be pleasantly surprised how little you miss it once you wean yourself off your devices. And I can guarantee you’ll get more done when you’re not constantly checking in.

Next steps…

I hope you’ve found these tips useful. Like most changes we make consistency is often the factor that makes the difference between success and disappointment.

If you’ve tried these tips and would like to learn some easy-peasy techniques for reducing stress and managing anxious symptoms, download my no-nonsense guide to managing anxiety here. You’ll find videos and hypnotherapy recordings that could help you feel more in control of your emotions and responses.

If you’d like to have a no-obligation chat about working with me, book a free phone consultation. I look forward to hearing from you.

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