Being able to monitor, control, and reduce stress seems impossible sometimes. Being overwhelmed and caught off guard is often the very nature of stress – it comes when you least expect it, usually at the worst time. When we let stress pile up, it takes precedence over our own physical and mental wellbeing. But if there’s one thing strong and resilient women like us know how to do, it’s to overcome whatever is thrown our way.
The more you move, the better your life will become. I also know that everyone leads a busy life. It can appear difficult to move yourself to your best life when you’re stuck living your busiest life! Without the right mindset, our busy lives can become chaotic and create chronic stress. Besides doing a number on our minds and our emotions, chronic stress can lead to weight gain and health complications. Not only is exercise the best way to clear and calm our binds, but it also busts those fat cells and nips stress in the bud.
Unfortunately, people often cite stress and time management as the main reasons why they don’t exercise! So how do you make time to reduce stress when your life feels too chaotic to cram in one more thing? We’ve got some helpful tips to get your health goals back on track and reduce stress to live a happy, healthy, active, and joyful life.
Precursor: Identify Your Stressors.
Before you can begin to shed your stress, you need to pinpoint your main causes of stress. Make a list at the end of each day and write out what stressed you out. Make sure to include the little things, because small stressors add up to big headaches. After a week, you’ll notice patterns in your stress. Is there anything in your life that causes stress that you really don’t need? Can you let go of a habit or activity that is creating stress? Likewise, look for things you aren’t doing that are causing you stress. Do you feel stressed because you don’t have time to workout? Are you stressed because you aren’t spending enough time with your friends or maybe you don’t get enough alone time? Be honest with yourself and decide what parts of your life, no matter how small, need to change so that you can live smarter. Now, let’s get to the meat of how to reduce stress.
7 Tips to Reduce Stress
- Give yourself a break. We are our own worst critics. Remember that you are only one person and there are only so many hours in a day. Trying to be everything to everyone just invites stress into your life.
- Focus on what is important to you. We often feel self-indulgent when we focus on ourselves, but it’s important to remember that we can’t help others unless we first help ourselves. Take care of the important tasks in your own life before you move on to help others.
- Simplify your chores. Managing a household can be complicated but there are lots of ways to streamline your tasks. Sites like Real Simple offer excellent tips on how to make everyday chores less time-consuming.
- Don’t take yourself so seriously. Don’t hold onto your mistakes, especially the small ones. Be willing to let things go. It’s also important to find humor in every situation. Laughter has great healing qualities! Let yourself enjoy life, even the mistakes!
- Get rid of the issues that weigh you down. We mentioned this above, but it’s important to restate it. Don’t take on activities that you don’t need or want in your life.
- Learn to say no. Saying no to a friend or loved one doesn’t mean that you don’t support them. It simply means that you are being realistic about your time.
- Make lists. Making lists will help you to prioritize the important things in your life and keep the little things from sliding by. Get a cute journal that you love, add a stylish whiteboard to your workstation, or get on the sticky note train – visually seeing your to-do’s and ticking every one of them off can help to organize your thought while lighting up your reward system with every “check!”
We’ve covered tips to reduce stress, but we know that there is some stress you cannot control. We’ve got some advice for that too.
Your Attitude Affects Your Stress.
Keeping a positive outlook isn’t always easy with everything life throws at us. However, research by Psychologist Kelly McGonigal shows that your attitude has everything to do with the amount of stress that you experience and the toll it takes on your body.
You cannot control everything that goes on in your life, but you can control how you feel about it.
The above list of 7 tips to control stress is a great start to changing how you feel about your life. Those tips will help you feel more in control of your life and feeling out of control is one of the biggest causes of stress.
Another big cause of stress is YOU. That’s right, you. Do you have an attitude of can’t? Do you often say “I can’t do x today because I’m too stressed?”
We’ve all been there. We’ve all said it, but your attitude of can’t is adding to your stress.
Feeling stressed makes it easy to justify skipping a workout. Instead, we sit on the couch and snack. When you’re experiencing an attitude of “can’t”, remind yourself exercise helps you reduce stress and boosts your mood. Prioritizing your happiness now leads to happiness and health in the future. I hope all of these tips to reduce stress help you live your best life.
To get inspired by the other resilient women and head their tips for reducing and managing stress, join us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, and read my new book, Fitness AFTER 40: Your STRONG Body at 40, 50, 60 and Beyond!