BY AUDREY SELLERS
According to the Global Organization for Stress, some of the most common sources of stress include money, work, relationships, and health issues.
What can you do if stress is stacking up in your life? Try the following stress-busting hacks to clear your mind and get more joy from life.
Identify your stressors. What really sends your blood pressure soaring? Maybe it’s a particular person, activity, or situation. Before you can work to reduce your stress, you need to know what causes it.
Clear out the clutter. You can hack your way to less stress (and a tidier home and office) by getting organized. Start by throwing away or recycling what you don’t need. All those papers on your desk or countertop? File them or discard them. Visual clutter leads to stress by lowering your ability to focus.
Pare back your schedule. Stress often comes from committing to too many things at work and at home. By clearing your schedule, you’ll notice some of your stress begin to melt away. Look at your calendar and see how your time is booked. Take steps to get rid of the high-stress commitments that bring you little value or joy.
Just do it. Procrastination can be another top stressor. Instead of letting your work or personal responsibilities pile up, do them now. Set a timer and work on it for 10 minutes if a task seems overwhelming. Little by little, you’ll make progress and eliminate the stress of needing to get it done.
Be on time. Are you always running late? Your chronic tardiness can contribute to higher stress levels. Instead of rushing around, commit to being on time. In fact, aim to arrive a bit early for meetings and appointments. This simple move can dramatically lower your stress.
Say no to multitasking. Another way you can clear stress from your life is to work on one task at a time. Trying to do too many things at once can hamper your productivity, sap your energy, and add to your stress.
Watch out for secondhand stress. Just like secondhand smoke, secondhand stress can be detrimental to your overall well-being. When you’re around anxious, frenzied people, their emotions can infiltrate your life. While you can’t avoid everyone who seems to exude stress, you can learn to recognize how you feel when you’re around them. Try not to engage with their stress, and when possible, change the conversation or go for a walk.
Slow down. While there’s no magic pill for stress relief, slowing down comes pretty close. Be intentional about what you do. Take time to savor your food, admire the scenery, and enjoy the people closest to you. Do things just a little bit slower than you usually would, and you can help lower your stress.
Sweat to guard against stress. Exercise is a natural stressbuster in the moment, but it can also help you build new brain cells that are more resistant to stress. Whether you hit the trail or hop on the bike, you’ll boost your endorphins now and set yourself up for a more Zen-like future.
Pay it forward. Random acts of kindness can also help clear away your stress. When you do something nice for someone else, you feel happier. In turn, it can lead to lower stress. Try leaving some change in the vending machine at work or surprising a family member with their favorite treat.