In a world filled with traffic jams, financial worries, and economic upheaval, stress is inevitable. Sometimes it can sneak up on you and other times you feel it building. It is vital for our good health to find ways to ease that stress before it becomes distress, a physical condition brought on by consistent, unrelenting stress. High blood pressure, weight gain, sleep disturbances and more serious conditions can occur from stress.
Whether you are a driver filled with road rage, a Type A personality striving for professional success, or a single parent struggling to find a balance between family, finances, and work, stress can be eased by following these simple tips.
1. Let go of control: Many of us feel the need to control the world around us. We think we know how do things, when to do them, and how to do them better than anyone else. And if we don’t control them, who will, right? Control is actually an illusion. We cannot control the weather, an unexpected accident, illness, or natural disaster. When we think about it, we can’t control the behavior of others or the responses of others either. So simply let life happen. Allow natural consequences. Allow life to flow as it will. Life has a rhythm all its own that can’t be controlled. Its ok.
2. Accept life as it is: Life is going to happen the way it happens. People will get mad. Bad things will occur. Accept it. Again, as in tip #1, we can’t control life. Accept that. Sitting in traffic? Listen to music, dream about winning the lottery, or mentally plan a vacation. You cannot control traffic. Accept that. Breathe and let go. You may be poor, you may be unemployed, but you can still enjoy the day. Happiness doesn’t only happen to those who are financially solvent or skinny or smart. Happy people know that life happens as it happens. They enjoy the moments, not just successes.
3. Take good care of yourself: the beauty of this tip is that it will come naturally after following tips 1 and 2! Once you let go of the need to control things and you accept life happens as it happens, you will start to feel more relaxed. Once you feel more relaxed, you will concentrate more on things you can control such as your diet, your blood pressure, or even your need to feel productive. Listening to music in the car may make you happier when you are at work. Having a good day at work may bring you home in a good mood. Happy people are healthier!
Some of us already know that a dirty house will keep while our children won’t. Others may already know that a bad day at work will turn around tomorrow. But for those who stress over finances or the need to be perfect, we may need to consciously remember to let go of stress. Deep breathing helps clear the mind. Meditation helps relaxation. Life is much too short to be angry all the time….or stressed all the time…or unhappy all the time. So remember to let go of control, accept life as it is, and take good care of yourself so you can start to enjoy living.