7 Common-Sense Ways to Relieve Stress Naturally
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We all deal with stress in one form or another at some point or another – relationship problems, on-the-job stress, family issues, health problems, financial troubles.
And that’s just a short list of potential stressors we’re all familiar with.
When we’re under constant stress, it can feel like a never-ending pit of negativity, anxiety and troubles.
And stress is one of those things that is not only bad for your mental health but for your physical health as well.
If you find that you’re stressed much of the time, I understand what you’re going through.
Been there, done it.
But these days, I live a much more stress-free life, and you can too.
The most important step in relieving and eventually eliminating stress is pinpointing its cause.
You have to identify the source of your stress before you have any hope of reducing and eliminating it.
As an example…
If you have financial problems and those problems cause stress (duh), it’s not just enough to say “I’m stressed because I can’t pay my bills.”
You have to answer the question of why you can’t pay your bills.
If your response is “I can’t pay me bills because I don’t have enough money,” then you have to answer the question “Why don’t I have enough money?”
Is it because you’re underpaid? Then the solution may be to ask for a raise from your current employer or begin searching for a better-paying job or to find an additional source of income.
Is it because you over-spend? Then you need to find a way to control your spending by developing a budget and implementing a system of organization for your finances.
Once you’re able to answer these types of questions, you can get to the root of the problem (and the basis for your stress), and then formulate a workable solution. In doing so, you eliminate the root cause of your stress, and the source of anxiety, pressure and strain.
Having done the work of identifying the things that stress me and working to reduce and eliminate them, I’ve learned to relieve or completely remove much of my stress using a few simple, natural and effective techniques.
I’d like to share some of those with you.
Below I have highlighted seven ways to relieve stress naturally. Read along to find the stress relief you need to live better and feel better, naturally.
7 Ways To Relieve Stress Naturally
1. The Power of Saying a “No”
Let me tell you a story…
“Lynda” was a young professional and a very hard worker who had recently joined a new company.
To please the management, she readily said yes to every task and job she was assigned.
She never said no, even when the work load became overwhelming.
She tended to do the same when asked to take on projects for her kids’ school, and for the several church and community organizations to which she belonged.
On her job, she wanted to appear hardworking, efficient and useful, so every bit of work that was put in front of her, she took as her personal mission to complete.
But when she reached home every evening, she was distraught and tired.
The stress and pressure of juggling too much and being spread too thin began taking a toll.
And she realized she was beginning to take it out on her family.
It was then she decided to make a change, and use the word “no”.
Of course, in the beginning, saying no was very difficult.
But eventually with practice, she got the hang of it, stopped feeling uncomfortable or guilty, and voiced her point. She started letting others know when she had taken on as much as was reasonable, and firmly stated when she was unable to do any more beyond that point.
In the end, It helped her to do a much better job, and manage her time and resources much more efficiently and effectively. She was happier and her supervisors were much happier too.
The end. 🙂
Stop saying “yes” (learn to use your “no” words) to those things that cause you to be unhappy, feel imposed-upon, over-worked, stressed, or taken advantage of, and that don’t align with who you are, your well-being and what ultimately makes you happy.
Learn to say “no”.
It’s not impolite or rude. In fact, it’s the “nicer” thing to do when you’re honest with others as opposed to saying “yes” and being overburdened or feeling put upon and then becoming angry about it.
2. Accept That You Cannot Control Everything
Okay, so, if there is a volcanic eruption in some part of the world, will you be able to control that situation?
Or if an earthquake occurs, can that be controlled?
So, it’s true then, that you can’t control everything.
In fact, much of what happens in life we have no control over.
But what you can control is your time.
Worrying about things which are not under your control is a complete and total waste of your time and energy.
Rather than worry when a stressful or troublesome situation arises, try to analyze the situation and ask yourself, ‘Can I control this?’
If the answer is yes, then do what is necessary to solve the situation as quickly and efficiently as possible.
But if the answer is no, accept that there is nothing you can do about it and move on.
Don’t waste anymore of your time or resources with it.
Get on to what’s next.
3. Get Organized
These days, we all have a multitude of responsibilities resulting in very full plates and so little time.
A fundamental way of dealing with the situation is to get organized.
Get a planner or a bullet journal and write down everything that you need to accomplish within the next week. Don’t forget to include anything, even your fitness goals.
Once you have everything written down, define your priorities and write them down right there in your planner or journal.
From now on, when you get up in the morning, check your planner or journal soon after you get up.
Then in accordance with the tasks that you’ve defined, plan your next 24 hours accordingly.
I’m not saying organization will magically cure all ills, but when you’re organized, especially if things get super-busy, it helps immensely to have things outlined, defined, planned and scheduled.
When things don’t go as planned (notice I said “when” not “if”) you’ll have to be flexible.
But having a plan in place helps reduce the opportunity for chaos.
What a refreshing and welcome change it will be.
At the end of your day, tick off each task you’ve accomplished, and feel good about what you were able to get done even when you don’t complete the entire list.
4. Avoid Unhealthy Habits
I have been extremely fortunate in life in that I have never had to rely on alcohol, cigarette smoking, caffeine or over-eating/emotional eating to cope up with my problems.
At best, any of these habits may relieve stress in the short term, but over the long run, they possess much more potential for serious health issues in the future including problems with heart health, obesity, cancer, diabetes and more, as well as the additional stress that comes from having any of these other conditions.
Avoiding unhealthy habits lessens the opportunities for stress-related problems in your life.
If you’re anything like me, I am sure you must have promised yourself a countless number of times, that today will be the day that you finally begin a regular exercise regimen.
You will go walking, work out or do yoga.
Or at least come back home and meditate.
But it often fails right?
Having the willpower or discipline or motivation or the energy to “do the work” after a fully-scheduled and stress-filled day is not easy.
I get it.
But, I read somewhere that “investing in yourself is the best kind of investment.”
And of course it’s true!
If you just get yourself to start a physical routine, and promise yourself that “Today I will work out no matter what,” you’ll see results.
It can be enormously difficult at first to motivate yourself to move your body, especially if you have not previously been engaging in any form of exercise.
But day by day if you stick with it, you’ll get used to the activity and the routine of doing it. In fact, you’ll feel really weird when you miss your workout schedule for any reason.
Of course, starting is always difficult, but once you begin, you can do it.
6. Spend Time Outdoors
Even if you spend 1 hour everyday outdoors (which most of us don’t), that means you still spend 96 percent of your time (of your life) indoors.
Day in, day out.
Week after week.
Month after month.
These days, we spend an extraordinary amount of our time indoors; at home, at work, even in the gym, and that’s not what we were built for.
We need the outdoors. Fresh air, cool grass, clear water, life-giving earth. Our optimum health relies on our relationship with the natural part of our environment.
A simple walk, a brisk run, spending a few peaceful moments sitting under the trees – all of these are essential elements of our mental and physical well-being.
So, make an effort to spend time outdoors.
Even during the day when you’re pressed for time, a quick 10-15 minute’s walk post lunch can do wonders to rejuvenate you, channel positive energy and relieve stress.
7. Accept People Just the Way They Are
Remember, earlier when we discussed not being able to control everything and letting go of the things which are uncontrollable?
Well, accepting people the way they are is a different side of the same coin.
Everyone is different.
Everyone’s thought process, dreams and aspirations differ.
Some people have perceptions and opinions that are very much different than yours. And that can sometimes be really frustrating.
But if you focus on trying to make them change their opinion, it’s likely you’ll be disappointed as well as frustrated.
And in turn, you will only have more stress which is the exact opposite of what you need.
Trying to make people change or getting angry that they won’t is not only a time and energy suck, it seldom work to solve anything, and only causes more stress for you.
Learn to accept people for who they are and where they are in their own journey. Everyone is different, has their own struggles and comes to points of understanding in their own time; and some never do.
Once you understand that and can be okay with it, you will be more at peace with yourself.
It is my sincere hope that among these few simple tips something has resonated with you, and it will help you in leading a better and less- stressed life.
These are just a few things that have helped me. Do let me know if this post has helped you too. And as always, please share. Thanks!
Kimberly Clay is the founder and creative force behind What She Say. She’s a business professional, writer and editor who’s been creating and managing digital content for nearly twenty years. Her work is now focused in the areas of self-improvement and personal development, and she is passionate about helping other individuals, especially women, to find a path for living their best life.