(continued from 20 Easy Ways To Eliminate Stress From Your Life – Part 1)
Guest article by Leo Babauta from Zen Habits
Here we go with # 11-20 of the 20 easy ways to eliminate stress from your life:
Lose the Schedule
Create more open periods of time in your life. It’s not necessary to schedule every minute of our lives. When someone asks to schedule a meeting, first try to get it done through email or phone … if that doesn’t work, avoid having it scheduled. Ask them to call you and see if you’re free at that time. You will love having an open schedule.
Instead of rushing through life, learn to take things slow. Enjoy your food, enjoy the people around you, enjoy nature. This step alone can save tons of stress.
It may sound contradictory to add more tasks to your life by trying to help other people (you’ve got enough to do), but if you were to add anything to your life, this should be it. Helping others, whether volunteering for a charity organization or just making an effort to be compassionate towards people you meet, not only gives you a very good feeling, it somehow lowers your stress level.
It’s important to take mini-breaks during your work day. Stop what you’re doing, massage your shoulders and neck and head and hands and arms, get up and stretch, walk around, drink some water. Go outside and appreciate the fresh air and the beautiful sky. Talk to someone you like. Life doesn’t have to be all about productivity.
This one’s drastic, and probably too drastic for most. But in most likelihood, your work is your absolute biggest stressor. Getting out of your 9-to-5, automating your income, and finding something you truly love to do, that you’re passionate about, will create a positive life and much less stressful one at that. Give it a little thought before dismissing it — there might be possibilities here you haven’t considered.
Simplify Your To-Do List
Attempting to do everything on your long to-do list will definitely stress you out. Learn to simplify your to-do list down to the few essential tasks.
You can eat sesame seeds on their own or enjoy them as a tasty tahini sauce. This will help protect your liver from alcohol and other toxins.
Do Some Exercise
Exercising helps relieve the stress buildup, it gives you some quiet time to contemplate and relax, and just as importantly, it makes you more fit. A fitter person is better equipped to handle stress. Another important factor: being unhealthy can be a major stressor, and exercise can help prevent that.
This goes hand-in-hand with exercise as a stress prevention method, of course. Become healthier and a major source of stress will disappear. Also, I’ve found that greasy food, for me, puts me in a worse mood and can contribute to stress levels immediately.
This might not be as obvious as some of the others, but developing an attitude of gratitude is a way of thinking positive, eliminating negative thinking from your life, and thereby reducing stress. Learn to be grateful for what you have, for the people in your life, and see it as a gift. With this sort of outlook on life, stress will go down and happiness will go up.
Take time to declutter your desk and even once you do that, continually edit your desk and working space, and the things in your home, until you’ve created a simple, peaceful, Zen-like environment. It will be much less stressful to work in an environment like that than a more cluttered and distracting one.
Summary: 20 Easy Ways To Eliminate Stress From Your Life (Part 2)
Simplify your routines, your commitments, your information intake, your cluttered rooms, the mass of stuff going on in your life … and have less stress as a result.